22 September 2012

DIY: Blackboard Table + Two-Toned Chalk

I've been wanting to make a blackboard and fun-shaped chalk for a while, both for myself to scrawl my endless lists and brainstorming on, and also for the kid to try out. Apparently, it's a bit too early in his development for crayons, or he has a refined taste for tinted wax. Either way, I hypothesized that chalk might be a friendlier medium for little hands (read=I just want a blackboard but feel funny saying it without blaming my child).
I used Martha Stewart's custom chalk recipe, which couldn't have been quicker or easier. Instead of tempera paint, though, I used powdered paint pigment for its versatility and low-count ingredient list.

While the chalk was drying (in silicone baking/candy moulds), I prepped my future blackboard, the pop-out section of a low end table in our living area. The brand of blackboard paint I used called for at least two coats, brushed on in opposite directions. I tested out the board after two coats had dried completely, and a layer of paint scratched off. I layered on two more coats over the next 24 hours, and now it's ready for battle.

Julian's kinda into it, at least for a couple minutes at a time. And it's a perfect situation in our kid-friendly but not toy-overrun home; it's all play until I want to use it for, you know, normal tabley things like drinks and magazines, in which case I flip the section back to utility mode. Although I chose a table, which was a preexisting object of opportunity, anything clean and smooth is game (a serving platter, glass in a picture frame, step stool, a level expanse of plastic or wood, you get the idea...), and, if somewhat flat, it can be hung vertically, propped up in an easel, etc. Endless, the possibilities are.

Happy creating, crafty folks!