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Picture of Mini Chalkboard Eraser (With Hidden Chalk Storage)
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If you're the home crafty sort, I just bet that there's something in your house that you've covered with chalkboard paint. There are dozens of great ideas to make all sorts of cute home projects with a chalkboard surface.  But I have yet to see an equally inspiring design for a chalkboard eraser, and place to store the chalk. And what good it s chalkboard if you can't find a piece of chalk or eraser nearby? So I came up with a design for a sweet little eraser that has a compartment for chalk storage. Hang this puppy on the wall next to your chalkboard, and you'll have an eraser that you're as proud of as your chalkboard.

Oh, and did I mention that it's made out of almost entirely upcycled materials? Two Altoid (or similar) tins and scraps from an old sweater make up the base structure and the eraser pad. A little glue to hold things together, paint to make it look pretty, and voilà!  I used orange spray paint that I had leftover from a previous project and a simple hand-lettered title for my design, but (naturally) you can make yours with whatever design you like.

 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Materials:
2 Altoid tins
part of an old sweater (you'll need about 4X10" rectangle)
2 part epoxy or another glue suitable for gluing metal to metal and fiber to metal.
paint (optional)
a few inches of wire or twine

Tools:
pliers
scissors
Steel wool, or a wire brush
razor knife
needle & thread

You could really make any size/shape of eraser using this scheme, but an Altoid tin fits spare chalk perfectly.  Whatever shape you choose, you'll need to get two tins that are exactly the same size. An old felted sweater (or other knitwear) makes a perfect eraser pad. The type of fiber doesn't matter too much, anything thick and knit will do the trick.

Step 2: Make Eraser Bed

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Unhinge tins
Use pliers to pry open the hinges of the tin. Detach the top from the bottom. Repeat with the other tin.

Strip paint
Use steel wool or sandpaper to remove the paint from both the lid tins. Though you need the tops from both of the tins, you'll only be using the bottom of one of them. Remove the paint from one of the tin bases. (You can discard the other.)

Glue lids together
Use 2 part epoxy to glue the tops of the two lids together. Arrange them so they are neatly stacked  with the hinge sides aligned. (See picture)

Paint base
If you want to paint the base (which will be the front of the eraser) you can paint it now. Avoid painting where the lid will hit-- this paint will just rub off anyhow.

Step 3: Sew Eraser Pad

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Cut Strips From Sweater
First: it is crucial that you cut strips from your sweater with the correct alignment. If you get it right, the pad will wear beautifully, even if the sweater starts to unravel, the loft of the eraser pad will just get a little fluffier. If you get it wrong, then you'll get little flecks of yarn falling off as you use the eraser. (See picture for the correct alignment) You want to cut about ten 1"x 4" strips of the sweater.

Fold and Sew Strips Together
Fold one strip in half, vertically. Use a hand sewing needle and sturdy thread, sew a simple seam lengthwise through the center of the folded strip. Take another strip, fold it in half and align it so that the raw edges are facing the same direction as the first strip. Sew the second strip onto the first. Keep adding more strips, sewing each onto the previous row.  Keep going until your pad is wide enough to fill the tin lid. You'll want it to be a little bit wider-- it's nice if the pad needs to be compressed a little so that it fits snugly into the lid.

Step 4: Finish edge of eraser bed

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Cut paper for trim
Cut a strip of paper so that it will exactly cover the space between the rolled edge of the two lids. Cut little notches to align with the hinge holes.

Glue trim to lid
Spread 2 part epoxy over the area that you'll be covering with the paper trim. Glue paper trim to the lids. (It seems a little flimsy, I realize, but the paper is just to give you a flat, even surface, the epoxy is what creates the structure.) Leave the epoxy to set up.

Paint trim
Once the epoxy has set you can paint the paper border however you like.

Attach handle
Cut a piece of electrical wire or twine to make into a hanger. Thread the wire through two of the hinge holes and secure each end with a knot.

Step 5: Finish

Glue eraser pad to lid
Mix 2 part epoxy and spread it over the surface of the inside of the lid on the side that the hangar is attached. Fit the eraser pad into the lid and place a heavy book on the pad to compress the whole assembly while the epoxy is setting up.

Attach lid to base
Once the the epoxy has set up, you can reattach the hinges, connecting the base to the top. Trim any scruffy edges off the eraser pad.

Paint design on base
If you like, you can paint whatever design you like on the base of the tin. This design will be displayed when you hang the eraser on the wall.

Cut felt lining for base
It's totally optional, but I cut a piece of felt to fit inside the base right beneath the chalk. This cuts down on the chalk movement when you're using the eraser.
LOOOOVE it
Printy2 years ago
Fantastic!!
Love this use of Altoid tins! 1 Hello Kitty + 1 Spidey sticker and everyone's happy with the new chalkboard and personal eraser. I went old-school and used an old piece of chamois stretched over cheap foam sponge for each one. Works great. It's a good thing you suggested the felt inside. The chalk would be destroyed when the kids pound the erasers together if not for the felt!
LOL! I certainly did not think ahead to banging chalkboard erasers together. And I love your idea for the eraser pad, too-- I bet there are tons of repurposed fibers that would work equally well as an eraser pad. Glad to hear you and your kiddos are enjoying them!
Ian012 years ago
Faved and voted! You should enter this in the Up and Design contests too, and maybe Holiday Gifts.
CrazyClever2 years ago
Brilliant! I'm going to make one right away so I can stop using paper towels to clear off my many, chalkboard-covered things.
mistyp2 years ago
Oh what a fun idea! Thanks for posting.