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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How To Download, Print and Frame A Chalkboard (Chalkboard Download Tutorial)

PLEASE NOTE: We do not have any affiliation with any printing companies mentioned in this post. There are many places to print large PDF files. The tutorial below is simply a guide to notify our readers and customers of the cheapest and easiest way that we have found to print 24x36 PDF files. This is the method we use to print our own chalkboard downloads. However, we cannot guarantee or stand behind the quality of another company's work--printing results will vary. Also, please be aware that a small number of Canadian customers have had issues uploading via this method.

Chalkboard art is everywhere these days! I am completely fascinated by it and want to keep playing around with it and try to get more creative with my lettering. I know there are a lot of people though, that enjoy it but don't necessarily want to spend hours working on just one quote so being able to download a chalkboard someone else has designed, print it out and pop it in a frame is a great alternative - especially if you like to change your art our seasonally or for different holidays. We just started offering our downloads a couple of weeks ago so only have a few options right now in our shop, but we have several more that are almost ready to go and a whole bunch more ideas in the works. Hopefully within a few more months we will have a wide variety for you to choose from for a whole bunch of different themes and events. 

Anyway, I've been promising to show you how I've been swapping out the chalkboard prints in this frame for the past week or two and finally was able to get it all written up last night so here it is!

Here is what you need for this project:
1 24 by 36" chalkboard print
Painters Tape
4 pieces of wood for the frame ( to work with these prints I recommend using two 28" long pieces and two 33" long  pieces)
1 large piece of wood (to work with these prints I recommend 24 inches by 36 inches)
chalkboard paint (optional)
stain (or paint) for frame
mending braces (I used 2" by 1/2" ones - there is a photo below of the exact ones I used)
screws (size 8 by 3/4 - I used a total of 6 - there is a photo below of the exact ones I used)

First, I am going to quickly show you how to upload the file online the Staples website. If you already know how to do that you can just scroll down and I will show the rest of the steps. We've gotten quite a few e-mails, though, asking how to do it so I thought it would be helpful to show step-by-step because it's hard explaining in an e-mail. I am sure there are other places that print engineering prints but I always use Staples. I actually don't use them for any of my other printed things, but for these engineering prints their price is great (a little over $3!) and it's easy to upload and then just go pick up the next day.

So, when you get to their website look on the left sidebar and find "Copy and Print" and then choose "Banners & Signs, Engineering Prints, and Oversized Prints":

 That will bring you here and click on "Engineering Prints":

Once you are there select the 24 by 36 size (if you forget it's okay you will be able to switch it later) and then click on "Design Now":

Now click "Add Files":

  then click "upload files" and choose wherever it is you downloaded your PDF file too then just click on that file:

Once it shows up click on the upload button (this is one of our Easter ones that we hope to have ready to go early next week!):

 Once it's loaded on the left side click Media and make sure you have the correct size and then click OK then click on orientation and make sure it's going the correct direction for the file you have uploaded. Then just add to cart and you are good to go! I always choose the option to "Pick up" vs. have it mailed to me and it will prompt you to choose the store nearest you. I didn't show those steps but they are easy enough to figure out.

Now that you have your print it's time to make your frame!
(some of the frame images are from our original make your own chalkboard tutorial).

Here are my boards. I had them cut to size at Lowe's. I used 1 by 4's (which are actually about 3/4" by 3 1/2"). Make sure your board that is going to be for the chalkboard is slightly larger than the size of your frame opening.

The first thing I did was paint my board with my chalkboard paint. PLEASE NOTE: this is not necessary if you only plan on using chalkboard printouts in this frame. Even though I already had two other framed chalkboards when I was making the new one sized for the prints, I still went ahead and painted the board with chalkboard paint so I would have the option of using it as a regular chalkboard later if I wanted to. 

While your paint is drying you can put your frame together. Here are the braces I used.

Just put the four pieces together and use the braces at each corner. I just used one on each corner (for a total of four) because I was doing it quickly. It was sturdier than I expected but if you wanted it to be extra secure I would recommend doing two braces on each corner for a total of eight.

Then either paint or stain your frame. I have made a few of these now and have stained two and painted two. So here is how it looks at this point (this is actually the first one I did not the most recent one as you can see from the Christmas tree in the background):

Now lay your frame down with the front side facing down:

Take your board and using painters tape (so that it can easily be removed without ripping the paper) start taping down the paper to the large board.

You can use as much or as little tape as you'd like. This is about how most of mine have looked:

Now flip it over and place it face down on the frame (I painted both sides of this board so I'd have more space to write new chalk art on):

Now it's time to attach the board. These are the screws I had on hand. There is probably something better you could use but they were the right size and they worked fine. FOR THIS PROJECT I ONLY USED SIX and put them in relatively lightly if that makes sense.

I just screwed them chalkboard onto the back of the frame. One in each corner and one in the middle of each of the longer sides. If you have a drill it will make it a little quicker but it's still pretty easy with just a good ol' screwdriver! This is an image from the tutorial a few months ago and for the permanent chalkboard so I screwed them in a little tighter. For this one (which I forgot to take a picture of) I did it a little looser so they'd be easier to quickly take out and just tape on a new print and pop the back right back into the frame. I have done it now about 6 or 7 times and it's really quick and easy!

 I just leaned mine up on my mirrored dresser but if you wanted to hang it you could always attach something so it could be hung!

And that's it! 

I hope you all are having a lovely week! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Joss and Main Event is Here and our February Donation

I am so excited! In just one hour (9PM EST) our third Curator's Event for Joss and Main goes live! I have thoroughly enjoyed our last two, but I have to say this one is my favorite! There are three different Swedish clocks that are going to be available! Keep in mind the one style we had last time sold out in the first minute of the sale. If you haven't already, make sure to sign up so you don't miss out!

Here is a peek from their look book on the Joss and Main website:

 I also wanted to share with you where our February donation will be going. This month we will be giving a portion of each sale to a wonderful new cause my cousin, Tamara and her boyfriend, Jeff started several months ago. I have been watching as she's been posting and have been amazed and so proud of what they are doing and this month we wanted to help out a little. Because this is something they just started four months ago I don't have a link to share but asked Tamara to tell a little bit about what it is they are doing:

Jeff and I started a monthly community outreach drive to feed the homeless in St. Louis. (In 2011, the largest numeric increase in families using emergency shelters was in St. Louis City. They reported an increase of 315 persons, a 34% change in the number of persons in families using emergency shelters. Most of these shelters kick families out during the daytime hours, leaving them no place to go.)

What started out as just making bagged lunches has spread to supplying personal hygiene products, clothing, and bus passes. At this time, we are making approximately 250 bagged lunches. In addition, we strive to supply each person with chapstick, lotion, wet wipes, kleenex, toothbrush and paste, feminine hygiene products, hats, gloves, and a bus pass.

Our goal is to continue serving those in our community that have come upon hard times by helping with some of their very basic needs. We really believe that this isn't just about "talking the talk", but "walking the walk". We think it is important to "Be Good To Each Other", because it is the right thing to do.

 Thanks, Tamara!

I hope you all have a fabulous evening!

Irish Eyes Print and Other Prints Back In Stock and our Joss and Main Event is TONIGHT!

First, I wanted to let you all know that our Joss and Main event goes live tonight at 9pm EST. Don't forget to sign up now if you haven't already. I'll be back later this afternoon or evening with a post showing some more of the items that will be in the event. This is definitely my favorite one so far!

Also, I wanted to let you know that we now have our "When Irish eyes are smiling..." 11 by 14 print now in stock! (The download is also available).

And we have also restocked our "I Love You..." prints

I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday! I'll be back in a few hours with more info on our Joss and Main event.

Monday, February 25, 2013

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling (St. Patrick's Day Chalkboard Download)

Being Irish, I thought it would be fun to do a little St. Patrick's Day vignette. First, I wrote first part of this song on a chalkboard. (The downloadable PDF file is now available in our shop).The girls have a little singing bear that my aunt sent last St. Patrick's Day and when you squeeze his hand it moves around and sings this song in a funny little voice. They think it's hilarious so when I told them what I wrote on here they both started laughing. Then Lillie chimed in, "I don't think Jason's going to let you sell this one, though, Mommy." Ummm, what? First, I tried to figure out why she thinks Jason's the boss =) and then I asked her why he wasn't going to let us sell it. She replied, "Because is says 'steals' and stealing is bad!" Of course, I assured her stealing someone's heart was a good thing.

I added some Bells of Ireland (paired with a few snapdragons) to a white pitcher.

And then made a little shamrock out of carnations. I will have a tutorial for that soon!

Above is the original chalkboard. Below is the PDF file downloaded from our shop and printed on engineering paper and framed. I am hoping to have a tutorial later this week on framing the chalkboard prints.

In preparation for two exciting things that are about to happen (one being Jamie's baby about to make her entrance into this world and the other one which we are still waiting on a few details to work out) I've been working like crazy to have quite a few blog posts ready. I still have to write the posts but I have photographed quite a few different things to share including two tutorials, three baking posts, three more new chalkboard designs, some new tufted chairs and some rearranging in our living room, and a new pillow. I also started working on some Easter decorating yesterday.

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Sunday!

I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Sunday! I'll be back tomorrow with a St. Patrick's Day Chalkboard!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Spring Forward Event and "...What a Wonderful World" Prints

I am so excited to let you all know that we partnered with Joss and Main again, and are hosting one of their curator's collection events next week. This is the third time we have done one and I have to say that I absolutely love getting to pick out tons of their gorgeous items to put together into a collection for them. If you don't already know about Joss and Main I highly recommend heading on over there and signing up! They offer all sorts of designer brands that go on sale at 20-50% off retail, but the deals are only available to members!

If you’re not signed up yet to get the emails announcing all the sales, here is a personal invitation from me* . There is a waitlist for joining Joss & Main, but by joining through this invitation link, you can bypass the waitlist and ensure that you are first in line when our event launches next week!  It is free, you just sign up with your email, and then you’ll have access to all of the designer decor that goes on sale each day.  *Note, I do receive a small referral fee if you sign up and purchase something, (this is true for you too, if you refer members you will also receive a credit for their first purchase).  
Our event is called Spring Forward and features all sorts of furniture and accessories including many of the items that sold out quickly during our last event with them, including the clock shown above!

Here is a sneak peek at some of my favorite items that will be in our collection:

I also wanted to let you know that we have restocked our "And I Think to Myself What a Wonderful World" prints!

We will have a St. Patrick's Day download and print for you early next week and will be restocking the "I Love You..." prints early next week as well.

Have a fabulous weekend!
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