Thursday, March 3, 2011

Framed Cork/Chalk Board Tutorial

I wasn't planning on making this into a tutorial, but so many people who have seen this have commented on how cool it is. And then when I tell them Matt and I made it they think it's even cooler! So, here it goes. I may not have pictures for every step since I did not plan on explaining how we did it, but I will try my hardest to be as thorough as possible:)

You will need:
A large frame that does not have glass
Cork (Michaels)
A thin piece of plywood or other strong backing (Home Depot)
Wood glue (Home Depot)
A piece of magnetic sheet metal (Home Depot- they will even cut it the size you want!)
Chalkboard spray paint (Home Depot or Michaels)
Ruler or tapemeasure
Razor blade, Xacto, or box-cutter
An epoxy (Michaels)

I got this frame for $10 at Michaels (Regularly $40!). It was not damaged or anything, it just didn't have glass in it- just what I needed for this project. If that's not frugal I don't know what is!;) Then I got thick cork from Michaels that came in sheets. *Side note: last time I was at Michaels I saw larger sheets of thick cork, that would have been better because we wouldn't have had that line on the bottom left hand side where the two pieces meet.* Matt went up in the barn and found a piece of plywood and cut it to fit the frame and we put it into the frame like a picture. Then we glued one sheet of cork in the upper left hand corner (I wanted the right side to be the chalkboard side) using the wood glue. We then cut 3 more pieces from the sheets of cork with a box-cutting knife to fit the spaces that were not filled by the first sheet of cork and glued them in with wood glue. *Tip: cut the pieces of cork a little teeny-tiny bit bigger than the space so you can really have a tight fit.*  Lay heavy books (phone books or text books work great!) on top of the cork inside the frame at let the glue dry over night. And this is what we were left with:

Sorry this picture is so blurry. It was taken with my cell phone camera, but it is the only picture I have of the frame with just the cork in it. Ok, so you see how the cork was glued on top of the plywood so it doesn't look like a picture inside the frame, it is the same height as the frame on the sides. I hope that makes sense!

While the glue is drying, or when it is dry, spray your piece of sheet metal (our piece was as big width-wise as the left side pieces and as tall- picture below) with chalkboard spray paint 2-3 times (maybe even 4) letting it dry between coats.

The red is where I wanted it to be a chalkboard. (Don't hate on my Paint skillzz!) ;)

Once it is sprayed enough times and dry "season" it with chalk. If you've never done or heard of this, just scribble all over it with chalk then "erase" the chalk marks. Then, using the epoxy, adhere the piece of sheet metal to the cork *Please read the directions on the epoxy!!! Also, it stinks, bad, and gets very hot when you mix the two sides together. So do it in a very well ventilated area and be careful!* We used the whole tube. Put a heavy book or two on top and let it dry completely. And when it's all dry and ready, hang it up!

Then admire it, write a message on the chalk board, add pretty magnets and tacks, hang up cards, pictures, awards, etc! The possibilities are endless. Ours is in the kitchen:)

Here it is displaying some of the Christmas cards we got this year. I forgot to take a picture of it when it got full, but it looked great! (Again, blurry cell phone picture.)

And you have seen it displaying my magnets, bows, and pins for the upcoming Craft Fair.

I hope that tutorial was easy to read and follow, it's hard when you don't have pictures for every step! But this was such a fun project to do with Matt and I get so much use out of it, I want to share the crafty love and teach everyone else how to make it. If you decide to make one, leave a link in the comments section so I can see yours:)

Until next time, toodles!

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  1. Love your creative idea! Please share it with my followers, link to my Sunday blog bash K.I.S.S. Also, happy to be a new follower. :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your great project by linking up to my blog bash K.I.S.S. @ The Tattered Tag. Please remember tomorrow is another fun blog bash, so drop by and link up more of your creativity! :)

    Drop by The Tattered Tag