Friday, February 12, 2016

Make a Chalkboard Heart DIY Easy!

I decided to make some chalkboard message boards in a heart shape, perfect for the upcoming Valentines Day. The rustic board hearts that I usually make wouldn't work for a smooth surface, so I purchased 1/2" MDF (medium-density fiber) board. It's a wonderful smooth surface and cuts like "butta". Perfect for this project. I went to the local big box store and purchased a 2' x 4' sheet for $9.95. Just the right size to lug home and cut out eight 12" hearts. I found a heart shape that I liked, approximately 12" high and wide then printed it out. I copied it onto cardboard so I could easily trace it and re-use it. Then I used my jig saw to cut them out.

Using my jigsaw to cut out the hearts
After cutting the hearts out, I lightly sanded them, mostly to cover any uneven spots due to my cutting, ha ha. I made sure to sand the edges, too. I decided to make my own chalkboard paint because I had a great barn red paint already on my shelf plus I wanted red on one side and black on the other. The formula that I use is 1 tablespoon of unsanded grout mixed with 1/2 cup of latex paint. You can purchase a 2' x 4' chalk board piece already with the chalkboard surface on one side but it's only 3/16" thick. I didn't think this was thick enough for the hearts, but it would be wonderful for signs and framed chalkboards.

Hearts painted on one side & edges with red paint.
I wanted one side to have a traditional black chalkboard so after painting two coats of red, I flipped them over and carefully painted two coats of black chalkboard paint. Be careful not to get the black paint on the red! After letting the paint dry overnight, I very lightly sanded both sides and edges. My next step was to prime the chalkboard surface by laying a piece of chalk on its side and cover it completely with chalk on each side. I take a rag and rub it onto the surface then wipe it off. Now you're ready to write!

Priming the new surface with chalk

All primed and ready to wipe off.

Next I was ready to drill some holes for hanging. After some thought, I decided that I liked the way two holes looked, measured and punched the holes in my cardboard template.

I used a 1/4" drill bit to make the holes for the ribbon hanger.
I found some pretty white ribbon with wire edges and fed it through the holes. I tied a bow that can be used at the top or on the heart itself. Here's the finished pictures.

All finished a ready for gift-giving!
I tried one with a one-hole approach & jute rope!

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