I can't get enough of the Olympics and am happy to welcome Rheney Williams who writes about DIY projects for The Home Depot to show you how to create a DIY Olympic Games Chalkboard the kids will love:
- Basic black chalkboard
- Frog tape
- Craft paper
- Metallic paint in gold, silver & bronze
- Blue chalkboard paint
- Piece of chalk
- Paper towels
- Hole punch
Although the Winter Olympics only happen every four years, being a good sport is an everyday necessity if you want to win in this game we call 'life!' And the best part is that you can transform this world-wide event into an opportunity for some good, old fashioned TV time with the family and teach your kids a little something about good sportsmanship in the process.
Don't get me wrong – competition is a part of nature and has been celebrated on a global scale since the first modern Olympics in 1896, so I am not knocking the concept of testing your strengths against those of others. I truly believe that a little bit of competition brings out the best in many of us because we are forced to dig deeper than we would without the challenge of someone else taking the prize.
At the same time, it also tends to bring out the worst in us when we lose. But let's face it: We all can't win everything all the time. That's why learning to lose gracefully is such a valuable skill in the highly competitive society in which we live. Notice I didn't say that learning to 'accept defeat' is the goal; if anything, losing should spur us on to do even better next time!
Let's apply that logic to a simple DIY Olympic Games chalkboard that you can make with your kids to keep track of all of the exciting events, medal winners, and highlights as they happen in Sochi: Why settle for boring black when you can glam it up with bright blue and shimmery metallics?
Here's how I went the extra mile with my Olympic chalkboard and hopefully it will bring out the best in you!
I started with a basic black chalkboard that you can pick up at a local crafts store. If you have Olympic-sized crafting ambition, you could also make your own by framing out a piece of plywood and painting that directly!
Since I'm sticking with my pre-made board, I moved right on to the taping portion of the event. I applied Frog tape all the way around the board where it meets the frame to protect it from the upcoming onslaught of spray paint.
After placing the tape, I covered the center of the board with a piece of craft paper and taped down the corners.
I took the board out to my screened-in back porch (just make sure you have a well-ventilated space like a patio or a garage with the doors open) and applied metallic silver paint all around the frame.
I love the little groove in the millwork – it's a nice touch that helps with the shimmery metallic reflection!
After that dried outside overnight, I started painting the board itself with my chalkboard paint.
I used Martha Stewart Craft's Blue Chalkboard paint and although thorough coverage required three coats, the end result is well worth it (in my opinion!).
While that dried (it needs to cure overnight before you can start using it as intended with the chalk), I sprayed three circle cut-outs I had made for a different project with gold, silver and bronze metallic paint to create my 'medals.'
When your board is ready to condition, take a piece of chalk and rub the long side over the entire surface of the board. This is what makes it a 'chalk' board and ensures a uniformly erasable surface and helps avoid the dreaded chalkboard 'stain' that happens sometimes when you use colored chalk.
After I wiped away the chalk with a paper towel, I assembled my medals by punching a hole near the top and threading a shimmery ribbon through so that they resemble real Olympic medals that are worn around the Champions' necks.
Finally, I draped the ribbons over the top edge of the board, taped them in place, and stepped back to check out the fruits of all of that labor. Pretty sweet, right?
Now your board is ready to keep tabs on daily events, competitors' times and scores and medals won by the various countries.
In addition to learning more about themselves through the sportsmanship angle of this project, you can also teach your kids about foreign customs and expose them to the world beyond the board! One idea is to focus on a different country each day during the Games and study different aspects of what makes that country unique and special in the grand scheme of the globe.
What color chalkboard paint are you going to use when you go for the crafting gold?
Rheney Williams writes about DIY projects for The Home Depot and helps readers with projects using materials available at a local store.