Hi everyone! here is an easy project for a rainy weekend.. Blackboard bedside letters!
Step 1: Tools, Materials, and Overview
The project is to make some letters that can be written on in chalk, for the bedroom/kitchen/outside. It is a project which kids can help with most steps, and observe during the cutting. My daughters were sick one weekend and it was raining - the perfect project for a weekend! Tools: steel ruler electrig jigsaw sharpie or marker paintbrushes carpenter's pencil spirit level paint smocks for the kids (thanks grandma!) a big smile! Materials: blackboard paint (sample tin) undercoat primer paint (sample tin) 120 grit sandpaper 3m velcro wall hanging supports (pack of 4) masking tape piece of MDF or plywood (min 4mm) ikea craft paper roll cup of patience most of the parts and materials can be ordered easily from bunnings, home depot etc. this trip is a fun trip with kids, get them to cross off the "checklist"..
Step 2: Letter Design
create a template using paper and a carpenter's pencil, or print a template from your favourite design/wordprocessing package on the computer. This step is a great way to practice letters, computers with children and explain concepts like templates, rulers for measuring and answering lots of questions eg. "why is AND a letter and a word?". cut the letter out with scissors and tape with masking tape to the MDF. dont forget to clean the MDF beforehand with a wipe.
Step 3: Letter Tracing
Trace the letters out with the carpenter's pencil and then the sharpie once you have removed the letter template. this is a part that the kids can do.
Step 4: Cut Out the Letters
Kids and power tools don't mix! they are naturally inquisitive and unless they are old enough do this part on your own. I did this part out in the yard while the kids watched from the (closed) window. Dont forget to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) in this case, earmuffs, reporator for dust, gloves and glasses.. there are some tricks to cutting out the complex shapes with a jigsaw, if you can do these letters well you can make a wooden boat: 1) go slowly.. 2) come in from different shallow angles to cut an internal angle (see picture) 3) use a drill to start internal shapes (see picture) 4) don't change angle too quickly or it will look wobbly when following a straight line or gentle curve 5) don't stress! you can always start againor tidy up with a file.. on to painting!!
Step 5: Paint the Letters
lay down the craft paper, tape down with masking tap and smock up! paint the letters with smooth brush strokes, and use matchsticks or skewers to lift the letters off the paper. one undercoat and one blackboard paint is sufficient given kids tend to lose patience.. 3h drying time between coats is good. this is something you can get the kids to help with.. Ask them permission to help with the touching up, so that they dont lose confidence.
Step 6: Mount the Letters
last step! use the spirit level and masking tape to set the right spot for the letters. get the kids to attach the sticky mount to the letters (this is a step which doesnt require lots of accuracy) and then attach the letters to the wall. step back and enjoy!! reward yourselves with a photo and a tea party.. happy letters!