Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's What's for Dinner

I came across this extremely cute chalkboard menu on Pinterest and was inspired to make one for the wedding. 


The back of the menu was a fantastic find at Home Depot. I stopped one of the employees to describe what I needed, which was basically a big piece of plywood, but I mentioned that it really didn't need to be very sturdy. I may have also mentioned that I wanted the cheapest possible thing ;) Lucky for me, they had an enormous piece of siding that was damaged (although I'm still not sure how it was damaged) and therefore 75% off, taking it down to $6.

On one hand it was lucky that it was enormous, but on the other hand... it was enormous, and I didn't want an enormous menu. Home Depot has a cutting station, so we were able to tell them what to trim it down to. It was the coolest machine I've ever seen. The saw blade slides up and down on those two rods, and it could be turned horizontally or vertically. Here, it was horizontal, and the man just pushed our siding through. So cool. Have I shown you a picture of this machine before? Because I actually started writing this post months ago and have just now finished the project. That guy in the picture is Charlie, and he's my favorite Home Depot man.



I also got some wide and thin pieces for the trim while we were there.


After I measured and marked the pieces to fit the back, I put it in my mitre box to make the cuts, because this was back before I had my mitre saw. A lot of sawing and a very sore arm later... I had 45 degree angles.


The plan was to simply screw the trim into the back.


I used my countersink to bore out the screw holes so everything would look smooth when it was finished.


I picked up some wood screws to use for the job.


After I screwed them in place, I filled in the cracks and screw holes with spackling paste the same way I did when I framed our master bathroom mirror.


After it dried, I sanded it down.


Up next: spray paint. Trusty Home Depot had chalkboard spray paint, which was just about the most exciting discovery of my life.


I used some newspaper tape off the trim.


The first coat gave pretty good coverage. The chalkboard paint seems to dry faster than regular spray paint, so I was able to do more coats on the first go around.


Next, I taped off the inside and sprayed the outside with a goldish-bronze.



Next, I sketched out what I wanted in Photoshop so that when it was transferred to the chalkboard the proportions would be right and I wouldn't run out of space or end up with too much space left over.


Now, it just so happens that I have a really long to do list. Between condo things, wedding things, and oh, work, I just don't have the time sanity to tackle every project. Some intimidate me more than others, and having the ugly handwriting I do, this project was freaking me out. Enter stage left: my mom. The wonderful woman took an afternoon off to help me with whatever I needed, and what I needed was for someone to write this menu. I printed off the Photoshop image and she got to it. I suggested that she use tape to keep her lines straight, and she used chalk to mark off where each line would be since she could erase it when she was done.


And voila! An hour later I came outside from doing something and she was done. I loved it. She hated it. I'm not even technically allowed to tell yall that she's the one that did it... don't kill me mom! I know it looks great, but I also know that after you've spent an hour with your nose 3 inches away from a project and you know every little mistake you made, it can just feel like a huge disaster. On the bright side, after a good night of sleep and a solid break from staring at it, things usually look better.


Sorry that's not a very picturesque shot... hopefully a better one will be taken at the wedding :) For now it's sitting in my ugly garage that doesn't provide a very attractive backdrop, so this is the best I could do without lugging it out and around back. Seeing as it's about 5 feet tall, moving it isn't the easiest thing. Just plan on coming to the wedding and seeing it in person, or seeing it in pictures in the weeks to come. We are, after all, only three days away from tying the knot!

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