I always admired Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie window displays. They’re always so creative. So once, back in Houston, when I saw that some things they used for displays were on sale, I jumped at the opportunity. One was a painted plywood troll that’s taller than the ceilings of my current house, and the other was a raw piece of plywood shaped like a guitar.
Something like a million years later, I decided to turn it into a chalkboard for Tobias’ room. I assume you don’t have a piece of plywood shaped like a guitar hanging around the house, but you can always mimic the idea with a plain rectangle, or try your luck at advanced jigsawing.
1. Prep the wood surface by filling any holes and sanding. Then, paint. I liked this color so much that I bought it before I knew what project it’d be used for.
2. Trace outer edges. I just rubbed the crayon’s side along the sides of the wood.
3. Freehand draw inlay, cut out, trace onto craft plywood.
4. Apply liquid nails, smooth over with a spackling knife.
5. Use a vice or something heavy to keep it in place while the adhesive dries. During this time, I also planned out how the chalk would attatch to the board.
6. Drill small holes for the strings.
7. Use a pipe cleaner to help shove the twine through.
8. I abandoned this project for several months, as I couldn’t figure out what to use so that the chalk would lay horizontal. During my craft clean up, I came across a business card holder that was left behind by our Houston real estate agent, Judy St. Julien. It was perfect! I used wood glue to adhere.
9. When it came time to hang, I bought these guitar hooks and painted them black, to match my son’s room.
10. All hung!
Tobias uses the chalkboard to make a mark every time he spends 10 minutes practicing his guitar. Once he reaches a certain amount of marks, he gets a treat! Though he’s the one who wanted to begin to learn the guitar, learning something new is tough. And it’s really tough to start new habits, practice something that you’re not quite good at yet, and stick with it. I don’t usually use incentives as a parenting technique, but once he’s in a habit it’ll be much easier (and far less painful) for him to keep going.
It looks cool and it’s practical.