How To Guide: Make Your Own Chalkboard

I don’t know about you, but I am addicted to lists. I need a to-do list or I am completely lost. But who wants to hang a boring whiteboard in the middle of your cool house? Not this girl! So I was excited to learn that it is ridiculously easy to make your own chalkboard out of pretty much anything.

I chose an old window, because I love the idea of a multi-paneled chalkboard. I picked one up at my local salvage store, but you could probably find one at a yard sale, or in that pile of junk out back (you know someone in your family’s got one).

Supplies Needed:

1 surface (an old window, old enamel baking pans…the list is endless! Or, of course, you could always go with a standard piece of wood. Tip: if you use something metal, it’s a magnetic chalkboard. How cool is that? )

1 bottle of chalkboard paint. I used “Martha Stewart” brand because it was all that my local craft store had…I’m sure any kind would work just fine.

1 paintbrush. I had pretty good luck with a foam brush.

Here it is….my old, filthy window. I cleaned the glass before applying any paint, but I wanted one that looked nice and beat-up. I chose well, don’t you think?

Annnd a few simple materials….

Slap on some paint! I actually had a bit of trouble getting the first coat onto the glass because it’s so slippery. Just be patient and put a thin coat on, let it dry completely (if you don’t, the paint will come off in chunks when you try to put another coat on!) and do a few more coats. I would recommend four coats, if you’re using glass.

I hung my chalkboard up by putting two nails in the back and putting some twine around them to make a loop.

Voila! That’s it…I am now 100% more organized!

Like this post? You may also be interested in How To Guide: Canvas Photo Transfer.

Advertisements

How to Style a 1930’s Half-Moon Manicure

Did you know that Depression-era glamour girls didn’t paint their nails the entire way? They left a half-moon at the top, and often left the tips bare too. Learn how to get a bit of pretty vintage glamour by learning the secret to this 1930’s trend.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureArt Deco blog The Painted Woman points out that “In the early-mid ’30s, women usually only painted the center of the nail, leaving the half-moon cuticle and tips bare with the underside tinted with a nail-white pencil or cream.” It’s kind of like a French manicure in reverse, in a bold color like red.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon Manicure

So, what polish colors were popular in the ’30s? According to the Painted Woman, “All reds — from rosy to deep crimson — were popular, of course. But it isn’t true that ‘they’ didn’t wear pink in the 30s. Pinks were very much seen, as were nice peachy-browns and tawny colors that looked nice with suntans (the concept of changing one’s make-up according to the season was not unknown to 30s women). Cutex color choices in 1932 were Natural, Rose, Coral, Cardinal, and Colorless. Revlon colors introduced for the summer of 1935 included ‘Sun Rose’ and ‘Chestnut.’ Cutex named the ‘smartest colors’ for 1936 as Rose, Ruby, and Rust…wild colors such as green, blue, black, and gold were indeed available.”

So how can you pull this off?

You’re going to need: hole reinforcers, a base coat of your choice; two colors of polish, a top coat of your choice, and nail polish remover.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon Manicure

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureFirst, apply the base coat, then apply the color you want your “moons” to be, over the bottoms of your nails.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureWhile the polish is drying, trim the hole reinforcers into narrower curves to fit the width of your individual nails. When your polish is dry, apply the hole reinforcers to each nail.Try to have the edge of the center hole be right at your cuticle.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon Manicure

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureNext, apply your main polish color (usually a dark, dramatic shade).
Then, when you’re all done with the rest of your manicure, finish with your thumbs!
 Apply a top coat, let it dry, rub some oil or moisturizer into your cuticles, and revel in your instant vintage glamour.

How-To Guide: Canvas Photo Transfer

If you’re anything like me, you have a hard drive (or three) of photos waiting to be printed. Take matters into your own hands and do it right at home! Printing onto canvas turns your photos into unique pieces that you can’t get from a print shop. Each transfer is wonderfully and uniquely imperfect, which gives them a vintage look and feel.

For my first experiment, I used a color print of sunset at the “Sheep Shearer’s Union Hall” in Butte, Montana and a black-and-white print of a statue from Ta Prahm temple in Cambodia. I think it worked equally well for both, although next time I would definitely choose a color print with less detail.

Materials: A laser-printed copy of your photo, an 8×10 inch canvas board, a paintbrush, a jar of heavy gel gloss, and a spray bottle of water. Did I mention that this is really easy?

Step 1:   Print a copy of your photo using a laser printer. This is very important because the kind of ink from an ink-jet printer won’t work. I took mine to a copy shop and had them print out a copy (I just emailed it to myself and printed it from their computer). Remember that your image will print reversed, so if there are any words on it, make sure to print a “mirror copy.” You may notice, if you look carefully at my picture of the “Sheep Shearer’s Union” building, that I forgot to do this.

Step 2: Completely cover your canvas with a heavy coat of gel medium.

Step 3: Press the photo copy onto the canvas and let it dry completely. Make sure that you press it on really well and get all the air bubbles out. I went over it with another canvas board. Just leave the plastic wrap on the second board and rinse it off in the sink when you’re done. I let the color photo dry for about 3 hours, and left the black and white picture overnight as a test. I recommend overnight, or at least 6 hours. It came out much better and the paper was easier to peel without any of the transfer rubbing off.

Step 4: After your image is completely dry, spray the top with water. Don’t be afraid to douse it. It really needs to get wet in order for the paper to become loose enough to start peeling off. Once it starts peeling, you can calm down with the water, though. You don’t want to totally soak the board and end up warping it.  Rub the surface so that pieces of the paper start to come off and your image is be revealed! Doesn’t it look cool to see the image coming through? This step takes a lot of patience. It took me about 15-20 minutes to gently rub the paper off. If you get overzealous, the transfer will rub off in little chunks and once its gone, there’s no putting it back on. You can see that this happened quite a bit on the color image. I was much more careful the second time around.

Step 5 Also, once you’ve gotten as much of the paper off as you can, you’ll notice that there is still a light film over the canvas that you can’t seem to remove, no matter how much you spray it. The trick here is to let it dry, then wet just your fingers and rub the dry board. The last bit will come off. Be very gentle! I didn’t do this with the color print and as you can see, it’s much hazier. However, this is kind of a cool “instagram-ey” effect if that’s what you want to go for. PS- you might as well take off any nail polish that you happen to be wearing before beginning this project- as you can see, it won’t be staying on for long….

Step 6: Cover canvas with one more light coat of gel to seal the image.

I’m really happy with the way these came out! I definitely plan on experimenting with this a lot more. Have fun!

~*~ Serenity

Like this post? You may also be interested in How To Guide: Make Your Own Chalkboard and 10 Quick Photography Tips.

Inspired by {A Beautiful Mess}