Chalkboards – what’s the craze about?!
They’re simply great, but why? What’s so special about them that makes them worthy to be in so many modern and classic kitchens, and even studies and corridors now?
As simple as their design is, so is their purpose. Chalkboards are going back to basics, quite literally. They are a great creative space – if you have kids in the house, or if you don’t these boards work for all ages.
You might even just want to use them as decorations during your events. They just add that personal touch.
What is it about them
In what sense are they a creative space?
If you have it in your kitchen then you’re really going to use it to keep track of your weekly schedule, so that everyone can remember what’s going on and it will be easier to divide chores too!
So as neat as this kind of a board can be, the better. This doesn’t mean that you can’t doodle, just keep the writing legible.
– We will be dealing with chalkboard calligraphy soon!
If you have a wall in your study or in your child’s playroom, then it’s a different story. You can and usually have to go wild, that’s the whole point of such a wall.
If it’s taking a break or brainstorming something you’re working on you can afford to be a bit crazy and all over the place. All you do is swipe it off once you don’t need it there anymore.
Chalkboards are especially good for children as it allows them to really feel (the chalk itself has a particularly beautiful texture) and work with something and visualize whatever is going on in their minds.
Nailing chalkboard calligraphy
You might be wary of writing on your boards, and you do have reason to be. You don’t want to waste more time worrying about how the writing looks than getting things done.
Remember chalkboards are great for:
– Writing an inspirational quote to hang in your space
– Labelling food and drinks at a party
– Menus and place settings at a dinner
– Labelling herbs in your garden
– Seasonal signage in your home
– and of course…your timetables
The key is in the pen
Either classic chalk or a chalk pen
There are various places you can buy chalk at and there are a number of brands too. Keep in mind that classical chalk is great for temporary projects, those you might want to erase quickly. Pens tend to have a cleaner look and last for longer.
When it comes to sharpening your classic chalk always use one blade from your scissors or a knife. You’re going to get better results with a pointy chalk than one with a blunt or square end.
To erase your writing/drawings you want to make use of a magic eraser – it completely removes all marks and residue. Or else go for a damp cloth!
To erase your writing/drawings you want to make use of a magic eraser – it completely removes all marks and residue.
Whether you’re writing in print or calligraphy cursive it’s up to you. Get a bit of practise in and you’re sure to get the hang of it.
A few tips for cursive writing:
- Since calligraphy is not as fluid as classic cursive, keep in mind that each letter you write should be an individual character, so don’t try to connect them like you would your signature. Just write the letters separately and connect them at the ends.
- After you’ve written and connected your letters, go back and darken your down-strokes. Your upward strokes should remain as thin as possible.
- Practice, practice, practice
If you’d rather go for print-style writing then your options are wide open. Make it fun and funky, try to look up different fonts and replicate them.
How to make your own chalk
The appeal of a matte black chalkboard is that they’re fun and yet also sophisticated. What will make them even more interesting is going for (or making) different coloured chalk – move away from the usual white and primary colours. How about creating your favourite colour for your board?
The process of making chalk is a little messier than cleaning it off the board itself. It’s a great activity to do by yourself or with the kids, so get ready to get messy!
Experiment with colours as well as sizes. From pencil thick to thumb size; faded and pastel shades of greens, rich blues to moody greys.
When it comes to the shade just squirt as much colour as you need till you like what you’re seeing. Since chalk base is white, a small amount of colour will make a pastel.
Remember, dark colours might be nice yet the lighter the better they look on the chalkboard.
What you’ll need:
- Plaster of Paris
- Warm water
- Tempera or acrylic paint
- Wax paper
- Masking tape
- Plastic zippered quart bags
How to make it:
1. Mix up a batch of chalk.
Use a ratio of 1 part warm water to 1 1/2 parts Plaster of Paris. Then stir together as much wet chalk as you want in a certain colour. Add paint, squirt by squirt, until you get a shade you’re happy with. Keep stirring until the colour is evenly distributed and any lumps have been mashed away.
2. Roll tubes of wax paper to pipe the chalk into.
If you’re aiming for small chalk sticks or chunkier ones, roll the wax paper accordingly.
Choose whatever width you want, and then tape one end closed using masking tape (flattening it to do so will result in a sharpened point, which will actually be a useful edge for writing).
3. Pipe the chalk into the tubes.
Spoon your wet chalk mixture into a plastic bag, zip it shut, then snip the corner to make a piping bag. Use that to squeeze it into the prepared wax tubes, tape them together anywhere they need a little added support to stay rolled, then set them upright in a jar to dry.
Let the chalk sticks sit out for a full 24 hours to fully dry, then untape and unroll them, discarding the wax paper, and you’re ready to use!