In our house colored chalk has magic powers. The white stuff is "OK", but for our two very vocal little people the colored chalk is KING! To say blood could be spilled over it may seem even more dramatic than normal coming from me, but we have had a close call or two over a coveted piece of purple chalk :)
That being said, it also has calmed countless situations. Offer to color with a perfectly pristine piece of purple chalk and heavens open up and magically the fight stops... usually :) See I told you the stuff is magical!!! And I get it, if you are old enough to remember chalkboards at school...and I am it was the coolest thing to get to write on them and cleaning the chalkboard was actually a fought over classroom chore. So I too am totally obsessed with the "chalkboard trend" and would paint the majority of the walls in my house with the stuff if my family wouldn't commit me to the nearest mental facility.
Because of this obsession, I've already made the kids several chalkboard's including the crib side chalkboard (tutorial here) that they LOVE! We need another chalkboard, like I NEED more shoes, but that doesn't mean I have plans to stop shopping (I mean really :) or that I won't take any opportunity to make another chalkboard :) I saw the idea of using an IKEA end table as a great kids table so I made one with my own twist as a birthday present for our adorable little friend.
IKEA is great, if not for the affordable furniture we would have had clothes in hefty bags and rested drinks on our knees for more years than I care to admit. But now with all my crazy projects we have phased out the IKEA pieces for some old gems, all accept this last end table so when we got invited to this 2nd birthday party and I knew I wanted to make something fun this seemed like the perfect project.
I knew I wanted to sink a container into the table top to hold chalk and an eraser for easy cleanup, but instead of putting that in the center as I've seen others do I decided instead on a corner so that it would leave a bigger solid space for coloring. I used a stainless steel kitchen utensil canister, but you could use anything with a thick edge or lip so that it will have something to rest on. Once you pick a spot for the container trace around the bottom with a pencil.
Now, drill through the table just inside the edge of your circle, this gives you a space to insert your jig saw.
Cut around the line and you now have a spot for your container.
The next step is REALLY important! I'm normally a "no prime" kind of girl. I just hate to waste the time with the step on most projects, but for this project it is necessary to help the paint to stick and the chalkboard to work properly.
So prime the entire table, top and legs. You can use spray paint primer or brush on, I just happened to have a left over can of primer so I used that.
I wanted the table to be a bright fun piece for his play room, so I set the table on its top and painted the sides, legs and underside bright red.
The color of choice... Krylon Cherry Red.
For the chalkboard top, instead of using spray chalkboard paint like I have in the past I wanted to try this time to make my own. I'm so glad that I did because it really is so easy. You need non-sanded grout you can find this at home depot for about $6 which will be enough to paint your entire town in chalkboard paint.. so share it with a friend or go nuts and paint away! The only other ingredient is paint, so pick any kind of paint in any color. I had some black craft paint so I went the traditional color route.
To make it, the common recipe is 1 cup of paint and 2 tablespoons of non sanded grout. Since I didn't need a lot for this small table I used 2, 2 ounce containers of craft paint (that's 4 ounces or half a cup) and 1 heaping tablespoon of the grout mixed in a cup. The only secret I found to perfect this simple recipe is to put your grout in a cup with a little water, just enough to stir and dissolve the grout and remove the clumps then add the paint and mix it up.
Two good coats, just to make sure the the entire table top is completely covered.
Once it's dry you can use a little light sand paper to sooth out any bumps.
Next, rub a piece of chalk on its side across the entire surface then wipe it clean with a damp rag.
Finally, I put a light layer of glue on the underside of the metal container and pressed it down into the hole and then glued on a few glittery letters to personalize it for our little buddy!
And ta-dah here it is all ready for the birthday boy.
I'm excited about how it turned out, and a bonus no wrapping.. thank goodness because I'm so bad at that :)
Inside the canister I stuffed it with colored tissue paper, white and colored chalk, some safety scissor and stickers just for fun.
I also added a personalized eraser to finish it off.
Hopefully he has as much fun with it as I had making it for him.
This idea would work on any old end table, so grab one from your garage or hit up your local thrift store and make one today.