Even in the age of dry erase boards, there's something to be said about an old-fashioned chalkboard. With a few ingredients from your local hardware store, you can make and decorate your own chalkboard that will add a little pizzazz to any playroom. Your kid will love it because she'll get a nifty reusable "canvas" to practice writing, drawing, or math. It's a special treat for children up to third grade!
What You Need:
- A large piece of plywood, any shape
- Chalkboard brush-on paint (available at hardware or discount stores)
- Large piece of cardboard (bigger than the piece of wood)
- Wood glue
- Spraypaint, any bright color
- Craft knife or box cutter
- Chalk and a chalk eraser
- Permanent marker, jewels, stickers, glue (optional)
What You Do:
- Cover your work space with newspaper to avoid any mess.
- Use the sandpaper to smooth the wood and remove any splintering pieces. Wipe away any dust with a rag.
- In a well ventilated area, use the chalkboard paint to cover the entire piece of wood. Use a few applications to make sure you don't miss any spots, and then leave the paint to dry for at least three days.
- Use the box cutter to cut out an opening in the middle of the cardboard that's big enough to display most of the wood.
- Trim the edges into a decorative pattern (wavy edges, zigzag edges, etc).
- Spray paint the cardboard in gold or your child's favorite color, and let it dry. If you want, you can use stickers or jewels to bedazzle the frame, or add a design around the edges using a sharpie marker.
- Apply wood glue around the edges of the chalkboard, and place the cardboard frame over it. Press it down and let it dry.
- Before breaking in your new chalkboard, rub it all over with the side of a piece of chalk and erase. Now your child is ready to use it however she pleases! If your child is older, encourage her to use it to practice her spelling words, math equations, and draw silly pictures. Let her pretend she's the teacher, and invite her to teach you what she's been learning in class. It's even great for preschoolers—have your child practice writing the alphabet, numbers, her name, and the date for a headstart into kindergarten.