April 27, 2017

Chalkboard Process

I'm gearing up for another exciting weekend at Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market. There you'll find me selling all my paper goods and original hand lettered chalk boards designed to make your home happy and pretty. A question I often get asked is if these chalk boards are stenciled or free handed and how it is I create these pieces so I thought I'd share a bit here about my process. 

The process for me starts by finding the right frame. I search high and low for good quality frames that have a uniqueness about them, whether its a small detail in the carvings, or the color of the wood, or an odd shape you wouldn't normally see. The fun part about this is the repurposing of these frames and making something seemingly ugly turn into something beautiful. 

Once I have a pile of frames to start working with, its a little bit of labor and love to get these to a quality thats no longer an eye sore. A lot of taking them a part, sanding out the flaws, giving them fresh coats of paint then sanding them down again to give them the rustic elegant feel I'm going for. I also like to stick to a color scheme so its appealing as you look at everything as a whole. Too many off colors can be kind of distracting in my opinion. So for this spring market I went for a lot of the neautral soft colors to go with the feel of the season. 

Next, is the sizing and cutting of the actual chalkboards all done by my amazing husband, thankfully! I get these mostly from home good stores or sometimes cut raw wood and paint black chalk paint on top. 

Since I was in jr. high I've loved to collect quotes. I kept a quote book all throughout college and still have piles of paper and notes on my phone of quotes that have inspired me. When the frames are done and the chalk boards are in, this is where the most fun happens for me! And to answer the much asked question from above, all of my work is free handed, no stencils whatsoever. 

Most of the time I start with paper and pencil sketching out ideas and designing a few quotes to see how I want to lay it out. Other times, I'll pick up a frame and just go for it by sketching it out with chalk first, playing with different lettering and ideas.

After I lay it all out on the chalk board and like the design, I use Posca chalk paint pens (my favorite) to draw everything on permanently. The paint from these pens flows really well, giving a rich opaque quality that I love. Once the piece is finished up I spray each piece with a clear matte varnish to seal everything in. 

So there you have it. Each piece is thoughtfully hand made from start to finish, created to last and bring beauty to your home. I love that I get to call this my job and that there are people out there that are being touched by and loving my work. 

If you're in town this weekend be sure to come by Westworld of Scottsdale and find me at booth 129 to grab one of these for yourself!

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