September 26, 2013

Shim & Crib Chalkboard Makeover

Happy Thursday friends!
We've almost made it through another week :) 

I wanted to pop in and follow up with some DIY-goodness after my fall mantel reveal!! 
Remember my centerpiece that graced the top of that yummy fall display??

I'm just in love with it. 
But like I said in my initial post, you'll never guess what it started out as!!

One of my favorite things to do is take a roadside cast-off and create something beautiful with it. 

So let's cut the suspense and see where this beauty came from, kay? 
Check it out!!

Are you amazed? 
I saw this guy sitting on the side of the road and instantly only saw it's pretty curves. 
(I know, I"m weird.)

And yes, it is the end of a laminate, plexiglass crib. 
Hubby was shaking his head at me too but he's learned to wait and see what happens :) 

I knew as soon as I lugged it home that I wanted it to be the star of my fall mantel. 
I guess it's quickly becoming a trend for me, considering my spring mantel also had a roadside rescue as it's centerpiece. 

First things first, hubby knocked the plexiglass out from the frame for me. 
It was a tough opponent but we won :) 

The next thing to do was to figure out what to cover the frame with. 
I knew I didn't want to just paint the existing frame, I didn't want to fight the laminate or the multiple holes in it. 
So I went to one of my favorite supplies...

Of course, my shims :) 

I've used shims in lots of projects such as here and here

They are the best and I love using them for all kinds of projects. They're easy to cut, stain, paint...whatever you could want. 
For this project, I wanted to keep the curves of the frame but not add a lot of weight. 
And I wanted all kinds of texture :) 

Enter, shims.  

Hubby cut them all down for me after laying them on the frame to measure what we needed. 
The thin ends of the shims are easily cut through with emergency shears but the thicker ends required the table saw (hubby loves any excuse to use it!).

As he cut them, I laid them on the frame to make sure they were fitting where they needed. I wanted a little overhang in the middle of the frame to add a more unfinished, rustic feel.
But in order to keep the curves up top, the ends had to match up on the outside edge. 

Use a sander to make all the edges nice and smooth. 

After cutting all the pieces and laying them on the frame, it was time to adhere them to it. 
You could use liquid nails if you want a permanent hold but I'm super impatient and didn't have any on hand. 
So hot glue did the trick for me :) 

Before adding all the shim pieces, I had to slice off a couple inches of the 'feet' on the frame so it wouldn't be too tall to sit on my mantel. 
A quick run through the table saw did the magic for me. 

Here's what it looked like after adhering all the shim pieces to it...

To keep the curved edges at the top, hubby used a jigsaw on the thicker ends of the shims after tracing the shape from the frame onto the shim with a pencil.
I used emergency shears to cut through the thin shims for rounded edges.

I wanted a very textured look so I varied the thick and thin edges of the shims throughout the frame. Love, love, love the texture it gave! 

After gluing all the pieces on, I gave the entire frame a coat of gold spraypaint. 
It transformed it beautifully. 
The gold almost looks like stain over the wooden shims but glimmers in the light, casting a gorgeous color. 

I did two light coats over it and the wood grain of the shims still shone through in most areas. 

For the chalkboard, I cut a piece of thin particle board to fit the back of the frame. 
A few coats of chalkboard paint covered it perfectly. 

I used my air compressor and staple gun to put several staples along each side of the chalkboard directly into the wooden frame.
Worked like a charm. 

Then all I had left was to find the perfect fall saying for it. 
I found this emily bronte quote in a quick google search and instantly fell in love with it. 

I used my Silhouette to cut it out in various fonts in white vinyl. I didn't want to mess with tracing it onto the chalkboard and since the vinyl is easily removed, if I get bored I can change it out easily :) 

Isn't the texture of the golden shims beautiful against the chalkboard? 
I was in love!!

I have a fun little trick to show you with this guy when I decided to use it for my daughter's  party. 
I'll be sharing that soon :) 

But doesn't it look perfect as the star of my mantel??

I love that it can be easily incorporated into decor for any season... as long as you change out the quote :) 

Are you as amazed with it's transformation as I am??

Take a look at how far it came!!

And just so you know,
the idea for this chalkboard didn't come to me all at once. 
Sometimes that happens and I can completely envision what it will be... but this guy I had to look at several times and just really problem solve through it. 

I knew I wanted a chalkboard from the beginning....that was the easy part.
But figuring out how to cover it, what colors to use & what it would exactly look like came to me in pieces. 
So don't worry if you grab something & don't know exactly what will happen with it. 

Sometimes it helps to let it just sit for a bit while you stare at it and dream up all kinds of things :)

What do you think?
Did my roadside rescue turn out amazing? 
I don't think you can convince me otherwise :) 

I"ll be back soon with a few more DIY projects from my mantel!!
Hope you have an amazing rest of the day, my friends!!

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  1. i really do love this!!! im always inspired by your thriftness and visions of roadside cast aways. i've got a silhouette on the way, now all i need is a saw and a nail gun and i can do the same kind of projects!!!

  2. The shim crib chalkboard makeover is a stroke of genius, turning a simple piece into a versatile gem. Gaming With Nordvpn Its dual purpose as a crib and chalkboard fosters creativity and functionality.


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