Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pretty Playroom: Mod Alphabet Wall & Magnetized Chalkboard How-To

Note: this post has nothing whatsoever to do with today's holiday - see here and here about that if you're so inspired - though it's plenty saccharine in content. Consider yourselves warned - and, um, Happy Valentine's / Singleton Appreciation Day!

Of all the things I've been surprised to learn about myself via this stay-at-home-mom business, my ability to copy the creative projects of others has to top the list. I mean, just about anyone can come up with a new home decor idea, but it takes a real visionary to duplicate it step for step, right? Riiight?

(Quit your complaining about this soccer mom post, by the way - it has been One of Those Weeks here at Pretty HQ, complete with expiring washing machines & sick toddler, so you're getting my Pretty playroom crafts and you will like it. YOU WILL LIKE IT!!! GET OFF MY LAWN! We'll get back to shoes & such just as soon as my budget / will to live recovers.)


Anywhoo, still suffering from severe Pinterest-itis - and legitimately wanting to liven up the boring, blank walls of Master P's play area, since he's grown so much more aware of his surroundings lately - I recently went in search of alphabet wall decor. As always, the design challenge here was to find child-friendly decor that didn't singe my adult eyeballs with the Comic Sans cuteness of it all; given that our play space is part of our Austin-y, somewhat modern open area living room / kitchen / dining room area, something that visually appeals to kids & adults alike was key.

Enter the Paul Thurlby alphabet wall, as 100% plagiarized from inspired by The Tichenor Family's post; the framed letter pages are courtesy of this fab little book here:

Available here in book form; prints available here

Since this project is entirely someone else's idea, I'll re-direct you to her post for the directions, only adding my two tips: (1) an Exacto knife helps in dissecting the book, and I'd have your frames handy at that point as well to size your cuts correctly; and (2) here are some things that take less time than cutting, framing & aligning 26 letters: EVERYTHING.

Lost years of my life aside, I'm secretly delighted with how this turned out:

I left the messy counters as is just to keep it real, 'yo.

Our book edition came with a poster displaying the letters, which I laminated & posted at the wee CEO's eye level.
"P is for Pretty", obvs.
I'll bore you with a more comprehensive playroom re-do post once I get a few nit-picky details in place. Speaking of boring you with project ideas I've "borrowed". . .

Magnetized Chalkboard Directions (Subtitle: "I Can't Believe I'm Posting Craft Directions")

Since I was flooded - FLOODED! - with inquiries about that crafty little magnetized chalkboard I did up for our play area - if by "flooded" we mean a handful of you sorta asked - here's a brief how-to for this cheap & easy (insert Kardas*hian joke here) one:

Materials Needed
- 1 drip oil-pan (hardware stores & Walmart - eek- have these for approx. $10)
- 1 can chalkboard spray paint (sold in same section as the usual spray paint)
- 1 tarp to (1) conceal crafting shame & (2) lay under pan while spraying
- 1 fashion magazine, the snootier/less attainable, the better
- 1 block medium-grade sandpaper
- 1 package permanent mounting squares (I used these)
- bonus magnet materials: craft store wooden figures and adhesive magnet squares

Step 1: open "Vogue" or similar; pause to consider how much your life has changed PK (post-kid).

Step 2: sand top of oil pan thoroughly - you want to rough up the surface so the paint sticks better. Or something like that. It made sense at the time (see step 1).

Step 3: spray top of pan with one coat of paint. Wait 30 minutes or so, repeat.

Step 4: let dry for 24 hours, then run a piece of chalk sideways-like over board to ensure you've got enough paint layers on there.

Step 5: apply self-adhesive squares to back corners & center of pan to hang. Voila:

Step 6, if you're feeling ambitious: I slapped some adhesive magnet squares on the back of some wooden figurines from the craft store - yes, those places still give me the artificial flower-encrusted hives - and - presto! - magnets.

Again, this project was a combination of two other originals, so you may want to reference my original post/links for directions from people who actually appear to know what they're talking about vs. me.


Brilliant, right - or are you just dying to re-arrange that alphabet wall to spell "SOCCER MOM SELL-OUT"?


Belle on Heels said...

It looks fabulous, Martha Stew...I mean, Mel. Really, looks wonderful :)

ms. mindless said...

Love it! I am totally copying this one day.

Milltini said...

I am...beyond impressed!!!

Ashley Paige said...

i am tres jealous of your alphabet wall. truly.

What Kate Wore said...

I die.

Seriously, I saw the step-by-step, I can read, I looked at the pictures - I could *never* do this! You are amazing, I think it looks so wonderful! At the risk of being way (w-a-y) hackneyed (can one be this?), you are Prettifying the Planet, one wall (and child) at a time.

Sarah @ Bend it Like Becker said...

Holy freaking crap I am so amazed at how lined up they are! Wow! Oh and I lol-ed at your "EVERYTHING" remark. That is exactly what I was thinking!

I spent, honestly, an hour+ trying to hang a measly THREE shelves in our living room... I got so ragey I gave up and... DON'T TELL MY SPOUSE... super glued them to the wall!!!!

D @ Naptime in Suburbia said...

Is there a word for copying the copy, because I LOVE the alphabet wall (and Noah's nursery may or may not have all of two pictures on the wall). Love it!

Magnolia Blues said...

Very cool idea!!!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

it is fabulous!!! i so need a playroom so i can copy this!

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