Tag Archive for 'chalkboard paint'

Monday Morning Inspiration

After getting my Zutter (spiral notebook binder) I had the idea to create some original patterns to have printed and use as covers for a series of notebooks (staplebound as well as spiralbound). Here are the instagrammed patterns I’ve created so far.

Painting a pattern for a project I have in mind
Robyn Fun Fact: I paint (watercolor and acrylic) with a hair dryer nearby because I'm too impatient to let layers dry.
An idea I had in my head
Another pattern for my potential project #art #pattern #stripes #beautiful #wip #watercolors

I’d like to eventually make a whole bunch so that I have a collection from which to choose the best.  I would be remiss to make this post and not mention the inspiration I have been receiving on instagram with Anika’s #patternaday. I love all the patterns people are sharing.

Happy New Year

Bring on the #serendipity in 2013.

On New Year’s Eve, technically on New Years Day right after midnight, we went to the park across the street from my brother’s house to light and send off some paper lanterns. Even though we thought it was calm outside, the wind was actually pretty strong and we were having a difficult time lighting them. The person I had arranged to photograph (Matt, haha) along with most of the crowd, bailed and went back went back inside to get warm. It probably was close to zero degrees outside! My sister and I decided to try and move the operation closer to a shelter where we might get some wind block. My brother and another friend (Wes) came along. My brother said we should actually move towards a larger building for greater shelter from the wind. When he pointed to the building we noticed a little light in that direction. He said he thought it was just a piece of glass reflecting. We actually squabbled a bit about it because it didn’t look like reflection to me and my sister. We stayed where we were and started trying to light the lantern again when my sister noticed that the light we saw before changed color from a blue light to a yellow light. I said I thought if it was a window into a furnace that just kicked on. We got our lantern lit and it took everyone there involved to hold the lantern so that the hot air would fill it. I was underneath trying to keep the wick lit when my brother said “look, I think you are right, something else is going on over there.” Then Chris and Wes agreed. Then “I think someone else might be doing the exact same thing we are doing.” But I couldn’t look while trying to hold the lantern and flame. Finally, “Robyn, look! No really, look!” and I look over just in time to see it is true. Someone across the dark park, on new years, was doing the exact same thing we were doing; lighting off a Chinese paper lantern.

I just thought it was a magical and serendipitous thing to happen right at New Years. I hope that it can be a sign and symbol for how 2013 will unfold.

After seeing this post on Design Sponge earlier today, sharing visual images of new year’s resolutions, I was inspired.  I found this piece of wood I’d been saving for something special, painted it with chalkboard paint and drew out my own mantra for the new year.

Happy 2013 friends.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Paint Color, Project and Giveaway

3.21 chalkboard paint tutorial4

If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of DIY tutorials out there to make your own chalkboard paint in any color you want. Those tutorial’s material list goes something like this: paint color of your choosing and then start listing things like grout… and that’s exactly when I stop reading. Who has grout on hand? And how does one buy grout? And even if I bought grout, I’m guessing it comes in some HUGE bag and all I need is a couple cups worth. The other day I was at home and had a project in mind but wanted to use a different color chalkboard paint than the standard black I had on hand. I know you need a grout type product, something that adds a chalky, toothy type texture to the acrylic paint and so I started hunting around the house. Then it hit me. I have that gritty product already, and it’s in my studio… GESSO! Gesso is a substance often used as a base for all types of painting and even other types of artwork. Its wikipedia page says it is actually a paint combined with chalk. I tried mixing it with a green acrylic paint and it worked perfectly, adding just the right amount of course texture to grab onto the chalk when applied later.

3.21 chalkboard paint tutorial
Materials: Paint, Gesso, Paint Brushes, and Cup

Here’s what you do: simply mix it 50-50, or up to 75% acrylic and 25% gesso mixture. Acrylic paint is naturally kind of glossy when dry, but you want your final product to be matte. Because gesso is white, it is going to lighten up your acrylic paint substantially, keep this in mind when choosing your paint color. You’ll want to pick an acrylic paint that is that much darker than what you want your final product to look like. I used a very dark green to get the desired chalkboard green I was going for.

Apply your  new chalkboard paint to your project surface. You may want to apply a second coat depending on how evenly your first application was.

After it is dry you will want to treat your new board with chalk. Scribble, or scrape your chalk all over the board and rub it around evenly. Now your chalkboard is ready!

3.21 chalkboard paint tutorial2
A fun and easy project to use your new chalkboard paint on would be making a customizable ring, as seen at the top of this post. Other than the paint you just created, all the materials can be found at your local craft store for under $5: New chalkboard paint, little round discs, inexpensive  adjustable ring blanks, super glue or gluegun glue, paint brush and chalk.

You can buy these round wood blanks at most craft stores in the wood isles. You can also find other shapes that would work as well, like stars or hearts, or if you are super crafty you might choose to cut out your own shape using a small saw. Using super glue or a hot glue gun attach the adjustable ring blank to the back of the ring. Once it is dry and solidly attached you can paint the top of your ring with the chalkboard paint.

3.21 chalkboard paint tutorial3
And if you like the project, but aren’t interested in making one for yourself, I have created a small handful of rings and little treasure boxes with chalkboard paints (my own and the black is store bought).  Leave a comment on this post and enter a chance to win one of the pieces of your choosing. Let me know which one you’d like if you won or just say hello. Like me on facebook for an extra chance, don’t forget to come back here and leave an additional comment and let me know that you did. I will select one lucky winner on April 1st.

day 12 – Get To It!

Or as I like to say “Get To Eeeeet!”

If you’re anything like me you could use any extra push you can get…including this lovely reminder to GET TO IT!

There are lots and lots of layers on this piece. Mulitiple layers of acrylic (for the crackle background effect) and then layers of collage paper. I also used my favorite, chalkboard paint, on this piece. The message has been fixed, so no worry about it smudging away.

Own original artwork, this piece is available in my etsy shop.

Altered Art Shoes

Let’s just say that since the accident I’ve been in this weird place (not a bad place, but…) where I’m just not feeling super creative or productive. It probably has more to do with the crazy heat wave that arrived with summer a few days after the accident, more than it does with the accident itself. Lately I’ve spent what would normally be my creative time, reading fashion and weight-loss blogs, gardening, or just watching junk television like my new favorite Man Vs. Food. When I start to feel guilty about not working on artwork, or updating my blog or Etsy shop, I stop and think “This is my life, and I’m under no command to do anything.”  If creating artwork, or blogging or maintaining my Etsy shop begins to feel like a chore, then it will no longer be fun. I love all of those things, so if I keep a looser schedule, then so be it. But of course the moment I stop pushing it, then a balloon of creativity pops!

That being said, last night well past midnight I was fighting sleep. I felt very energetic as I lay in bed with my eyes closed. It was then, that several project ideas came to me. I present the first to you now:

Altered Art Shoes!


I’ve bought shoes to alter before, but then made the mistake of wearing them before altering them. Then it got to be “I can’t alter these shoes, I love them too much the way they are!” Last night I got the idea to go buy some cheap men’s plain white slip on tennis shoes. I like the men’s because they are wider and don’t have that annoying pointy toe that shoe designers  seem to think women have. Barbie dolls’ shoes have points, but none of my shoes have it because my feet aren’t shaped like Barbie’s. The men’s shoes also have a wider, broader work area, quite like a real canvas, eh?

Like I said above, I’ve been reading “everyday” fashion blogs similar to Wardrobe Remix style blogs, and have been inspired to amp up the paltry thing I would call my wardrobe. I’d like to take more risks, as I usually just stick to a t-shirt and jeans. I sometimes think people keep their personal possessions too safe, meaning they want their items to stay looking as perfect as they did when they first brought them home. When I worked at the middle school, I witnessed countless times where kids would spend their entire study period scrubbing all little marks off their brand new shoes. Every kid seemed to carry around that white shoe sponge stuff that keeps your shoes looking brand new, and it made me sad. Don’t they run and play anymore, because scuffed, dirty and warn in shoes would be a result of playing. I come from a very different view point. I think the more warn in something is, the more loved, the more personality, the more value. Keeping all of our personal possessions in mint condition is bland and boring. What an exciting world it would be if people all had to paint their own cars, oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking ’bout!

Okay, back to the shoes. I love, love, love Campers Twins. Have you heard of these shoes? They are a pair of shoes, that are slightly different from each other, as their slogan states “They’re twins. Not identical but complementary.” I’d someday love to own a pair of campers, but as they are very expensive, that day will probably far away.


I wanted my shoes to be like Campers, different, but still go together, so I got inspiration to make my shoes from multiple different mail art pieces I did, seen above.

Step one: I just used a regular #2 pencil and drew in design lines. I really liked that and contemplated just doing it to both and call it a day. I decided to go the whole nine yards, and I could always create another pair like that down the road.

Step two:  I painted freehand circles of varying degrees of blue, black and gray cheap acrylic paint. At this point there’s no going back. Also, you might notice that the second shoe also has penciled design lines so that one could vaguely recognize that the two shoes are indeed part of the same pair.


Step three: I used my handy-dandy Kempar fluid drawing pen, that Rosa so kindly sent me years ago. I love that thing! Here’s where the learning curve kicked in. I wanted to add interest by drizzling and splattering the blue paint, like on the postcard, but once the blue paint hit the white canvas, it was too runny and rather than continuing to run, it just stayed put and then bled. A smarter artsy gal would have thought to paint that white canvas with gesso before beginning. Now, it’s noted for next time. I wanted to write something in one circle, similar to the postcard. I figured these shoes were pretty loud, and will draw attention, so when people are looking down they will have something to read. I quickly decided “hello” just because I thought it would be funny, like, “hello, why are you looking down at my shoes, rather than at my face”.

Step four: Next, as if the shoes weren’t loud enough, I had to inject a bit of color and interest to the first shoe and decided to go with a transparent gradient swoosh that would extend over to the second shoe. Before painting, I sprayed a light even layer of fixative over the shoe, so the pencil wouldn’t smudge.

Step five: On the backs and outsides of the shoes I painted generous amounts and layers of my all time favorite…Chalk Board Paint. I think I’ve shared this technique here before, but I love it so much I’ll share it again. For the longest time I’ve wanted to paint everything with chalkboard paint. The problem with that is that chalk is very temporary and easily smudged and smeared. If it gets wet at all, bam!, it’s gone. I  wanted to use the chalkboard paint and chalk look on some mail art, but didn’t want the white chalk to disappear before it reached it’s destination. If you spray it with fixative, the chalk disappears. Using white paint just doesn’t have the same look as chalk. Then I rediscovered an old box of dry pastels from college. It works great. It still smudges, but it’s more permanent and more opaque. Also, if you wish for the message to remain permanent, then you can spray it with fixative and it doesn’t disappear, yay!

Since I went with “hello” on the front of the shoes, I just quickly chalked in a “good” and “bye” on the heels. And this makes me laugh because for some reason it makes me think of that cheesy line (preferably said in a southern drawl) “I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you go”. I’m not too concerned with them getting smudged or dirty as indicated above, but if you are attempting some altered shoes yourself,  you could paint a clear matte finish over them to keep them safe.

I know fashion has a lot to do with confidence, now let’s see if I can muster up enough to wear these beauties out in public.

edit: These shoes have since been featured on AOL for an article about creative uses for chalkboard paint.