Thursday, 27 March 2014

How to make those awesome Chalkboard Signs- the easy way

If you've fallen madly in love with the gorgeous fad of chalkboard lettering like I have, but don't have the typography ~skillz~ of Dana Tanamachi, then perhaps I can help.

I made this chalkboard sign completely from scratch for less than $5.

How to:
You will need:
-a piece of plywood (I got this almost cardboardy stuff at Home Depot for about a dollar per 2'x2' piece)
-a sample size of black (or any colour, really) matte paint+primer- around $5 at Home Depot
-about a tablespoon of unsanded grout (mooched some off my cousin)
-chalk. Any chalk. I got a buttload sized box from target for just over a buck.
-paint pens (eBay. A dollar each. AND they come in lots of colours.)
-your design printed out to size (you may need to use multiple pages and tape them together)
-a pencil (and a sharpener, because it's going to get reaaaally dull.)

The doin':
1. Thoroughly mix the grout with the paint and then paint your plywood, making sure to give it a good coat. Let it dry overnight.
2. Print out your design at full size. You can make your own, or use the free printable below.
3. Rub chalk all over the BACK of your printed design.
4. Being careful to keep your design straight, place it ink side up/chalk side down on what is now your chalkboard.
5. Using a pencil, colour with firm pressure over the printed portion of your design- this will transfer the chalk onto the chalkboard. (This is a good task to do with your partner(s)- which also makes it go much faster)
6. You should now have a faint copy of your design on your chalkboard. Mist it lightly with hairspray. This will keep the chalk from moving around too much.
7. Go over your design with the paint pen to make it brighter and more permanent.
Tuh duh!

The printable:
 All of the fonts (including the frame) came from either or were stock fonts in Photoshop.
If you plan to share this printable, please link back to me.

Now you can create as many chalkboard signs as you want!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Clean ALL the things! (With just one make-it-yourself, environmentally friendly cleaner)

So I know that I haven't posted in ages- I do apologize.

I spent two weeks in Indonesia on a buying trip for the shop.

I went through some less-than-pleasant medical things.

I've been so busy with planning the wedding.

But now that the sun is out and I have more energy, I am going to try really hard to be back!

I'll try to come up with tutorials as often as possible.

So here's one that's not-so crafty and more-so homey.

Make-It-Yourself Environmentally Friendly Multi-surface Cleaner for cheap (like 2 dollars cheap):

Notice how I changed it to "Em Works"? Yeah. Cause I'm witty like that.

So first off, you're going to need a spray bottle with a mist setting. I used the bottle that the expensive brand of all natural home cleaner came in... and I shall never go back to that stuff. If you need to buy a spray bottle, you can find them at the Dollar store or any gardening store.

Then you're going to need to collect your ingredients:

Don't you just love my retro vinyl counter tops?

Hydrogen Peroxide- Safe to have around food, kills germs. Win. -$2 for the whole bottle. I also use it to whiten my teeth. Love this stuff.
White Vinegar- Kills germs. -$4 for the entire jug, so I used maybe 50 cents worth.
Essential Oil- Makes it smell better than just vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide. - This is the fancy stuff that I get directly from an organic plantation in Bali, but you can get essential oils for like $5 a bottle. My few drops would probably be about 10 cents worth.
All-natural dish soap- I have yet to figure out how to make my own. If anyone has a recipe, I would love to try it! - $3 for the whole bottle, so maybe 10 cents for the tiny squirts.

Now to mix it all together.
Squeeze a couple of squirts of the dish soap into the bottom of the spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oil (the more you add, the more scent it will have. I don't mind the vinegary smell, so I only add a few drops per batch). Pour in about 2/3rds of a 500 ml bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and then fill the rest with vinegar.

Shake shake shake. Shake shake shake. Shake your cleaner. Shake your cleeeeaaaaner.

Now you can use this on your kitchen counters, stove (especially nice since if you get it on your element burners it doesn't smell like death when you turn your stove on the next time), inside your microwave, on your bathroom surfaces, on the floor, on your glass coffee table, inside your fridge... the list goes on and on.

I spray this stuff all over my kitchen, leave it for a minute (especially if I have delicious dried-on gunk on the stove) and then go ahead and wipe it away. It seriously takes care of EVERYTHING.
When I have pans with crud burnt on to them, I dust a little bit of baking soda on them and then spray them with this, leave them over night, and the burnt crap all just lifts away.

It is my miracle. It makes cleaning the kitchen not a giant chore. It makes cleaning the bathroom not a giant chore. It makes cleaning not a giant chore.

So for around TWO DOLLARS for the entire bottle (which even with my addiction to the stuff lasts for like four months) you've got almost every cleaner you could ever possibly need.

Try it out and let me know how you like it!