Hi I'm Natalie and I wasn't blessed with the natural gift of creativity. I do my best with what I know, I try to be patient with myself, and I'm glad to look back and realize I've definitely improved. Nonetheless, my lack of creativity has not defeated me. I've battled the last 21 years with trying to be artsy and I'm not ready to give up.
Recently I made a list of projects to keep me motivated:
- Make a chalkboard and draw cutesy stuff on it every once in a while to get your creative juices a flowin'.
- Stain the herb box Mama gave you and plant, well, herbs in it.
- Keep the herbs alive.
- Redecorate the house – instead of putting whatever you have, wherever you have space on the walls, strategically place pieces of art, pictures, etc.
- Research home design and learn about your unique style
- Learn how to (successfully) make DIY decorations for the upcoming seasons
- Learn to love Pinterest; it's awfully helpful in this department
I'm happy to say I can check off number one! I've seen my best friend make a few chalkboards and it looked fairly easy. First step was gathering the ingredients, I mean, supplies (I've been writing about cooking way too much).
- Picture Frame (with the glass)
- Chalkboard Paint (I suggest the spray paint version – it's quick and easy to use)
- Paint or Stain and a Brush (to recreate the look of the frame, if you like)
- Newspapers to keep your floors clean and free of stains
- Chalk (the outcome is no good if you can't play with it right away)
The local Goodwill won me two great picture frames, half off! I then called up a paint store nearby and asked if they had chalkboard paint, "Chalkboard paint?", the lady who picked up asked me. "Yep." I replied. "Hey, do we have chalkboard paint?" I heard her yell. "They say we do." she said, now talking to me I assumed, since she wasn't yelling anymore.
I made my way over and walked in. I was the only customer in the store and 5 bored looking employees stared at me. "Are you the girl who wants the chalkboard paint?" a woman asked me. "Yeah." I said quietly. It seemed like they didn't have people come in much, probably phone orders mostly. A sluggish, mumbling college aged guy started walking towards a shelf and said "Here." as he handed me the spray paint version. My next question was if they had it in a spray can, but I guess there was no need. I paid and left.
I'm all for supporting local companies, but I think I'll stick to Home Depot next time; it's right by my house and the employees are much friendlier. That was my next stop. I grabbed a can of Redwood Transparent Stain and a paint brush. I headed back home, so excited to make my chalkboards, I almost forgot to grab the chalk.
I went online to look for directions for what to do and then realized that the instructions on the spray paint can was probably good enough.
Here's a quick run-down on how to do it, with a couple added tips of my own:
- Lay out newspapers (in my case, Ralphs ads and magazine pages) Note: Cover areas that you don't think need to be covered, if not, you'll get a nasty surprise when you pick up the pieces later. If you are renting you really don't want to make the mistake of staining the floors black. (I sadly know this from experience. Thank God it came off!)
- Thoroughly clean the glass before starting so you have a nice smooth surface.
- Spray in short strokes moving horizontally, holding the can about a foot away from the glass.
- Let the paint dry and then add another coat (it might look a little splotchy but that's okay)
- Let sit 24 hours. (I hated this part! I wanted to get chalking but I decided ruining them wasn't worth the momentary happiness of scribbling some ugly doodle that I would probably want to erase right after.)
- Distract yourself by painting the frames and rearranging the things on the walls to find the perfect spot for the chalkboards.
- Wake up the next day so excited to get drawing, but wait till the time is up.
- Cover the surface with chalk and then erase before using. (If your surface still looks splotchy a few coats and erases of chalk will eliminate it.)
- Hang them somewhere accessible, so you can easily take them down and play with them often.
- Buy more chalk – you're gonna need it.
I'm so happy with how they turned out. This was such an easy project and I had so much fun doing it. I can't wait to find another easy DIY in-home decor project. I never realized how much I was going to love the homemaker part of being a wife and mom (someday).