Chalkboards

I am the type of teacher who loves the blackboard.  Alongside my obligatory PowerPoint slides I use the blackboard to capture brainstorms, post reminders, illustrate ideas and pose questions. The days when I end up most dusty and smeared tend to also be the days when my classes felt most successful.  The days when my students were leaning forward the whole time, actively engaged, forgetting about whether this is on the test and instead wondering how they never knew this before!

I also spent tons of time as a kid using blackboards.  We had a big one in the basement where I would play “teacher” by lecturing my little sister and drilling her on math and reading facts.  Due to my Little House on the Prairie obsession, I was enchanted with the idea of slates as well and I have had many a handheld mini-blackboard in my life.  Imagine my delight to discover chalkboard contact paper.  You can unroll it and turn anything into a chalkboard; where has thus been my whole life?

Kitchen, meet blackboards!

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To create this super quick, easy and cheap craft we needed: picture frames, decorative paper (stationary, wrapping paper, patterned construction paper all would work), blackboard contact paper and modge podge.  The only thing we needed to buy were more picture frames.  We bought cheap ones at Ikea but could have found them anywhere or reused old ones if we had any laying around.

First step was to pick out the paper we wanted to use for the frames.  We used very fancy wrapping paper for ours.  Then we cut out four strips so we could use paper to cover the frame.

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Before gluing I had Big Girl take the frame apart so we wouldn’t get modge podge all over the glass.  Then we went to it. Little Girl covered the frame with modge podge, I arranged the paper and trimmed when necessary.  Big Girl applied the final layer of modge podge over the paper to secure the bond and add the gloss coat.

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While that dried I had Big Girl trace the glass from the frame onto the back of the contact paper, cut out the piece and attach.  She found it really hard to get the contact paper on evenly and smoothly so I ended up helping her with that.  But, the paper rolled on and off very well so there was nothing lost by redoing until we got it perfect.

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We made two and used patterns that compliment the rest of the kitchen. I’m going to hang them on the wall above the table so the girls can take them off the wall to use as slates or use them on the wall for leaving messages.  These are so cute that I think we’ll use them sometime in the future as holiday gifts or presents for friends.  Maybe teacher presents at the end of the year???  They were very cheap to make and could be customized to fit any theme or decor.

What did my girls do once they were dry?  They started playing school right away.  Big Girl is trying to teach Little Girl how to read.  Sigh…  some things never change 🙂

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