jacob's chalkboard.

My 7-year-old nephew Jacob loves to draw, especially with markers. So when I first heard about chalk markers (via this post), I knew that they would be a perfect birthday gift for him.

Katie and Vince are slowly refinishing their basement, so I knew that there would likely be lots of large wall space that I could fill up with a big chalkboard. I talked to Katie about my idea and about how big she wanted it to be. She said as long as I could fit it into my car, she didn't care.

Well, it fits in my car - but only if the backseat is folded down. I bought a piece of smooth luan plywood and had it cut down to size (3 feet by 4 1/2 feet) at Home Depot. Then I painted it with three coats of chalkboard paint using a small foam roller.

The frame is made of inexpensive pine 1x2s. I cut the boards, mitering the corners, then spray-painted each piece of the frame a bright blue (Jake's favorite color). I used wood glue to assemble the frame, nailing each piece together, then nailed the entire thing to the chalkboard from the back. Since the chalkboard itself was so thin, I needed to use pretty short nails, and I wanted to make sure the nails didn't miss the board entirely, like they might have if I had nailed from the front. Plus, this way I didn't need to fill or repaint nail holes.

He loves it! Now I just need to come with ideas for a Christmas gift...

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