Monday, January 26, 2015

Super Easy Chalkboard

Chalkboards are all the rage right now, and I've been using them to decorate for the holidays and parties in lots of different ways. But I've always found it a pain to have use chalkboard paint on these projects. I had a huge charity party I was responsible for decorating and I started thinking of how other black mediums would look with chalk. It needed to easy and inexpensive too! The three methods I use below held up really well and looked and reacted like a real chalkboard.

1. Butcher Paper
This could not have been easier! If you don't already have access to butch paper, it ~ $15 for 100ft roll that will last forever. The butch paper as chalkboard is perfect large projects, like my Selfie Wall. Test both sides of the paper and see which works best for your project. But for me, it worked as is. I also used butcher paper in the small gold photo frames. I have erased and reused a few times and the are great. (Note: I did not "season" the selfie wall and it worked great, but I usually do for all my other chalkboard projects)

2. Black Poster Board
Black Poster board worked great for me too, and available at big box stores like Target, RiteAid, etc. It is ~ $1 22"x28" sheets that will fit into poster frames you already own (I display my kids art work in large poster frames and removed them and replace it with the black poster board for the weekend. More substantial or ornamental frames would look even better). I used this method for large Menu Boards that I put on easels, and it turned out perfect! (Note: I did "season" the Black Poster Board and it made the look more authentic). 

3. Plain Old Black Paint
That's right... black paint works as a chalkboard too! It doesn't HAVE to be a special chalkboard paint. I used an old can of Glidden black paint on cardboard cutouts, and that I used for directional signs at the party. FOOD, BAR, RESTROOM, etc. Plain old black paint is much less expensive than chalkboard paint, so this was a big win for me! I was just experimenting, so if this didn't work it was just cardboard I was painting so. (Note: I did "season" the plan black paint, just like you would with chalkboard paint)

4. Traditional Chalkboard Spray Paint
Below I reused cookie and coffee tins to make Christmas gifts for the kids teachers. I used Chalkboard Spray Paint on these pieces, and you definitely need two coats of paint. I filled the coffee tin with a 1/2 lb of nice coffee beans, and the others with candies. So the paint works great too :) and I'll continue to use chalkboard spray paint on projects like this.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Club: Where'd You Go Bernadette

I host a charity book club with a group of friends, and it is always a challenge when my turn comes around to set the tone for the evening. You want to serve items and decorate around the theme of the book. Of course we had to include some penguins, and I wore the yellow scarf and sunglasses part of night.

The highlight was Pioneer Woman's Blackberry Cobbler in celebration of blackberry bushes that took over her backyard. I also served little Trader Joes Pizzas, just like the pizza cart they had in the disastrous party. At the bar I served a Pink Sangria (equal parts Rose wine and Blood Orange Soda, with fruit garnish) that I dubbed The Pink Penguin.  Here is a great article called "Where'd You Go (for dinner) Bernadette?" that links up the actual Seattle version of the fictional family's meal plan and might give you more ideas.

Table Setting:
I made my little chalkboard menu from black butcher paper, which works just like a chalkboard! I love using black butcher paper and black poster board as a chalkboard, it is so easy and super inexpensive! I collect cool wrapping paper too, and use it for all sorts of project, but rarely to wrap a gift (go figure!). Here I used it as a table runner since it's an easy way to add color and patterns to the table. The vase is a reused olive jar the I used thin painters tape and gold spray paint on to add some shine. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mason Flower Jars Thank You Gift

Recently I needed to make a large number of inexpensive Thank You Favors and decided on repurposing mason jars into small flower vases. I hosted a Thank You Party for all the ladies who have volunteered for a school event and used the jars as a table center piece, but near the door so they could take one when they left. It was the day before Mother's Day, so it made for a really nice gesture. 

How To:
I used purchased mason jars at Smart & Final and ran them all through the dishwasher wash off any dirt or oil. I then used painters tape to create a striped effect on half the jars, the rest I painted completely. The party had a candy theme, so I used two different pink spray paints. I quickly created printable tags and saved the document for you use HERE. Printing them on Cardstock makes a nice little tags. (Cardstock is basically very thick paper and handy to always have on-hand). I cut out the tags, punched a hole and wrapped twine around each jar. My co-host brought two bunches of beautiful flowers that we trimmed up and added to each jar. 

Supplies Needed:
* Painters Tape - thin
* Twine - I used a combo of jute and pretty craft twine
* Google Doc Thank You tags (use mine!)