Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Wall Chalkboard

Let's face it.  Kids grow up.  The cute animal and truck pictures we had hanging on the wall . . . . well, they've outgrown them.

And instead of complaining that they don't use their playroom anymore, I knew I needed to let it grow with them.  And a nice big chalkboard seemed right up our alley.

I went with a full 4' X 8' piece of 1/4" plywood.  Actually, I think it was considered underlayment, but I just looked for something with one smooth side.  I screwed it to the wall along the edges, making sure to capture the studs.

I rolled a few coats of primer on the board before topping it with three coats of black chalkboard paint.

Primer Only
After chalkboard paint
Next, I added my frame.  I decided to overlap the edges of the blackboard so I could cover up the screw holes.  Gotta tell ya - that was kind of a pain in the butt.  Of course the wood did not sit flat as it was overlapping 1/4" wood, so my husband ran the edge through the table saw so it would.  If you consider making your own, you might want to cover the screw holes with putty before priming and then butt your frame up to the edge of the chalkboard.  That would have been SO much easier.  Also, to make it less challenging, I painted the 1" X 3" frame pieces BEFORE nailing them to the wall.

We had to have a chalk holder, right?  So I used some 1" X 2" to make this "L" shaped holder.  I put it together in the workshop before bringing it down to the basement and nailing onto the frame.

You are not done with your chalkboard until you prime it.  That means turning the chalk on it's side and rubbing it into the chalkboard.

Next, take a cloth and rub it in & off.  A helper is great for this part.

That's it!  Now we have a playroom that can grow with the kids.

And I don't mind having something in the playroom that I can play with too.

 Have a great day,


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Knock Off -- Baseball Display Shelf

I have a friend who saw this online:

It really is adorable.  It's from the Lillian Vernon website, and she was about to buy two when she thought of me.  And I'm glad she thought of me because I'm always up for a challenge.

Here's my version:


I used a hole saw attached to a drill press to make all the holes.  They are attached with glue and nails through the back.  The bat was cut with a jigsaw and attached the same way.

She wanted two of them for two sweet little boys.  Both were made from pine; I kept one natural and I applied an oak stain to the other.

May you hit all the balls out of the park,


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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hometalk . . . Vintage style

If you haven't heard of Hometalk, then I'm your gal.

Do you know Pinterest?  Of course you do.  Unless you live in a cave somewhere in a land yet discovered.  Well, Hometalk is basically the same idea as Pinterest, but it focuses on home and garden with a wealth of information shared by thousands of homeowners and professionals.  If you are looking for inspiration, you can get all kinds of fantastic ideas for in and out of your house.  If you have a question, just post it.  You want to brag about your latest project, post a pic.  It's fantastic.

I was contacted by Hometalk recently to curate a clipboard of vintage decor ideas after they saw my post on how to make your boring frames look vintage.  I had no problem saying YES and off to the races I went.  I searched the wealth of posts on Hometalk and I hope you agree that I came up with a great collection of ideas for adding vintage decor to your home.

 Check them out!

And don't forget to make Hometalk one of your new favorite sites!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Super Simple Strawberry Jam

Summer = strawberry picking.  More strawberries than you can eat.  What to do with all these strawberries?  Why, easy, peasy, strawberry jam!

Seriously.  3 ingredients.  So easy.

You'll need:
2 lbs. of strawberries, hulled
3 1/2 cups of white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

After cleaning and hulling your strawberries, crush them until you have about 4 cups.

Yummy goodness.

In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, mix the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  

Increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a full rolling boil.  Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F. (If I remember correctly, it took about 20 minutes.)

If you don't have a thermometer, no worries.  I use this neat trick to find out if the jam is ready to be canned:  Freeze a plate.  Add a little jam to the plate.  Put it back in the freezer for one minute.  Take it out of the freezer and run your finger through the jam.  If it runs, boil it longer.  If it holds up, you're all done.  

Now you just jar these babies!  I used 1/2 pint jars and got over six out of this batch.  Leaving about 1/2" headspace before putting the cover on.

I just added some stickers and ribbon and they were ready for some summer gift giving

How I look forward to my coffee and toast in the morning.

Happy Eating,