DIY Shaped Chalkboards

I’ve been painting and cutting out chalkboards for the last few weeks and I’ve learned more than a few things in the process. 🙂 What could be cuter than a shaped chalkboard for a kid’s room? Or in the kitchen? What about one just for leaving notes to your sweetheart in the morning? I saw one on Etsy and just had to try it for myself.

We started with 1/4″ plywood… I penciled the outline of something that resembled my inspiration, and traced it onto the wood. In the same process that used to make the LOVE doorhanger (see my post here), I cut out the shape and then sanded the edges of the shape. There were a couple problems with this method, one of which is splitting veneer. As soon as you cut around the outline, the veneer on the plywood splinters off around curved edges and corner cuts. Then you have to sand/fill to make the surface smooth enough for chalk paint. My solution? Use hardboard instead! Cuts beautifully, no splintering, and the surface is perfectly smooth because it’s a composite product. Also, it’s about half the price. Winning.

Before we get to the pretty, here are a few of my other tips on using chalkboard paint:

1. Apply chalkboard paint (I love Rustoleum, personally) with either a sponge or a dense foam roller for a smooth finish. A roller will give you a more textured finish, where the sponge will give you more “lines” in the finish. It’s whatever you prefer.

2. Apply at least three coats of paint for a good working, erase-able finish.

3. When finishing the back of your board, using a foam roller will be faster, and give you a more even color. You can finish the back in any way you like, but I recommend Rustoleum indoor/outdoor water-based paint. It’s water resistant, dries quickly, and covers well.

4. When you finish painting your three coats (or more if you like), let the paint dry for a good 24 hours. Rub down your entire piece with chalk and then wipe clean. You’ve conditioned the chalkboard paint and it’s ready to use!!

So, how did ours turn out?

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What do you think? They look adorable on the easel stands, but honestly they are not sturdy enough to write on while sitting on them. My next one is going to either get a ribbon hanger, or maybe get mounted on the wall with command strips. Live and learn, right? But I couldn’t be happier with how CUTE they are!!

What other shapes would you make? We made a house, a flower … and I’ll share those with you soon!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

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Want to buy things you’ve seen on the blog? Our shop is open!

Want to buy things you’ve seen on the blog? Our shop is open!

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I’m here to tell you about our “shop.” More specifically, our “Adoption Shop.” Yes, we are actively seeking to adopt an infant (domestically)! We are so excited – in spite of the mountains of paperwork ahead. 🙂 As a means of helping to pay for our adoption, we’ve opened a shop where you can purchase things that you’ve seen here, on the blog, and all the money will go into our fund. Yep, it’s good for everyone.

So take a moment to go “like” our page! It would mean the world to us. Plus, you might find something awesome that you need… or want … and that would be awesome too.

Thanks for all your support!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Our Rustic Coat Rack {a Fire Station Special Request}

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I am really proud of these. This was something that grew out of a special request by my Woodworker’s Fire Station. They needed a rack for their coats in a small station, lacking storage. We had piles of barnwood. This was born. The hooks are completely unique – you’ll notice that they are made out of the same wood. You can’t find anything like this anywhere. We looked. 

 

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Because this is real, 100% reclaimed oak, these are really heavy! Our solution for hanging was to install two, set-in, key hole hangers about 16″ apart on the back. They are metal, so they can handle the weight of the rack PLUS whatever you need them to hold for you. No way these are going to fail you! 🙂 

 

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Here you can see the detail of the hook. I love that they “match” the rest of the wood. By the way, the nail holes are original to the barn wood, and the color is completely natural. All we did for the finish was three coats of high-gloss poly to really bring out the rustic beauty in the wood and keep it protected from the elements. 

 

ImageSee that shine? 🙂 Sorry for the glare  – but here you can see both of the finished racks and the real rustic beauty of the wood just the way it is. You’ll notice, too, that the one is darker than the other. That’s the character of the aged wood. Awesome, right? 

 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

 

DIY “LOVE” door hanger

I’ve shared the general pattern with you, now for the process! In case you want to try this yourself, I’m going to show you all the steps that are involved with a simple scroll saw project. 🙂 We begin with the pattern – I typed up “LOVE” in a plain document in 650 pt font size – one letter per page. When you print them out, then tape them together to form a square – as you saw in my earlier post. What happens next? To the plywood!

The pattern is taped to the 1/4″ plywood square (about 18″ square to be precise) using indoor carpet tape. Apply the tape to the plywood first, then remove the paper and smooth the paper pattern onto the tape to secure it to the wood! You can trim the extra tape off if you like so that it doesn’t slow the blade down once you go to cut it on the saw.

Here is the pattern taped down (using double sided carpet tape) and ready to cut with the saw!

Here is the pattern taped down (using double sided carpet tape) and ready to cut with the saw!

Close up of the pattern so you can see the tape. I like to cut away the excess before going to work.

Close up of the pattern so you can see the tape. I like to cut away the excess before going to work.

It's cut out!

It’s cut out! When you’re finished cutting, the carpet tape and the paper pattern will peel off quite easily, and cleanly.

Couldn't resist adding some scrapbook paper and for flair. It's easy to be accurate when you lay the finished wood cutout on top of the paper and trace.

Couldn’t resist adding some scrapbook paper and for flair. It’s easy to be accurate when you lay the finished wood cutout on top of the paper and trace.

As you can see, it’s a process. I also painted the back to make it more weatherproof – because we don’t have a storm door to protect it from the elements. After pasting on the paper with Mod Podge, I sealed it with a gloss spray paint. Makes it shiny and beautiful!

TA-DA!!! Finished!! Just added some sheer ribbon for hanging.

finished love doorhangerThe second one looks totally different and I will share that with you soon! 🙂 I mean, if one is good, two is better, right?

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

LOVE door-hanger pattern

LOVE pattern

I created this pattern based on a door hanger that I saw on pinterest. 🙂 It’s just a standard font, enlarged so that there is only one letter per page. Then I taped them together so that they all end up being one piece when cut out (of plywood, naturally).  I cut out two of them, and one is already finished! Can’t wait to share the final result with you tomorrow …

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Wooden Crates – home made storage!

Remember those crates we made? It was the first post on the blog… and you can see it here.  We continue to tweak and change how we put the crates together – hoping to make them more user friendly and storage capable. I think these are the best set so far!

This set of three crates were created especially for our sister for Christmas. We loved making them!

This set of three crates were created especially for our sister for Christmas. We loved making them!

The crates are constructed from pine (ends) and the slats are all reclaimed cottonwood.

The crates are constructed from pine (ends) and the slats are all reclaimed cottonwood.

We attached this star ornament just for fun. It's a piece that he cut out on the scroll saw, of course.

We attached this star ornament just for fun. It’s a piece that he cut out on the scroll saw, of course.

 

One major change between our first crates and these is that the router was used to round over the top edge of the ends, and even inside the handles. This makes for a much more comfortable grab when you go to pick them up. The cottonwood is lightweight and yet strong enough to handle loads of books! Yes, we have tested them on books. In fact, that’s what ours are loaded with. 🙂

What would you stock your crates with?

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Happy New Year {from the Woodworker’s Wife}!

"The One that Got Away," out of birch plywood. We rounded all the edges to give it a finished look.

“The One that Got Away,” out of birch plywood. We rounded all the edges to give it a finished look. 

 

The star is walnut, and the base is birch plywood. This was a gift for my Grandpa, a Koren War Veteran.

The star is walnut, and the base is birch plywood. This was a gift for my Grandpa, a Korean War Veteran.

Happy New Year from me, the Woodworker’s Wife. To ring in the new year, here is a review of a few things that we made for Christmas this year. My brother and my Man worked hard on these, and Grandpa loved them. There’s nothing like giving a gift that’s hand-made. 🙂

As I look forward to the new year, I can see all the beautiful possibilities… we have a huge pile of barn wood in the garage, and I can’t wait to get cracking! I’ll be sharing some of my inspiration with you later this week … 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife