chalk it up to experience

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Now I know that D.I.Y chalkboards are all the crafting rage and that many people have probably posted about them, but I’ve wanted to have a go for a while.

Last weekend, my mum and I went to a new local craft event, the first Stalybridge handmade market. It was in the renovated market hall, which is a  nice venue, although I have only ever been there in the past for the beer festival. There were lots of nice stalls and some slightly naff ones too, but hey! they have to try to appeal to every one.

I was very good and only purchased 1 thing (I know – what willpower!!), a beautiful fabric flower brooch from bettymo. She had some lovely cats, appliqued cushions and the most exquisite handmade bird. Apparently by order only because they take so long.

What I ended up spending money on was charity shop bargains. I spotted a pair of frames that ‘had potential’ for just £1. I decided they would be my practice (or is it practise?) project. (Forgot to take a photo with both, but they were the same except for the pictures, which really weren’t all that different)

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I knew I had a tin of silver spray paint at  home to ‘gussy up’ the frames.

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I knocked out the backs of the frames to flip over and use as the chalkboards.

019I popped into Wilkinsons on the way to aquafit last Sunday to see if they did chalkboard paint, and whaddya know? they even did their own, much cheaper version. I did a bit of internet research, before deciding that would be my best choice – especially with a practice project.

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As I had 2 pictures I decided to do a little experiment. I had read somewhere that foam brushes were the thing to do your chalkboard painting with, so I picked up a packet of 4 brushes for just 99p in the cheap bookshop. I painted 1 of the boards with the foam brush and 1 with a regular paint brush.

1 coatAfter 1 coat they had both done pretty good coverage, although there were a few more patchy bits on the foam brush board. What was really noticeable was that the foam brush had given a much smoother finish than the regular brush.

After 2 coats they were both well covered, but the foam brush one was definitely smoother.

I bought a hot glue gun from another cheap shop, as I have read many times on many other blogs about how invaluable they are. Poppycock!! Superglue was much better for sticking the boards into the, twice coated with spray paint, frames. Below are the finished products (the foam brushed one is the bottom of these 2 pictures)

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I even used the pictures with another of my recent purchases, a super duper envelope template bought on my trip to London (I just can’t stop making them out of pretty much anything). I am now left with 2 pieces of glass with no purpose (yet).

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Whilst on the way back home from the handmade market, we popped into another charity shop and I found ‘the one’. A beaten up frame with just a canvas in it – for a mere £3. Gorgeous details, even the slightly bashed bits. (No glass was a real blessing, as it was light enough to carry along with all the other bits and bobs I’d picked up – don’t ask!! Hubbie just rolls his eyes and asks why?)

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027So my idea is to paint the frame an off-white in a shabby chic kind of way and then get a piece of board cut (not sure what yet) to size to paint for the chalkboard. The kind of beautiful thing I imagine at Cox & Cox, that would cost some eye-watering amount, but surprisingly they don’t have!

I shall keep you posted. When I can.

The big gaps between posts is down to 2 of us wrestling over the laptop and as Hubbie is filling in job applications or doing real work, he kind of wins out most of the time.

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I have recently become aware of adverts appearing at the bottom of my posts. These are nothing to do with me, I don’t know why they are there or indeed how to get rid of them. I apologise.

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