Crafting Your Own Chalkboard

The new thing seems to be chalkboard anything. But I can see why, its fun for children, it makes an ordinary item into a cute decoration, it adds a little homemade quality to any gift, and its easy. The best part about it is it requires no artistic talent at all!

What Can I Make Into a Chalkboard?

The chalkboard possibilities are endless! This is where your children’s (or your own) imagination and creativity comes in handy. You can make just about any surface into a chalkboard, including:

  • glass
  • cardboard
  • wood
  • tabletops
  • mirrors
  • cabinets
  • silverware
  • cups
  • ceramic pots

Think how cute chalkboard flowerpots would be! Or, paint up an old picture frame and make the inside a chalkboard surface. Chalkboard doesn’t just have to be for your children. In fact it may just be what you’re looking for to fill in that blank wall space. You can add that little homemade flare to anything like chalkboard labeled dishes at a party, chalkboard gift tags made from cardboard, or chalkboard signs for gardens or weddings.

Chalkboard Mediums

Chalkboard paint comes in premixed paint cans, spray paint, and I’ve even seen chalkboard vinyl. If you want a colorful chalk surface, some companies are even making tinted chalkboard paint! However, if you’re into doing things yourself, you can make your own chalkboard paint with some of your own leftover paint and a little secret ingredient.

Making Your Own Chalkboard Paint

What you’ll need:

  • Flat-finish latex paint, color of your choosing
  • Unsanded tile grout
  • Roller or sponge paint brush
  • Fine-grit sandpaper

Method:

  1. If you’re only going to be painting a small area, I recommend only mixing a small amount at a time.
  2. Pour one cup of stirred flat-finish latex paint into a container.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons of unsanded tile grout.
  4. Mix thoroughly making sure to break up any clumps.
  5. Apply with the roller or foam paintbrush to a painted or primed surface.
  6. Apply multiple coats in different directions, making sure to cover it completely.
  7. Sand with fine-grit sandpaper once it has dried.
  8. Before you use your chalkboard surface, make sure to prime it by rubbing the side of the chalk all over the surface until its completely covered.
  9. Your chalkboard is ready for use!

It’s likely that your homemade paint will have clumps and granules left from the tile grout. But there’s no need to worry. Some of those little granules will just “melt” into it, but for those that don’t, that’s what the sandpaper is for. That is why themixing thoroughly step becomes very important; you want to end up with the least amount of clumps possible. However, if you are wanting a smoother surface, a manufactured version might be a better choice because it goes on just as smooth as any other latex paint.

A little bit of advice: don’t use chalkboard pens on your homemade paint because it doesn’t come off like it would when applied to the manufactured paint. But, traditional chalk works great and your surface can be completely cleaned with a damp cloth. You and your children can enjoy crafting together with this easy project – I hope you enjoy it.

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Handicraft Gift Idea: Make an Apron

If you are looking for a handicraft gift idea to make for someone special, perhaps that person would like an apron. When we think of aprons, we often think of mothers and grandmothers in the kitchen, but men can often benefit from having an apron as well. They often enjoy barbecuing, for one thing. They also can use an apron in the workshop.

Children, too, can use an apron for many of their activities, such as arts and crafts. Here are simple instructions for making a handicraft gift of an apron that can be adapted for anyone.

handicraft idea apron

     1.   Start with a piece of sturdy fabric suitable for the individual for whom you are making the handicraft gift. The fabric needs to be wide enough to wrap 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around them and long enough to cover them from collar bone to just above the knee. For a large adult, 62.5cm to 75cm (25 to 30 inches) wide by 90cm to 100cm (36 to 40 inches) long should be about right. A slimmer adult can use a narrower apron, but if they will be wiping their hands on the sides of it, they might appreciate the extra width. An apron for a child of 10 could start with a piece of fabric about 45cmm (18 inches) wide by 62.5cm to 75cm (25-30 inches) long.

The best types of fabric to use are sturdy cottons, such as medium weight denim or twill. Soft cottons such as broadcloth or muslin are all right in the kitchen, but will not last long, and would not hold up in the garden or workshop at all. Other materials you’ll need are thread and a sewing machine. You will also need enough extra fabric to make a strap to go around the neck, ties for the back, and pockets.

When designing the handicraft gift, you can be as creative as you like with pockets. Every apron is more useful with pockets. A person who cleans houses, for instance, can use pockets for odds and ends they pick up as well as for their spray bottles, sponges, and scrub brushes.

handicraft idea apron

     2.  To make the apron, fold the piece of fabric lengthwise. This will allow you to cut the shape with one cut, making the two sides symmetrical. What you will be shaping when you make the cut will be the bib section of the apron. The bib for an adult sized apron will need to be about 22.5cm (9 inches) wide. Measure from the fold about 14cm (5-1/2 inches). This is half the width of the bib plus a spare to fold under twice to form a hem. The piece you will cut off the side to shape the bib will be a half bullet shape with the tip of the bullet being where the ties will be attached. The length of the half bullet shape should be about 30cm (a foot), and the width will be from the spot you marked 14cm (5-1/2 inches) from the fold to the outside edge of the fabric. When these pieces are cut off, the result should be an apron shaped piece of fabric.

Now decorate the apron with pockets and any other decorations you desire.

handicraft idea apron

3.  After this it is time to fold under the edges all around and stitch down with sturdy stitching for a nice hem all around the handicraft gift. Cut two pieces of fabric a yard long by two inches wide. Fold lengthwise and fold raw edges to the inside. Press and stitch down along the length to make the ties. Attach the ties at the waist of the apron handicraft gift. (If these ties seem a little long, it is because a lot of people like to bring the ties to the front and tie them there.) Cut another piece of fabric 45cm to 50cm (18 to 20 inches) long by 12.5cm (5 inches) wide, fold in half lengthwise and press. Press again with the raw edges of the long side tucked under 1.5cm (1/2 inch). Stitch down the open side. Attach this piece to the sides of the top of the bib, sewing it to the back of the bib and topstitching on the front side of the bib. Be careful not to twist it when you attach it.

People who work hard at homemaking, barbecuing and in the workshop will appreciate a handicraft gift of a sturdy apron. Mostly they will appreciate the effort and design you have put into making a handicraft gift that they can use.