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Home-made Chalk Board Photo Props

8/23/2013 My nephew is getting married this weekend and I am to help with the photography.  I wanted to purchase some chalk board photo props, but found them to be expensive.  So we decided to make our own.  The above photo is the results and shows how you can write on the boards with chalk any words imaginable.  If you search on Pinterest for "chalkboard photo props" you will see lots of examples.

So this past Sunday, hubby and I spent four hours cutting out 14 pieces of plywood into 5 different shapes.  I merely grabbed my Photoshop shapes and put them on a paper sized piece of canvas, applied styles to make the shape color invisible, with a border, printed them, and cut them out as guides.  We wanted them a little bigger than what I could print, so we drew with a pencil on our plywood a little larger than our guide shapes.

The plywood we found in our basement which was awesome in that we have been trying to clean and organize the basement, so we got some scrap wood out of the basement and knocked off two birds with one stone.  It felt "free!" although I have no idea how much the wood would have costs had we had to purchase it.  We cut the shapes with a jigsaw.

The chalkboard paint was $10.  We spent part of the four hours on Sunday, after cutting, putting on the first coat.  We did sand around the edges of the boards, but I wish we would have sanded the whole board a bit better, but we just wanted to get going on it.

In the background of this photo you see some baby wipes as it was our intention to use them to wipe the chalk off the boards.  Unfortunately, because we did not sand, the wipes do stick to parts of the wood leaving lint on the boards, so I am looking for another option to wipe the boards clean.  If we would have sanded the boards, baby wipes would be a perfect solution.

We tried several choices for chalk.  The regular chalk was 99 cents, bringing our total cost for the project up to a whopping $11 for 14 boards!

We found chalk markers as I had read that they were better for making clean lines.  The four small markers were $10.99 and the one big marker was $5.99.  We are, however, taking them back to the store and saving that cost.

I tested the larger marker first, thinking I could take back the smaller ones because I wanted the text to be readable.  The size was perfect.  You can see here the difference in readability between chalk and chalk marker.

So much fun I was having!  Until . . .

I discovered that the chalk marker did not wipe off!  It partially wiped off, but left a faded white and I had to get out my paint and paint again.  So all the markers are going back to the store.  So my total cost for 14 props is $11!

The awesome part of the re-painting that was while I was looking for a brush, I found some old un-used large chalk in the closet!  Whoo hooo!  Using up more stuff and getting it out of our house!  Blessings in disguise!

Below are photos of each of the finished shapes.

Puzzle piece might say "you're my missing piece!"

Arrow might say "He did it!" or "She's mine!" 

A heart might say "I'm still single!" 

A rounded speech bubble might say "I came for the cake!"

Actually, the square speech bubbles could say just about anything, such as "tickle me."

I'm anxious to play with them!


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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