Hi crafters, for today’s post I thought I would share with you a simple and cost-effective handmade gift idea – an up-cycled blackboard frame. As crafters we know that handmade gifts are the best gifts to give, but as there are often a lot of people to find gifts for at Christmas time we sometimes need quick and simple handmade gift ideas that still have the wow factor. I hope that I can demonstrate that this up-cycling project is a quick but impactful handmade gift idea.
This project was made from a broken frame that I bought for a pound, the glass inside the frame was cracked so they heavily discounted it. The frame is quite large and heavy 14” x 16” approx. After I carefully removed the broken glass and safely discarded it, my first thought was to make a padded fabric insert and use that as a fabric noticeboard with the frame around it but then I remembered that I had some blackboard paint leftover from another project and I began to like that idea. All paints and flowers that I used were leftover from other projects.
- White chalk paint
- Pebeo acrylic paint in a dark blue
- Blackboard paint
- Silk/artificial flowers and leaves
- Glue gun
I started by lightly sanding the back board of the frame and then painting the first coat of the blackboard paint (check the instructions on your brand of paint as some differ slightly) when that was completely dry, I painted the second coat. I then lightly sanded the frame and painted a thin coating of white chalk paint all over it (I was fortunate that it was white to begin with), the chalk paint will also act as a great base for the acrylic paint.
When the white chalk paint was completely dry, I covered the whole frame in Pebeo acrylic paint in a dark colour. For the distressed, rustic look, black is often used under the white but I quite like using very dark blues, greens or greys as they can sometimes be a little more interesting but that’s just personal preference.
You may need to paint a second coat of the acrylic depending on the type of surface it’s painted on and the intensity of the colour that you want. I painted a second layer of the acrylic colour. Because the frame is not a piece of everyday furniture, I felt no need to use furniture paints.
When the acrylic paint was dry I painted over it with the white chalk paint, if you can still see the acrylic cloud underneath you will need to add another layer of white chalk paint. The acrylic colour should only be revealed when you sand back some of the white paint.
After the last painted layer has dried you can start sanding back some of the chalk paint, the harder you sand in some areas the more of the acrylic colour will show through. As you sand down the frame the higher areas or curves in the frame will be susceptible to more rubbing and you will see the acrylic paint through those areas more which help to highlight those raised areas. Try to sand in the same direction all over unless you want to create a more random cross-hatched look. Stop sanding when you are happy with the level of distressing done to the painting on the frame.
As my frame is destined for the wall I felt no need to wax or varnish it. Fix your black board base board into the back of the frame. You may wish to stop at this point and leave it how it is and gift the blackboard frame as a it is, or you may want to decorate it further. I chose to add silk/artificial flowers to my frame.
I was taught by my Nan to lay out the bulk of the leaves/foliage first as that forms the frame in which to support the flowers. I played around with the layout of the foliage and flowers and when I was happy with it I used a hot glue gun to stick them down. After I stuck down the flowers, I looked at the display from different angles and used leaves, small flowers and other fillers to fill in any gaps or areas that needed a finishing touch. Then, you are finished.
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you found something in this post useful. I would love to see what you have been making for Christmas, feel free to post your makes here or on the Facebook group.