Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DIY Cloud Chalkboard

One of the advantages of taking at least an hour to get to sleep every night is it gives me lots of thinking time.  Quite a long while ago, while I was laying in bed not sleeping, I got this idea to make a little trio of clouds for the office: A chalkboard cloud, a cork-board cloud and a magnetic or dry erase cloud.

This weekend I got my act [and all my materials] together to make my clouds.  This was an extremely cheap project because a] I borrowed my dad's jigsaw, b] I used leftover scrap wood and hardware.  But even if you don't have those things, you can still make this on the cheap.


I set up this extremely high-tech cutting station in our backyard. . .
Note: if you are using chairs or something similar, be sure you don't cut the chairs.  Just sayin'.
I free-hand drew my three clouds in pencil, but if that makes you nervous I'm sure you could use a template.  There are a million different ways to draw clouds.  I myself like them light and fluffy all the way around, but flat-bottomed clouds would be cool too.

TIP: Don't work with a dull jigsaw blade like I did.  Put in a new one and things will go much smoother.  It's also helpful to have someone to help you hold the wood in place while you cut.  It also helps to choose wood that doesn't have knots in it, as those can be messy to cut through.

One broken jigsaw blade and a trip to the hardware store later. . .
I had three clouds, one large and two small.  The wood I used was already mostly primed from a previous project, but this is the time would you would lay everything out and prime everything.  If you're making a cork-board cloud, you really only need to prime and paint the edges.

Once primed, give your chalkboard cloud two coats of chalkboard paint.  Paint your magnetic or dry erase cloud with the appropriate paint.  If you're doing a cork board cloud, lay the cloud on top of your cork board, trace around it and cut it out with a utility knife.  Glue the cork to your wood cloud [I just used tacky glue].

TIP: My utility knife was having a hard time cutting through all the cork.  I broke out a serrated kitchen knife to finish, which worked really well.  You can always give the edges of the cork a light sanding to smooth it out.

One your clouds are painted and corked, you can prepare to hang them.  I wanted my big cloud to stick out further from the wall than the other two, so I marked a couple lengths of wood and cut them. . .
I pre-drilled holes and screwed in wood screws to hold my backing pieces on.  Then I hammered in a metal picture-hanger into it, and also put a picture hanger in each of the other clouds. . .
Ready to hang!

CONFESSION: My little white cloud is neither magnetic nor dry erase.  I ended up just painting it white!  Chalkboard paint is way cheaper than dry erase and magnetic paint [which has to be professionally shaken, it WILL NOT mix by hand].

Stay tuned. . . tomorrow I'll post my completed little art corner, above which the cloud trio is hanging.


  1. love this! fyi: you can purchase dry erase wall cling ( like removable contact paper ) at walmart for super cheap! just cut it to fit your cloud!

  2. Oh sweet! Thanks so much for the tip Jess! I knew they sold chalkboard contact paper, but I didn't know you could get dry erase.

  3. no problem :) i would have never known if it was not for my daughter!!!

  4. btw - i saw rolls of chalboard and dry erase with adhesive on back at michaels as well :)