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Ikea Lazy Susan Becomes a Versatile Chalkboard Serving Tray and I Eat a lot of Cheese!

Penmanship is not my forte.

At all.

I was once told by a friend that I had “the handwriting of a serial killer.”

It could make a guy self-conscious.

I include a handwritten notes with every Etsy order I send and I always picture the customer opening the package and exclaiming: “oh look honey!  Jeffrey Dahlmer sent us some coasters.  How thoughtful!

So, while I have admired all the cool chalkboard art and lettering that you see all over the place it seemed pretty thoroughly out of reach for someone with my, um, limitations.

But the folks at Folk Art have come to my rescue!

As part of my Plaid Ambassadorship they sent me Chalkboard Paint, their new, smudge-proof, erasable, liquid chalk as well as line of stencils that let you create that cool, handwritten text. 

I was eager to try them out but not sure what to make.

A while back, on a whim, I’d picked up a $10 lazy susan from Ikea and I thought it would be cool to make a versatile, chalkboard, lazy susan for parties and such.

The chalkboard paint was easy to apply – two coasts with a light sanding in-between and then a 24 hour cure time.

I liked this product (I’ve used chalkboard spray paint in the past).  It went on smoothly and dried quickly.

Once cured, as directed,  I tempered the surface by rubbing some actual chalk over it and then wiping it away.

Now it was stencil time! …….. And learning curve time!

The stencil set is by Lily and Val and it’s actually a two-parter. 

To create the hand-lettered effect you lay down the first stencil and apply the liquid chalk. 

After a few minutes of drying time you lay the other stencil over it and complete the letter.

It took me a few tries to get the results I wanted (more on that in a sec) but I’m happy with the final look.  And  I like that the set also includes versatile shapes  – like the banner around the “enjoy” text.

It does, however, take a while to lay out a word (no Gorgonzola at this party!).  To speed things along I ended up mixing an matching with some other Folk Art stencils I had on hand.  And, of course, it’s just paint – you don’t have to use a stencil at all if,unlike me, your free-hand skills are solid.

I am not a very practiced stenclier and while the bottle of liquid chalk comes with a spouncer attached I could never, for the life of me, get it to work satisfactorily so I switched over to a standard stencil brush.

The main  learning curve for me was the amount of paint needed.  Even after I thought I’d removed a lot of paint from the brush I still ended up with paint bleeding under the stencil (Bright side!  it was easy to wash away the paint and try again).  Once I took almost all the paint off the results were much better.

And then came the test!

The claim is that the paint won’t smudge or fade but that you can easily wipe it off and do a new design.

My idea was that this would be a versatile piece.  It could be a cheese tray at one party and then a dessert tray, or condiment tray at another.  This, of course, wouldn’t work if the paint “ghosted” when you tried to remove it.

So, I let everything dry (sitting in a sunny window actually) for a couple of days.

I couldn’t rub the paint away with my fingers no matter how hard I tried.

But, a quick wipe with a damp towel and it was gone.  No ghosting.

The chalkboard doesn’t look used and grey – just back to good-as-new.  Perfect!

So, I have a multi-use serving tray AND I got to eat a lot of cheese!  BEST. PROJECT. EVER!!!!!

NOTE:  The Chalkboard paint is dishwasher safe and non-toxic.  It is not, however, labeled at “food safe” hence all the cheese is on wax paper and the crackers in containers.

The liquid chalk paint and stencils are available at JoAnn and A.C. Moore stores (Michaels carries the stencils but not the liquid chalk for some reason)

Disclaimer:  The folk at Plaid have provided me with the chalkboard paint, stencils and liquid chalk for this project as part of my Plaid Ambassadorship.  There was no other financial remuneration.  The idea for the project and the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Farmhouse Style Shelf Idea

Thanks so much for all the kind words about my new focus (and for not virtually patting me on the head).  I truly appreciated it.

But I want to assure you that the blog isn’t going to turn into a place where all I talk about and make are gifts.  As my wise brother-in-law Rich pointed out gifts come in many forms and one can always gift themselves so we have a lot of room here.  In short, don’t worry.  I won’t be saying “gift” every other sentence.  I promise.

Gift!

(sorry, couldn’t resist)

OK, onward!

When my sisters vistited we browsed a large retail store that sells things that help you stay organized and I saw this clever shelving unit.

 

Cool!  Right?!

Simple, versatile.

But it’s a two foot long, three sided, Medium Density Fiberboard box with holes on the bottom edge.

And it costs $100!!!

So!

………..Welcome to SPITE CRAFTING: SPRING EDITION!……….

(I had no idea this was going to be an ongoing series)

OK I guess $100 isn’t crazy expensive but the idea seemed so do-able-for-less that I had to give it a shot.  So maybe not Spite Crafting so much as Idea Stealing.

Here is what I used for my version

From my scrap pile I pulled some 3/4″ plywood and cut it down to size.

  • The front is 24″ long by 3.75″ high
  • The sides are 3″ long by 3.75″ high
  • And the internal shelf is 22.5″ long by 3″ deep

On the back side I marked  a center line and indicated where I would drill the holes.

Live-and-Learn: in retrospect I realize it would have been easier to mark and drill on the front side of the board….next time! 

And then got to work with my drill press at Forstner bit.

I was drilling from the back and I wanted to minimize any tear out on the front side so I placed a piece of scrap wood under by board and didn’t drill all the way through with the Forstner bit – just enough for the point to poke through the other side.

Once all the initial holes were drilled I flipped it over to complete the drilling  for a nice clean look.

I then assembled the whole thing using wood glue and my nailer

And then it was time to get creative.

The folks at Plaid had provided me with Waverly Chalk Paint and brushes and I thought I’d give them a try.

I used their Ivory color for the base.  The special Waverly Chalk Brush isn’t required but it sure made applying the paint easy as it holds a lot and spreads really smoothly.  I think I’ll be glad I have it especially on larger projects.

I’m a new and enthusiastic convert to the chalk paint thing (I know I’m very behind on this curve).  It’s easy to apply, dries fast and comes in great colors – what’s not to like?

Once the paint dried I moved on to other newish thing  – stencils.

For this project I used the Folk Art Farmers Market Stencil Set and a small Folk Art Stencil Brush

I used a light pencil line to keep everything straight

And then stenciled away using both the Waverly “Crimson” and “Ink” colors

Stenciling is pretty easy once you get the idea of using very little paint on the brush.  But I think my inexperience showed as my only complaint about this set is that it was tricky, even with a small brush not to accidentally catch the edge of the stencil I wasn’t intending to use.  Probably a rookie mistake.  Next time I’ll use some painters tape to tape off the “unwanted” stencils.

Once everything dried I gave the edges a bit of a sanding and then a light rubbing with Waverly Antiquing wax.

I used a couple of d-ring hangers on the back and my shelf was ready for its close-up.

(I’m not crazy about my choice to stencil he “No” on the ednd there.  The stencil is fine but it would have been better if I’d had space for a number as well so, as it is, it just kinda looks….I don’t know…unnecessarily negative?)

The antiquing wax did a nice job of bringing out the texture in the wood and making the whole thing look just a bit more vintage.  It’s hard to see in the pics as I went pretty light on this first-time-out attempt but next time I think I will be a bit more daring as I really like the extra texture.

I had envisioned this as a kitchen thing but it occurred to me it could work in any room – like perhaps for crafts?Tons of possibilities!

Further Thoughts:

  • *I always hesitate to use my “I invested in some serious tools” tools on these projects for fear of turning people off.  But all of these things can be accomplished using more standard methods (a regular drill with a forstner bit, nails or screws rather than a pnumatic nailer) it just takes a bit longer.
  • I made my shelf out of scraps of plywood but the original is MDF.  MDF is a great choice for easy to work with, smooth surface finishes and I think, if I make more of these I’ll switch over to it.

Disclaimer:  The good folks at Plaid provided me with the materials for this project.  All opinions are strictly my own and I received no other financial compensation for this post.  Links provided are not affiliate links – just trying to be helpful.

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