DIY Chalkboard Clipboards

I love hanging art in our home, but sometimes, if I’m being totally honest with you guys, I am too lazy to go find a frame, put nails in the wall, find a spot, etc. First world problems, right? So I’m always interested in ways to have art that is easily changeable, and when I saw a cute little display of clipboards with chalkboard paint on them at our local West Elm, I knew that I wanted to make a set of my own.

No problem, I thought to myself- I’ll just grab some clipboards, some spray paint, spray them and hang them and look fabulous. Easier said than done of course. Shouldn’t I know this by now? The trouble started in locating my supplies. After going to three dollar stores and two Targets, I was finally able to find clipboards. Apparently they are not a popular item if it’s not back to school season. I bought the entire stock of clipboards our Target had…all five of them. :)

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I then had to go to two craft stores to find chalkboard spray paint. What is happening? I guess chalkboard spray paint is popular with the masses now. :) I need to stock up just in case next time. But I bought the one lonely bottle they had, thinking to myself for some unknown reason- that bottle looks suspect to me.

Because it was.

After finally having a day where it wasn’t raining, I was able to spend ONE HOUR taking the plastic off the clipboards and taping the silver clip part off to spray. I was thinking the whole time, this was supposed to be EASY. 

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But whatever, I was FINALLY ready to spray paint. So I started to spray…and chalkboard paint was dripping and shooting out in streams and puddles…I’ve spray painted dozens (if not hundreds!) of things and this has never happened.

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I considered calling it quits and waiting til I could by new spray paint, but I just wanted to be done. I wanted my end result and I wanted it now, you know? So I kept spraying, even as clumps of chalkboard paint were shooting back into my hands (this was a week ago and my fingernails are STILL black on the edges, gross). I am just hardcore like that. Whatevs.

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Finally, after drying for 24 hours, I assessed the damage. I was hoping that somehow the paint was self-leveling and the clumps and drips would be gone. Guess what?! They weren’t. BOOOO. So I got some sandpaper and sanded it all down to where it was a flat even surface. It left some scratches, but I kind of like them….rustic-chic or something right? :)

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So that was the worst of it. After sanding I wiped them clean, and used a piece of chalk on its side to activate the surface. Then I cleaned it and start doodling on the bottom.

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I collected some random images/things I had been collecting to display and started picking my favorites. Meanwhile Scott was hanging my boards for me. Yay teamwork! :)

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So here they are! We hung them on a lonely looking wall in our living room. Isn’t it cute?

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This is one of my favorite pieces of art…it’s called The Storm by Pierre Auguste Cot. When I lived in NYC for a summer I used to spend a lot of time at the Met looking at this one. Hopefully I’ll see it again soon!

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Does this pattern look familiar? It’s the Emporioum Pies menu. I used another copy to make an iPhone case too.

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Tickets from our first Opera- we went a few weeks ago! <3 Loved it!

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Some current paint chip samples that I’m really digging. :)

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And some brilliant original watercolor painted by…yours truly. :P So profesh right?

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I love how they look on the wall…especially with my new favorite chair! :)

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I’m so excited to continue to trade them out. Maybe add more? If I can ever track down any more clipboards…hehe.

Hope you all have an amazing Easter weekend…I have enjoyed being even more mindful than usual of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Take a moment to practice some gratitude this weekend…it’s good for the soul! We all have a lot to be thankful for.

My Secret Shame

It’s fair to say that expectations are high when people come over to our house the first time. Well-meaning friends who have seen our house photos on my blog or facebook are so eager to come over and see everything “in real life”. I feel like I gently have to warn them however- things aren’t as fab as they seem.

Because of our secret shame.

That’s about to be not so secret.
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I am going to be honest with you guys. We really, really don’t have time for yard work. :O So people come over, bottle of wine in hand with high expectations of everything being perfectly styled, and before I can even let them in to see the fabulous entry way or the new dining room, or our awesome concrete countertops, they have to pull up and walk to the front door…and see this.

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Are we still friends? Guys, don’t leave me. I am working on it. Stay with me. Okay, so remember I told you all that we came home from the Home Depot Garden Party all excited and amped up? It’s because we declared no longer would we hang our heads in shame at the sight of our front yard, no longer would we avoid eye contact with our neighbors, no longer would we have to give the obligatory please don’t judge our yard talk to our friends. We were gonna make that sucker look good.

Spoiler alert, we did. Sorta. At least we created a good foundation to work with. So, for example, we hadn’t trimmed our hedges in awhile. So while we were at Home Depot we picked up this hedge trimmer, went home and I prepared to face my foe. Here’s a before (don’t judge!!!!).

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Eeeeeek. But quick look at this next photo!

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Yeah!! That’s me feeling the power of a new tool. It was SO FUN to use. It cut the hedges like buttah and—to be honest—I just felt like a total B.A. cutting down the bushes. Rawr!

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It was my first time using a hedge trimmer, and it was super easy. So if I can do it, you can do it. Look how good it turned out for my first time!

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Guess what Scott was doing while I was doing all of this? Sitting on a lawn chair drinking a beer. Just kidding. He was tackling the severe leaf issue in our front yard. Those two giant oak trees? Really cool, really pretty, really nice to say we are the house with the two giant trees (except when we are embarrassed of our yard). BUT THEY LEAVE SO MANY LEAVES. Please leave, leaves. Get it, see what I did there?

So anyways, he was bagging leaves. I think the total count of yard trash bags full of leaves was 15 or so. It took us 5 hours. But we felt so proud. Not looking totally terrible now, right? (Shh, avert your eyes from the nasty shutters/column issue….it’s on the list to fix!)

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Luckily, I have some great resources to get together a good yard plan. Maybe some flowers? Maybe some green grass? Maybe?? :) We shall see!

Glad we had this little chat. Feel free to tell me your secret shame. I’ll even share another- we have a bedroom that doesn’t have drywall on one wall yet, or an air conditioning vent. It’s just full of boxes, and shame. :( Now tell me your secrets and make me feel better!! :-D