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Family Craft Ideas

with Leah

I'm Leah--wife, mother, editor, writer, photographer, and rickrack apologist. There's craftiness in my DNA, but between the kids and my work and the house and the television and my blogs (http://www.agirlandaboy and http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workingonmotherhood, among others), I have to keep my projects quick and easy if I hope to finish them before my boys (born December 2008 and July 2012) graduate from college. You're a working mom and you're busy too, but if you still want to get your craft on, join me here for some fun projects!

A No-Mess Chalkboard Summer Fun List

Categories: markers, paper

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I’ve always wanted a chalkboard wall, but in addition to having nowhere to put one, my husband also rightly pointed out that the last thing we need in our house is something that generates more dust. Wise man, that. But ooooooh, I still wanted one, and especially after I saw this idea from a home tour in an issue of HGTV magazine.

I love when my to-do list is full of fun things rather than chores, and I love the idea of taking that list and making it piece of family art for a few months of the year. I also love that I found a way to recreate this project in five minutes and without any paint or chalk dust.

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What you’ll need:

  • Roll of chalkboard contact paper
  • Bistro marker(s)
  • Scissors
  • According to the calendar, summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, but I like to get a jump on the season as soon as possible, since it never seems to last long enough here. Even if your kids still have a few weeks left of school, spend some time this Memorial Day weekend brainstorming the kinds of activities you’re looking forward to. Putting together a master Summer Fun list will not only help get everyone excited for the months to come, it will also make sure you don’t get to the end of summer and realize you never went on a picnic/camped in your backyard/fed the ducks at the lake.

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    So: chalkboard contact paper. Did you know this existed? It’s not exactly the same as having a real chalkboard wall, but it’s a great alternative if you can’t or don’t want to make that permanent of a commitment or if, like us, you want to avoid the extra effort and mess of the real deal. I got my roll of chalkboard contact paper on Amazon. (Shh…I kind of want to buy a dozen rolls and wallpaper an entire room.)

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    Also new to me are these so-called bistro chalk markers. They work on regular chalkboard as well as this chalkboard paper, they wipe away without creating a cloud of dust, and they come in a handful of colors. I got mine at a local craft store, but Amazon has some great four-packs with fun colors. They do smudge pretty easily if you’re not careful, but they’re a fun little tool to have around and kids will dig them.

    To make a chalkboard Summer Fun list, I cleared off the side of the refrigerator cabinet (usually taped up with layers and layers of kid art) and took a rough measurement of how long I wanted my list to be. Then I rolled out my chalkboard paper on the dining room table and drew a border, which I used as a cutting guide.

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    The next step is peeling off the backing and getting the list on the wall. I had to do a little futzing, and it certainly would have been easier with two people, but eh, let’s not call it lopsided and full of bubbles and instead say it has unique handmade charm.

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    From there, all I had to do was add my list. If your kids can write, they can be in charge of this part while you sit back with a glass of lemonade. In retrospect, I should have made a draft list on a regular piece of paper first, since the more ideas I put down, the more ideas I got, and by then I had run out of room. I’m actually going to wipe the whole thing clean and start over in smaller writing so I can pack more stuff in. It’s going to be a fun summer.

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    What will be on your Summer Fun list?



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