One ridiculously happy girl's quest to do it all, one random idea at a time
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
When DH and I got married, we had decided on a very intimate wedding consisting of our immediate family only. It was a wonderful idea and made the day so special to be surrounded by our loved ones.
Since it wasn't your "typical" wedding, we had to find unique ways to do traditional aspects of the wedding, like our guest list. It seemed silly to have an entire guest book devoted to 12 signatures, plus I wanted something I could see everyday as a reminder of that special day. I saw something similar to this chalkboard "word find" as a random google image and was totally SOLD! The project occurred in many steps, but here is the finished result in our dining room:
(I cropped our last names out for privacy)
We started with a piece of 1/8" MDF that we painted with about three coats of chalkboard paint. After that dried, it was time to paint the letters for the word find on the board. I took advantage of a slow day at work to whip out a pencil and paper and write up about a bazillion different configurations for the lettering, making sure it fit each family member's first name, our wedding date, my maiden name and my married name. After re-checking for the umpteenth time for any accidentally hidden swear/dirty words or mistakes, I had a final draft. I then divided the board up equally for each line, making tiny marks with a pencil on each side, then taping regular thread all the way across, then vertically to make equally spaced squares to paint my letters within. This part was a little time consuming, but I wanted it perfectly symmetrical. I just used a simple paint pen and a steady hand (first time for everything...) to hand write the letters in. I liked the look of a handwritten board, it made it more personal.
We had a "Wedding Eve Dinner" (since we didn't need a rehearsal) with our family so we lugged this big floppy board into the restaurant where everyone was able to find and circle their names on the board. It was fun and everyone was excited for their turn!
After we got the board home (carefully!!!) we sprayed a sealer over the whole thing to keep the chalk from smearing. Of course we figured out the hard way that a matte finish was the most appropriate finish. After two WAY too shiny coats of one sealer, we bought the matte finish, sprayed it again and it worked like a charm.
Since the board was so floppy and thin, we decided to build a nice beefy frame for it to attach to for hanging. After a few sketches, we decided on a design and we DH began building. Here's the frame:
We put a layer of wood glue down on all of the wood, then laid the chalkboard facing upward, flush against the edge of the frame and on top of the support pieces (which we set just 1/8" back from the frame edge so that the board would lay flush). DH used small nails along the very edges to secure the board to the frame. We flipped it over and stacked a bunch of books on the back to help the board adhere to the support pieces. Once it was dry, DH attached the mitered trim pieces to the front (also offering further security to the board) then I painted the trim on the front and sides black.
To hang, DH secured a long wood strip to the studs in the wall and we just hooked the top of the board over the wood strip and screwed it into the wood strip from above. It's VERY secure! Here's a close-up and another shot of the finished product. We love it and get lots of compliments on it! It's a great reminder of our wedding and those who shared that special day with us.