Chalkboard art is a great way to record the fine details of a life. Here’s how writer and mom (and regular columnist) Erika Palmer went about her project.
It seems like just yesterday we were headed off to the hospital to have her, but my little girl recently turned one! As our house is fairly small we had a party with only a few family members. We ate some snacks and I made cupcakes for the adults – and baby girl got to smash her very first cake!
I had an old shower curtain kicking around so I spread it out over the kitchen floor and let her at it. She sure had a great time getting her hands into it and cramming more than I thought she would in her mouth. Luckily cleanup was a breeze – I simply hosed off the shower curtain in the back yard. Cleaning her up was a bit harder!
I wanted to do something special to commemorate her first birthday so I asked around and found Chalkboard Art! Chalkboard Art has become hugely popular for baby’s first birthdays, pet birthdays, weddings and milestone anniversaries. It’s a great keepsake that was fun and easy to design and make. Here’s how I did mine:
Pick up a few supplies
I picked up a large black foam board (about 3 x 2 ft) and some chalkboard look markers and paint from a local craft store. I’ve heard that these are available at some of the discount department stores, but I really wanted a large variety of colors so I went right to the craft store (plus I had a coupon!)
Make a list of what you want to include
I drew out what I wanted it to look like on a legal pad first – I included her name, a giant number 1, and a few facts about her: how much she weighs, how tall she is, how many teeth she has, and her favorite foods and toys. I wrote in little comments as well about how she likes to chase the cat and how she is already walking and very curious.
Sketch it out before committing with markers
I then drew very lightly in pencil on the board what I had come up with on the legal pad. I made a few mistakes on this step so I’m glad it was in pencil! Also be sure to test the markers and paint on a similar piece of board or on the side you are not using – some of the colors didn’t come up as I expected them to so I switched out my color plan on some parts.
Color it in
Once I was satisfied with how the outline looked and knew which colors I wanted to use I filled in the bubble letters from her name and giant number 1 with the paint. The markers were a fine tip so I used those in various alternating colors to write in the facts and comments.
Decorate it as much as you want
I filled up some of the blank space with stickers that corresponded with some of the comments. I placed a cat sticker beside the ‘likes to chase the cat’ comment and some musical notes beside ‘loves to dance to music’. I found some stickers that looked like blocks (her favorite!) and used them as a cool border.
A big hit at the party
I am quite pleased with my finished work and it was a big hit when we brought it out at the party! It really looks like a chalkboard but it’s a permanent keepsake. It had everyone fooled, thinking we were going to erase it after. We are currently displaying it on her wall but if we take it down, or make her a new one in the future, it can easily be slid behind or under the bed and stored.
Have any of you done any sort of artwork or keepsake like this to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary?