Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chalkboard Vinyl Door Hanger

I'm glad you came. :)
Chalkboard vinyl. Chalkboard vinyl?! How great is that?  Thank you, Cricut and Silhouette, for such a wonderful little invention.  Now I have vinyl that I can write on and that erases.  Brilliant. :)

For my first attempt at using this product, I tried to think of something practical and useful that I could make that I would want for writing different messages on. I decided a chalkboard vinyl sign/door hanger would be just the thing.  I could use it for a variety of things, and just erase and add whatever message I needed that was pertinent for that activity.  This would be great for hosting get togethers, having the sign say "Come Right In!", for sending people around to the gate for backyard parties or even wedding receptions, for letting neighborhood kids know if your kids are free to play or not, or to let visitors know to please knock when there is a baby sleeping in the house.  

So here's what I used for this project (items that we have on our website are put in italics, just in case you are in want of any of them):

Small board or Door Hanger (Got mine for 3.99, plus a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby--doable, right?)
Chalkboard Vinyl
Colored Vinyl (for flourish)
Red Craft Paint
Hot Glue-gun
Chalk or chalk marker (at most craft stores--more on the markers later)

And then all your regular useful stuff:

Silhouette Hook
Silhouette Scrapper
Transfer Tape or Paper
And of course, your Silhouette or Cricut Machine ;)

After painting my board and hot-gluing my ribbon to the back of it, I measured and cut out a simple rectangle on my chalkboard vinyl and adhered it to the inside of my board using my scrapper to get out any air bubbles.  I've seen intricate designs with this vinyl as well (from fun swirly magnets to write on, to cute doily-shaped menu planners, to name a few) but for the shape of this board I stuck with your basic, pre-schooler recognized shape of...the rectangle. :)  

I knew that I wanted a design/flourish for the top of the board, and at first was thinking of a fun 3D flower, or some cute design with buttons and ribbons and all that jazz.  But then I got to thinking about how often I'd be using a wet paper towel to wipe off the chalk when I'd change messages.  I decided a paper or otherwise water-disliking embellishment wouldn't be wise to overlap my chalkboard with.  I didn't want the hassel of having to carefully wipe around something, or that would collect my chalk residue, such as ribbons.  Thus, I just picked a colorful vinyl I had on hand for a quick added flourish, knowing I could wipe right over it as well anytime I was changing messages. 

Note: I always remind readers to first test their images on a regular sheet of paper so you can be sure it is just the right size, shape, etc. before cutting it with your vinyl or other specialty media. You can test to be sure you like the shape (etc.) with a simple sheet of paper, and then make any necessary changes without having wasted any of your vinyl or more expensive materials.

After testing the size of your shape by cutting it with a regular sheet of paper, use your Silhouette hook, scrapper, and transfer tape to help you prepare, transfer, and adhere your vinyl just where and how you want it. 
After that, it was just a matter of testing out some different sayings to see how easily the chalkboard marker erased off the chalkboard vinyl!  I read that the markers are a little less easy to smudge, so are good if you want to keep your message up for awhile (such as labeling craft jars, which you may later fill with something else, etc.).  You just use a wet paper towel to wipe it off.  Others suggest using regular chalk for things like menu planners or other things that you want to erase and write on daily or frequently.

With just one quick wipe, it looks like this.
With one more wipe from the dry part of the towel, it's completely gone!
I love it!  And I know I'll use it.  And okay, one more fun idea for how to use chalkboard vinyl, just because I love the idea but don't yet have anywhere to do it (*smile): 

Bonus Idea: Make large "talking"quote bubbles (like the kind that you see in the comics, etc.) and put them on the wall in your child's room or playroom.  Anytime your child says something funny, write the quote up in the quote bubble and take a picture of your kid standing next to it (like the quote bubble is coming from their mouth).  Keep the saying up until another fun anecdote comes tumbling innocently out of their adorably hilarious mouth, then erase and write up the new one!  I am picturing a little set of two or three of these bubbles, of varying size and height, grouped in one area of the wall next to a closet or something, or maybe next to hung pictures of your child.  Now I just need some kids... :) 

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