One of the very first projects that I shared on this blog was how I turned a cabinet door into a chalkboard for our laundry room. It was a project I loved and it seemed like a cute way to kick things off here. On it, I simply wrote “Welcome”.
Welcome to my home, to my life and to this blog.
It was the very beginning of EVERYTHING and I wasn’t sure if I could even write a blog let alone get this one word looking right. I was pleased that it looked fairly neat and I had another post written.
Fast forward a year plus several months later and that sign still says “Welcome”. And I’ve been wondering if there’s something more that I can do with it. So when Young House Love and Bower Power announced that it was time for their Spring Pinterest Challenge, I knew it was time to update my chalkboard.
The Pinterest Challenge this season is hosted again by Sherry Petersik and Katie Bower and this time they are partnering with Emily from Sparkle Meets Pop and Renee of Red Bird Blue. The goal is to get everyone to put their own unique twist on something that they’ve pinned.
Dana Tanamachi is hands down one of my favorite artists. You may have seen her artwork at West Elm or on the cover of Oprah Magazine. She is a hugely talented hand letter artist and does stunning things with chalk.
Following Dana’s lead, I am combining two popular trends and hoping to create subway art with chalk.
There are loads of tutorials on Pinterest of how-to create subway art and chalk lettering. A few that I referenced were here, here and here. However, I found My Sweet Savannah’s post to be the most helpful.
I began brainstorming laundry room words: soap, bubbles, clean, iron… you get the idea.
Then I used Adobe Illustrator to help me create a subway art design with those terms. There are a lot of programs online that you can download to use, but since we already own Adobe Illustrator, I went with that. Sometimes being married to a graphic designer and illustrator has it’s perks.
AI works like several of the online design programs. It’s a matter of typing in your words, playing with fonts and sizing and moving the words around until you have a layout that you like. Seriously, I may be married to a graphic designer and illustrator, but I am not one. I was able to easily figure this out by just playing around to see what happens.
That was the easy step.
This next part would, as my son says, separate the pretenders from the contenders. That is, I had no idea if I could actually get the chalk lettering down the way I had designed it.
I was hoping to use an image projector to help in this process. However, once I started pricing them out and realized we were looking at a few hundred dollar investment, I decided I would need to consider other options.
My chalkboard space is 17.5 inches square. I printed the design off on to two 11 x 17 sheets of paper that I could overlap and leave myself with a half inch border.
You can also take your image file to a local print shop and have it printed on one sheet, but I wanted to see if I could do this challenge completely free and the legal size paper worked.
Once I taped the two sheets together, I rubbed chalk over the entire back of the paper. I then flipped the design over so that the chalk side was against the chalkboard and taped it down to keep it from shifting.
I was able to carefully trace the outline of the letters to get a copy of my subway art transposed onto the chalkboard.
I then began the process of going over the letters and filling them in… one letter at a time.
At first, I thought all the hand lettering would take forever, but it was oddly therapeutic and went quickly. I had the added benefit of being able to take the cabinet door off the wall and work on the floor, moving the board all around.
I also used Q-tips and a touch of water to “erase” and clean up any areas that needed a little extra help.
Unfortunately, there is no natural light in our laundry room, so this photo is not ideal. But I am beyond thrilled with the final artwork.
I still can’t believe it worked the way I had hoped. Tyson keeps asking if I need to seal it so the image doesn’t get smudged or lost, but I would gladly come up with something new, if the need or inspiration strikes.
Speaking of inspiration… it’s party time. Time to check out all the great links that are being shared at the Spring Pinterest Challenge. There is sure to be tons of inspiration and more things to pin. I’ll be linking up at:
Have you ever done chalk art or hand lettering? Are you participating in the Spring Pinterest Challenge? Ever take on a project and wonder if you would find yourself a pretender or a contender? That kid cracks me up!
For even more inspiration, check out these blogs that I’ll also be sharing this post at: