Tag Archives: chalkboard

Quick & Easy Chalkboard Picture Frames

DIY Chalkboard Picture Frames - DesignLively

You can’t buy happiness.

It’s true.

But you can buy a $5 can of chalkboard spray paint.

And that’s pretty good too.

DIY Chalkboard Picture Frames - DesignLively

While my hubster was buying car parts, I walked myself over to Home Depot to pass the time.

I bought some chalkboard paint on a whim.

When we got home I found these chunky plastic blue frames from Target that I had in college.

I was going to give them away, but once I saw them lying in the discard pile I knew they would be great to draw on since they are so wide and smooth.

DIY Chalkboard Picture Frames - DesignLively

A few swipes later and the frames have been reborn!

I love finding new ways to display photos, and with a trick as simple as this, who says you can’t buy a little piece of happiness?

Art Stalking: Dana Tanamachi


I have a thing against bucket lists.

Call me crazy, but when I make lists I really like to cross the things off. More than actually accomplishing anything. If I could live in chaos, but have a crossed-off to-do list I would. Fortunately for the general sanity of everyone around me, that’s impossible.

HOWEVER, recently I’ve been thinking of making a 30 by 30 list. You know, 30 things I’d like to do before I’m 30.

My list wouldn’t include anything superfluous (like “Meet Justin Beiber – squeal!”) but more things I feel like I should have a handle on before I part with my twenties.

Things like…. Know how to cook a full turkey.

Learn how to blow dry my hair with the round brush like my hairdresser always does. And makes it look so darn easy. Does she have three arms?

Have better handwriting.

Ahh yes, handwriting. Which brings us to today’s topic. Handwriting. A lost art.

I despise my handwriting. I am a graphic designer. I work with and examine typography every day.

All this is to say, I recently stumbled upon chalk handlettering artist Dana Tanamachi. My new HERO!


It’s unbelievable. The precision. The shading. The composition.


I would love to spend more time practicing my own handwriting, and also learning handlettering like this.

Excuse me while I swoon over this typography. Normal, right?


Even Oprah is impressed. And that chick has seen everything.

Dana designed the February 2012 cover for O Magazine.

And she did the West Elm winter catalog too.


I’m trying to decide where in my house I could put a huge chalkboard to practice.

My little one in the kitchen will have to suffice for now.

And just because:



Consider me officially inspired.

I’m glad I have a few years before thirty because I have a lot of handwriting practice ahead of me.

Be sure to check out Dana Tanamachi and some of her time-elasped videos at her website.

DIY Chalkboard and a Blue Kitchen

Chalkboard, chalkboards everywhere!

Chalkboard paint exploded onto the scene a few years ago, and many crafters have been incorporating chalkboards into their homes, particularly their kitchens. It’s kind of kitschy, but I like it!

(Although I do not understand why people put chalkboard paint on their kitchen tables. Seriously? Chalkboard dust on your food? Dust on your sleves everytime you grab the salt? No thanks.)

A few months ago I found this (lovely) framed print on the side of the road. The frame and glass were in good condition so I snatched it. (A frame this size would probably cost around $30 new so I will gladly accept the creepy kitties.)

I disassembled the frame, tossed the print but kept the (pink and purple – yikes) matting.

I picked up a can of white spray paint and chalkboard spray paint from Home Depot.

I spraypainted the frame white with several thin and even coats.

As well as the glass. Yes, the glass. Read the back of the can to make sure, but the kind above will stick to glass. Using glass is also a sure way to get a smooth chalkboard surface. I originally tried this project on a canvas and it didn’t work at all because the texture looked terrible.

Then I re-assembled the frame with the glass and the ugly matting on the back. I needed to use the matte so the glass was held snugly into place.

To add a little bit of character I made a paper bunting and hung it over the frame.

Leaving me with a chalkboard the perfect size to fit underneath my kitchen cabinets where my fridge was originally supposed to go. Ta da! The perfect spot to write grocery lists and last minute notes!

Oh, what’s that you say?

Yes, that is my newly painted BLUE kitchen!

Taking me from this… (remember that weird spot for the gnome sized fridge?) and… (do you remember the crazy old wallpaper?)

to this!

Still no cabinet doors! But it’s progress.

We chose Valspar’s Astral in satin finish. I really like it. It’s a chalky, cloudy blue and it will look great with our white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Now I just need to get on those cabinet doors….

Do you talk the talk or walk the walk or chalk the chalk?