Friday, July 16, 2010

Well, that only took 2 and a half months. [Tutorial]

Back in May I was over at Wendy's cruising her always creative posts when I got all inspired and mouthy over chalkboard paint and the associated markers and OH WHAT I WOULD DO with those things if I got them alone in a dark closet...wait, no, that was Hot Spock...OH WHAT I WOULD DO with those things if I had them in my house and near my bulk dry goods.

Yes. That's more like it.

(But really, isn't Hot Spock hot? Especially when he's slicing people's heads off on HEROES? Plus, funny. Sheesh - the hotness.)

Anyway, my closet is still Hot Spock-free, but I did finally triangulate the perfect combination of brush-on chalkboard paint (neater than the spray kind), chalk paint pens and AHA! chalk.

Yes, I had to buy actual chalk. I will tell you in a minute.

Anyway, I got them all in my house recently (minus Spock, sadly) and then had my filthy way with them. In the sense that when I was done, there was some paint on my hands and I had to throw away some tape and, well, there was a bit of a mess BUT THAT'S OK because now my cupboards look like this:

Also, what kind of person has currants in their cupboard? Freak.

I should have taken a "Before" photo, so that you could see how they looked just like boring recycled jars full of mysterious unknowable items (walnuts, almonds, pasta - who can recognize these things without labels?), but I bet you can just imagine it. You have so much practice at imagining things when I tell you to already anyway.

So, how did this all come to be? Let me tell you.

Recycled Dry Goods Containers


A variety of recycled glass jars with lids, labels removed
Chalkboard paint
Foam sponge brush
Chalk Ink pens
Painter's tape

To make
With your first jar, find a flat space on the side of the jar and, with your painter's tape, mark off a good sized rectangle.

Do this for all your jars.

Then, with your foam sponge brush, paint on a single layer of chalkboard paint, making sure not to leave any areas too thin.

Do this for all your jars.

Let them sit for about 30 minutes, or until the stuff seems dry to the touch. I think the paint container had the nerve to suggest leaving it overnight or for three days or some bullcrap, but you know I totally ignored that. What? Am I made of three days? No.

Remove the painter's tape carefully from all jars.

NOW you get to wait three days. Which wasn't my favorite news, but, as it turned out, was just fine because I had to pack for our trip to SoCal and had finally used up my last procrastination strategy by painting these jars when I was supposed to be finding my iPod headphones.

Also, running in SoCal was sucky. Since when is it humid in California? Yet another reason that SoCal is a different state than NorCal. Also, so many palm trees. And Mickey Mouse. Barf.

Moving on.

When you're back from LA, or wherever you travel at random to watch baseball games, get out your regular old chalk and, instead of writing, "School makes me puk [sic]" on your elementary school's handball court (name the childhood book that I can't believe just popped into my mind), scribble it across the painted part of your jar.

Fill it all in. Using the flat side works best, I found. After doing it like this once. Oops.

When you've covered it completely with your regular chalk, wipe it off with a towel or Bubba's shirt. It is now ready for writing with the chalk ink pen. FINALLY.

Before chalk. After chalk. You get it.

Get your pens out, realize you got the "Earthy Tones" ones, curse yourself for being so retarded as to not buy a WHITE one, begrudgingly choose the yellow one and start labeling your jars IF you can identify their contents.

Thankfully I didn't run across too many mystery items.

Then, because you're suspicious of all things that seem amazing and useful at the same time, test out the wipe-offable-ness of the ink.

Yup. Totally comes off.
Yup. Totally goes back on again.

Do all of your jars.

Then line them up in the cupboard and imagine everything else that needs chalkboard paint RIGHT NOW. Fight the urge to paint the cat.

Then celebrate the moment by Googling images of Zachary Quinto and ignoring the one of him in a sexy man-embrace with whoever that dude is.

Then cheer yourself up after that bummer of a photo you couldn't ignore by looking at one of your Hot Husband.


  1. Great idea...but I don't have anything sitting around in glass jars.
    I guess that could be my summer project, gathering things in glass jars, so I could label them like Finny does.

  2. Damn you! I'd managed to resist the allure of chalkboard paint until now. This just might do me in, though. There's nothing I love more than organizing and labeling things. No, really. Sure, you wouldn't know if from looking at 90% of my house but the 10% that is organized was done with love.

    Er, so what I'm trying to say is nice job.

  3. What a great idea! I might need to find that chalkboard paint that I insisted we MUST buy and then never used ...

    I tried to convince the town the other night at a meeting that we should paint the tops of the picnic tables with chalkboard paint. Someone keeps writing on them with terrible, terrible things. I said we should paint them with chalkboard paint and put a bucket of chalk on the top. They didn't go for the idea. I liked it. I thought it was brilliant. ;-)

  4. We have currant juice in our freezer. Does that count?

    I will most assuredly not be doing this, as crafty, organize-y stuff isn't really my scene, but I very much enjoy seeing the neatness other people manage to produce. Well done, Finn. As usual.

  5. It's brilliant finny! And now you don't have to worry about your labels washing off! Very, very cool.

  6. I'm officially mad at you right now. Because do I "need" chalkboard markers when the hub has been laid off and I am mere grad student? No, I do not. Do I hate that the real chalk totally messes up the pretty that is my chalk wall in my kitchen with its dusty nastiness. YES.

    I bought them.

  7. I really wanted to do like...part of a wall like this. Seriously. I have the stuff-- I'm fighting the urge. Because somehow...I think it would be fun to draw on my walls. For no reason.

  8. That looks fantastic! I actually like the yellow writing better than the white. I think it looks classier.

    Also, I love your mason jars that actually have flat space in between the embossed bits. Awesomeness.

  9. Claudia - Yikes. That prospect is a tad frightening. I mean, what if there aren't any jars left?

    SourKraut - It's a fine pasttime organizing and labeling things. And I'll tell you what - this was a highly satisfying project in the Label Everything department. Even with the yellow paint.

    Lera - That IS a brilliant idea. I mean, SERIOUSLY FUCKING BRILLIANT. All picnic tables should be this way. Lera - seriously - just go out there and do one table and see what happens. That would be the coolest thing to have at a playground.

    *Sigh* Why must everyone be so short sighted?

    Jana - Try it! And then send me pictures.

    Kris - Yes. I realized this my Crazy in action. I'd be shocked if anyone else actually went through this process. Though I'd at least feel good knowing there was another psycho like me out there, anal retentively organizing their dry goods.

    Anna - And I can change them as often as I like! Which might start to get confusing but at least I'd get to use the pen a lot and that's really what I'm after.

    Jen - As you should have. They're awesome!

    I was opposed to all this chalk paint business until I realized there was something other than dusty messy chalk I could use. Now? LOVE IT.

    So much.

    Sara - That WOULD be fun. Why, may I ask, are you stalling?

    Wendy - I didn't know chalk paint could be classy! Awesome! I still want the white though. I'm trashy like that.

  10. Love it! This would be perfect for our green coffee roasting since the type changes all the time.

  11. Oooohh!! Now I want to try!

    After all, it's ever so much more elegant than my current sharpie-on-masking tape system....


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