It's the little things that go a long way toward making holiday guests feel more comfortable in our homes, which is why I love this simple, yet adorable, DIY chalkboard menu. It saves shy visitors from having to ask what's on the menu for dinner, and it's especially helpful for guests that may have food allergies -- something I must confess I didn't consider often myself until I developed a severe shellfish allergy a couple of years ago.
My girls helped make this chalkboard menu the day before Thanksgiving, and it was SO easy. In fact, the most time-consuming part was just waiting for the chalkboard paint to dry. They love it so much that we've been using it daily for dinner, which has the added bonus of saving me from having to respond half a dozen times or more to the "What's for dinner?" question that's always on my kids' lips as they walk in the door from school.
Supplies you'll need for this project:
- Better Homes and Gardens Picture Frame, $9
- Folkart Chalkboard Paint, $5
- small craft size foam roller
- plain white chalk
- chalk marker $6.50
I noticed that Walmart.com also carries this chalkboard spray paint, which I think would be awesome for this project. My store doesn't carry it, so I've never tried it, but I intend to order a can for my next project. If you go this route, I doubt the foam roller would be necessary, so it seems like it would be a less expensive option.
Also, don't be deterred by the cost of the paint and marker. A little goes a long way with the paint, and it's very versatile -- and the markers last forever (as long as you cap them tightly when not in use).
I removed the backing board from the picture frame and discarded the foam and faux photos. Then we rolled the chalkboard paint directly onto the inside of the backing board. About 2-3 thin coats should be sufficient -- just take care to let each coat dry thoroughly before applying another coat. I recommend letting it cure overnight after the final coat before writing on it.
Once you have a nice, even layer of chalkboard paint and it's completely dry, you'll want to condition the paint before writing on it with the chalk marker. Just take a small piece of regular chalk and rub a thick coat of chalk over the chalkboard paint. Then take a paper towel and work it in.
Once your chalkboard menu is conditioned, you can use it to write your menu out! Just replace the backing board on the picture frame (with or without the glass) to display your menu for your family or guests.
A simple wipe down with a damp cloth will allow you to write a new menu daily. Note that you may find that you need recondition the chalkboard paint with regular chalk from time to time, so keep a regular piece of chalk handy.
Another idea for using this DIY framed chalkboard is to write your internet network name and password on it and place it on the nightstand in your guest bedroom... How would you use it?