Nobody loves a free project like we do. And this easy repurpose was 100% f-r-e-e thanks to a few bottles we had lying around and a little can of chalkboard paint that we’ve been hoarding for a fun project. I got the idea last weekend while we were at Gertens, a local garden center with a cutsy gift shop inside. While perusing the wares, I noticed chalkboard bottles for sale, and one had the word “menu” painted at the top. They were around $20 so I did not reach for my wallet, but it did get me thinking…..that I could make them at home. So we did. And we’re busy crushing on them.
We originally purchased our chalkboard paint from the Home Depot (for about $10) to use on another DIY project when we first moved in. It is sold in spray paint too, but we picked the more traditional paint way back when.
We bought a mirror on clearance at the one and only TJ Maxx/Homegoods. Then we spray painted the frame white and painted the mirror with chalkboard paint. And now it sits in our study.
Ignore the self-portrait of Dain. It was one of his daily creative things awhile ago. And by awhile I might mean back in March. The fact that we still have this portrait shows how often we actually use our chalkboard as a functional piece. Oh well. Back to the matter at hand. One of our first thoughts for this project was to use the square bottle from our New Amsterdam gin. The only problem was that it is almost full so we quickly nixed that. Instead, we ended up using a large wine bottle.
I also picked a soda bottle that was already completely empty and clean thanks to Dain having used it for yet another creative thing, but the wine bottle still had wine it. The first step was to empty the bottle and then clean it. I poured the wine into a glass and washed out the inside. Then I got to work on taking off the labels.
They actually came off fairly easily with just water, soap, and a sponge, but I did end up using a little Goo Gone to get the pesky residue off.
Then I let the bottle dry while I set up a little paint station. Luckily, it was super hot on this day so even the inside of the bottle dried quickly in the sun.
I laid out a paper bag, and I mixed the paint. I was too lazy to use a paint tray so I just dipped my little brush into the paint can itself. And it was really quick and easy (even for a non-painter like myself).
I was eager to write on it and display it the same day, until I read the back of the paint and realized that you need to let it dry for AT LEAST 3 days before writing on it. Sigh. I resigned myself to the sad fact that it was not going to be one of those instant gratification things.
We thought they would need a second coat too, but after the first coat dried, they looked good. Dain jumped in to touch up a couple of spots (where I swear a bug got in it out on the sun porch). And then we heeded the directions and waited three long days before turning them into vases.
Last night I finally brought them upstairs and tested out the chalk too. I’m always amazed that it works so great, but it sure does. The only problem was that my chalk was not easy to write with. But I completed my vision, and I wrote “menu” and what we were having. I literally wrote this and erased it ten times. It’s still not perfect, but at some point, I just had to talk myself down and walk away.
I totally only made dinner so that I could write the menu on my bottle. I didn’t think “Chipotle” would have the same allure. And I picked up a bouquet at Cub for $5.49, that was enough to fill my two chalkboard vases and them some.
Then we schlepped them all down to to the deck for a nice meal outside.
I think they are a fun addition to a vase arrangement. Dain was really just happy to have me make dinner for him. But I can see us using these for years to come.
They would also make a nice gift with flowers in them and a charming little bag of chalk tied to it. So perhaps we will make them again. If you have never played around with chalkboard paint, it is really easy to work with, and it gives anything a fun, fresh look. It’s a really neat idea for a child’s room or play area or for an area in a kitchen for shopping lists or an office for writing to-do lists. I have a feeling we aren’t done with it in our house. What about you? Have you ever created a “chalkboard” surface somewhere in your house?
(P.S. Thanks to Beth over at Home Stories A to Z for hosting a link party. We added our chalkboard bottles to the mix of inspiring DIY tutorials.)