Every once in a while I need to focus on a personal project for myself. Something where I can just let my creativity flow. This month I decided to rebuild our family calendar.
We have a very busy family. I’m sure you can all relate. It seems like as much as we try to scale back, things just keep piling on. Homeschool, kids’ activities, work schedules that change weekly, family commitments and running a business. At some point in all of that I still need to clean, do laundry, grocery shop and maintain my sanity. Our family calendar is what helps me keep track of it all.
Previously, I had a large one on a “chalkboard wall” by our front door. While I absolutely loved the size of it, I used a chalkboard vinyl wallpaper I purchased at Walmart. It was….ok. The vinyl was always peeling off the wall and I used everything, including my staple gun to re-secure it to the wall. So I decided to build a new one. Eventually I want to make a larger one, but this one will work for now.
This project was made using scraps and leftovers in my shop and supplies. I didn't follow any plans or directions. I just made it up as I went along using supplies I had on hand, so this project cost me nothing. I also forgot to take pictures of my project until I was applying vinyl. Sorry!
**I feel I need to post a little disclaimer. Is this project perfect? Absolutely not! This was not a project I was originally going to even write about. This was a simple quick project I threw together quickly using scraps and is for functionality not perfection. My intentions are to build another large wall calendar in the future so this one is a place holder to get us through.**
How I built it:
I started by digging through our scrap pile for a piece of ¼” Melamine. The piece I found was about 19”x17”. Next I dug through my pile pallet wood from disassembled pallets. I built a simple frame using a chop saw. I cut the top corners at 45 degrees and 90 degrees on the bottom. I assembled the frame using screws and wood glue.
Next I cut out the vinyl I needed using my Cricut Maker. In Cricut Design Space, I inserted several of the square shape and made them ¼” in width. For the lengths I made three of them 19”, five of them 17” and another three 16” for a total of eleven squares that I used as the diving lines for my calendar. Then I made abbreviations for each day of the week and “Notes:” lettering for the bottom.
I had some leftover chalkboard spray paint from a previous project and sprayed the melamine piece with the chalkboard board and let that dry for several hours. While that dried I weeded and prepped the vinyl.
Once the chalkboard was completely dry I penciled in where I wanted the lines giving me seven columns and six rows. These measurements were approximate. I divided 17” by seven to give me about how wide each column should be, I rounded to the nearest 1/8th inch and eyeballed it from there. I did the same thing with the rows, dividing 19” by six. Once I had my pencil marks in place where I wanted them I started with my three 19” vinyl strips, then my three 16” strips for the vertical lines. Then I placed the 17” strips horizontally.
Along the top I added the days of the week and my “Notes:” in the bottom section.
Before I mounted my calendar to my frame I did the MOST important part of any chalkboard…SEASONING IT!
No, I didn’t sprinkle it with salt and pepper. There is a great article here on why seasoning your chalkboard is SUPER important. After rubbing the board with chalk, I rubbed the chalk into the board by hand before wiping the board down with a dry cloth.
Now it was time for mounting it. To do this I simply positioned the chalkboard inside the frame and glued a large rope around the inside edge of the frame. I ran one bead of glue along the top of the chalkboard and a second bead of glue along the inside of the frame. Along the backside I ran a bead of glue where the chalkboard met up with the frame.
I took and extra piece of the rope and, using my staple gun, stapled the extra piece to the edge of the frame. Hung it on the wall and done!
Final thoughts: Craft projects don’t have to require a huge supply list, having you spend a hundred dollars or more at your local craft or hardware store. Get creative, use what you have around your house. They don’t have to be flawless to be perfect. Craft something from the heart and those are the most cherished crafts of all.