Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Call Me Picasso...

A few weeks ago, I clued you in that I had a recent change of heart on the whole chalkboard craze. And if you follow me on Instagram (do it!), you saw that I bought a huge $6 Goodwill painting with the intentions of upcycling it into a chalkboard for the side of our refrigerator.

Well it was a little more complicated that I thought it would be, but I'm excited to show you the finished product!

I wish I could show you the before pic, but a small problem with my laptop has made that impossible for the present moment. (Apparently 'system refresh', no matter how harmless sounding it is, is something you should NEVER do.  I found out the hard way when I attempted to do a system restore to try to fix a problem I was having.  I couldn't find restore, and 'refresh' sounded friendly and like something good to try. Um, no. I think I'll go back to having Mr. M. do all of my laptop maintenance from now on!).  So anyway, if you want to see the before...I guess you'll just have to follow me on Instagram!

UPDATE: I've recovered from my mini-computer crash, and here's the before picture.  Lovely, isn't it? The lady at Goodwill couldn't believe I was buying it!

So basically, I took an old hunting-camp-bound painting with a brown wooden frame and turned it into this beauty.  First, I sprayed three coats of chalkboard paint inside the frame, and then I taped off the frame and spray painted it Rustoleum's Colonial Red gloss.

Believe it or not (and I'm inclined to go with not, because I'm no artist), the chalkboard art part of the project was not that hard. You probably recognize the message from one of my inspiration pictures.  I drew the tree myself, and although it is no masterpiece and the branches need to be longer, I'm sort of proud of it! Drawing the text and the crow was way beyond my capabilities, so I used a simple trick to transfer those images onto the chalkboard.  I simply printed out the words and the crow onto printer paper and cut them apart.  Next, I rubbed chalk all over the back of each item and placed them where I wanted them on the chalkboard.  I traced the images with a pencil, which transferred an outline of the letters and the crow onto the chalkboard!  I used a wet cotton swab to clean up any areas that were smudged, and that was it!  I couldn't believe how easy it was.

So creating the chalkboard was cheap (about $12 total) and easy.  Getting the frame to hang on the refrigerator with magnets...not so much. In fact, making the chalkboard took about a day and a half....hanging it took almost two weeks....and a few more dollars. I didn't anticipate that, because I had purposely chosen a picture and frame that was very lightweight, for this very reason.  I would estimate that the chalkboard weighs somewhere under 10 pounds.

My first thought was to use a roll of magnet tape that stuck to the back of the picture frame...
......which did not even come close to holding it up.  But I was prepared for that, and had also purchased 52 button magnets, which I then hot glued  to the back of the frame. Combined, these purchases cost me about $10.  But even combined, they didn't work.  

So I went back to the store and found these disc magnets that are supposed to hold 95 pounds each.  Just to be safe, I bought two.  They were $7 each.....

....and they STILL weren't enough to keep the frame from sliding down the side of the fridge.  At this point, I was frustrated.  And I had bought the only two disc magnets in the store.  And I live in a place where there isn't another store just around the corner.  And I thought that I probably needed at least 4 more of these things to get my frame to stay put.  At $7 a pop, that just wasn't sounding like a good plan.

Luckily the miracle of the internet came through.  I found four of the magnets online for $3 each and Amazon Prime took care of the free two-day shipping.  I screwed each magnet to the back of the frame, and FINALLY we were in business!

I think it turned out great!  You can't really tell from the picture, but the red frame plays off other pops of red in the kitchen quite nicely.  While I love the large size of the frame, Mr. M. thinks it's too big.  In fact, he has offered to cut it down for me twice!  I keep fending him off.  A big chalkboard that takes up almost the entire side of the fridge is exactly what I had in mind, so I like it.

Have you been keeping track?  It took $36 to hang the chalkboard that it cost me $12 to make.  Ugh.  It's a good thing I love it!  I can't wait until November rolls around so that I can change out the message for Thanksgiving!   

Have you ever had a project that ended up costing way more than it should have?   Have you ever fallen for the trap that is 'system refresh'?

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