Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crafting Vintage Frames Into Chalkboards Part: DONEZO

The chalkboard frames are done! For someone as non-crafty as me, I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself.

These babies sort of just fell together and into place. I previously mentioned that my insane Super likes to sell off ex-tenants old crap in the basement. So I scored two old vintage looking frames for 10 bucks.

After months of procrastination we headed over to Home Depot and stared at the lumber. The two of us are the most pathetic people in the world when it comes to creating things. Luckily one of the guys working in the lumber section pointed us over to the cheapest piece of plywood, and was able to cut it down for us. His measurement skills were a bigger fail than my own, but back to that in a bit.

Back home I set up my pathetic small workspace.

Yes, it's a hard knock life crafting in a NYC apartment, but all the squats I had to do to paint the wood as I hovered above was my workout for the day.


I sanded off the rough cut-ends of the wood with some sandpaper and then got to the painting with a foam roller. I painted the wood for the frames along with the scraps left behind after the big piece was cut down to fit the two frames. I figure we can make good use of them.

The paint dried surprisingly quickly, but when I tried to put the chalkboards into the frames they were too big! I should have seen this one coming. It actually ended up working in our favor. We went back to Home Depot a week or so later and they cut the boards down perfectly. We got even more scraps to make into MORE chalkboards. Right now we have 6 chalkboards for about nine bucks (the cost of the plywood).

The only part of this project that stumped me a bit was how to attach the wood to the frames. These frames had no backings, so there was nothing to hold the chalkboards in place (or keep them from flopping out). I have to recommend, for starters, bringing the frames to Home Depot (or Lowe's or whatever store you choose to buy wood from). This allowed the employee using the wood cutter to cut up the plywood perfectly since he could keep comparing against the frame (at least this worked the second time around). Secondly, since we used such flimsy plywood in order to keep them light for travel, I was afraid that hammering a nail straight through the sides would splinter the wood. Instead, I hammered nails into the frames that act as clips to keep the backs in their place.

 Hammer a nail up and into the frame while lightly pushing down on the board

Here's the nail acting as a clip to keep the board in place 

The tension created between the nail and the wood is keeping the chalkboards firmly in place. With that I was finished! 

Our program chalkboard (instead of paper programs)

Our chalkboard menu that will be displayed as guests enter the reception area 

A test run on one of the "scrap chalkboards"  

Impromptu thank you sign from our second round of scraps

So, how do you like them? Do you plan on using chalkboards at your wedding?

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