Craft: Bright Edge Chalkboards

I envy organised people.

You know the ones, with planners and diaries, inevitably handmade and filled with perfect lines of beautiful handwriting in neat black ink.

I am not one of those people. I mean, I have diaries and planners and to-do lists, but no organisation. My papers are permanently lost, I can never find them. At least, not until after the rabbits have eaten the most important bits.

I’m trying, again, to make myself one of the organised people, which is much easier since I made these.

I would like to point out we don't usually eat that many wedges in a week. It's just that we appear to have a preoccupation with them since I found a new recipe.

I would like to point out we don’t usually eat that many wedges in a week.
It’s just that I found a new recipe.

Aren’t they adorable? I’m a little bit in love with the bright blue edges.

bright blue edges


Mine are up in the kitchen, where I can stare at them as I caffeinate. I’ll be honest, it’s completely incomprehensible under the first cup has been drunk, but that’s probably because the bed hair is in the way.

If you want to recreate these beauties, then you’ll need:

  • 2 small planks, mine were roughly 20″x4″. (If, like me, you have no shame then skip diving is a great way to liberate nice bits of wood like these. Wooden palette pieces are a very useful thing.)
  • Steel Rule
  • Biro
  • Blackboard paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Font(s) you love
  • Printer
  • Craft knife
  • White acrylic paint
  • Masking tape
  • A nice bright acrylic
  • Appropriate display materials and tools (drill and hooks, adhesive, screws etc.)

1. Wipe down your planks and, if you want your paint to stick really well then sand them. I did not because, as you will learn, I am very, very lazy.
2. Measure your plank, and mark the outer edges with any guidelines you need. My menu board was separated into 8 sections, one for the title and one for each day of the week.
3. Apply blackboard paint to the front surface of your planks, trying to avoid spilling paint over the edges.
4. Using a word processor and your new favourite font, start sizing your words so they’ll fit on your plank. I used Hand Slab by t-gráfica, but nice bold fonts with minimal squiggles will be easier to paint. I cheat by using a piece of paper cut to size, and holding it in front of the screen for quick sizing (Make sure you’re set at actual size view for that, or badness will occur.)

Tutorial, to do, painting,
5. Apply a second coat of blackboard paint to the plank and wait for it to dry. As you can see I totally forgot to take progress photos till now, but you can pretty much see everything in that one. Whoops.
6. Print your text, and arrange it on your planks until your happy.
7. Tape down your text, and write over the words hard, using a biro. This method is seriously clever, and leaves a slight indent in the wood, to guide our next step.

masking taped text

9. Paint white acrylic into the indents, trying to keep the lines steady. You may want two coats here, it’s totally up to you and how lazy you’re feeling.
10. While it dries, decide how you’re going to display your boards. Confuse any housemates you may have by walking around with a tape measure and a pencil looking pensive and lightly perplexed. You can screw or stick them to walls or furniture, hang them using hooks, or just lean them on stuff: It’s up to you. If you need to drill any holes, do it now so you can touch up any damaged paintwork.
11. Carefully tape around the edges using masking tape, so only the narrowest sides are exposed. Do both sides, even if you don’t think you need to.

masking tape edges

12. Paint whatever colour you want along the edges. Get the colour really bright and smooth, by using multiple coats, just let it dry between coats. I was too impatient, and trust me it didn’t go well. Use your patience.
13. Wait for them to dry and put them up. Then boast about how you made them yourself, telling friends, family members and strangers you borrowed from the street about them. Or maybe that’s just me.





Finished blackboards!
What’s on all of your menus this week? Anything you’re looking forward to?

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