Monday, December 6, 2010

DIY Chalkboards

I wanted to make Claire a spot where she could be creative. Well, we had enough room in the living room and her bedroom, so Claire actually got two art centers. The one in the living room is her main chalkboard area and the one in her bedroom (also has a chalkboard but it's mainly for looks) is where she gets to do all her other fun art projects, like coloring, playing with play-doh and finger paints. She loves her centers and she's actually really good with coloring with her crayons. She loves to change her crayon color every few seconds but hey, she likes options! She also loves when some one plays chalk with her! She'll have you draw a picture and then try to draw over it. We do still have to watch her very close because she does enjoy licking/eating the chalk, crayons, and play-doh. Thank God, they are all non-toxic!

If you haven't thought about an art center for your toddler, you might want to consider it. It gives them something else to play with though out the day and it will help them with their hand/eye coordination and creativity. Claire loves it and I'm sure your toddler would too!

What you need to make a chalkboard:

1. Head to your local Goodwill (Theft Store) and find a picture in the size and shape you want. You can do a medium to large size so you can hang it on the wall or you can do a smaller size and make it a lap chalkboard. (No worries, the chalkboard paint goes right over the glass frame)
      * The two pictures I got to make Claire's chalkboards were $2 and $4 - so really cheap!

2.  Head to your closet, garage, basement or wherever you might keep old paint - You will use this to paint the frame, the color you want.

     *  I used our kitchen color and an accent color from Claire's room to paint both of the frames

3. Chalkboard paint (I found mine at Menard's for $9.99) - There are different color's you can choose from, I went with normal, black. Also, don't let the $10 price turn you away - I've made two chalkboards, paint a tray to put on my coffee table and will be making two more chalkboards for Christmas presents and I still have a ton of paint left!

     * After painting the frame the color you want, make sure it's dry and you can paint the glass frame with the chalkboard paint. After you get the first coat, you have to wait at least 3 hours before you can apply the second coat. I recommend at least two coats. I did two coats for Claire's and they work great!

4. Pick up some chalk (We use side-walk chalk because it's easier for Claire to use - I found some at Wal-mart for $2.99)
     * Her chalk, I keep up on a shelf in the living room. If I did not she would be drawing with chalk all over my house!

5. Pick a spot and hang the new chalkboard up! (You have to wait 36-48 hours after the last coat before you can start drawing on it)
      * Claire has a chalkboard in her room and in the living room - she loves them!

Here are Claire's Art Centers:
Claire's bedroom chalkboard/art center

Claire's living room chalkboard

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