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Sunday, August 29, 2010

PB Teen-Inspired USA Chalkboard



Like thousands of other Americans, we received our PB Teen catalog in our mailbox last week. And before I even had a chance to look through it, my 13-year-old son had spotted this cool chalkboard:



I had to agree. It was cool. And perfect for a kid who DVR's the History Channel & can name every American president & the years they were in office in about 90 seconds flat. He's so cool.



So I had to do this for him. And you can do one, too, in way less time than it would take for it to be shipped to your door. Oh, and for a fraction of the price.

Here's what you'll need:
  • A piece of particle board or other thin board. I use Eucaboard for many of my projects including chalkboards & my jewelry organizers. It's rough on one side & smooth on the other. You can find this at HD & Lowes in a 4x8 sheet (it may come smaller as well).
  • A jigsaw, a table saw, a pencil, & a sanding block or sandpaper & a level
  • Chalkboard paint (I use Krylon's Chalkboard Spray Paint)
  • A couple of scrap pieces of wood (I used 1x4's cut to 20" & 16")
  • A printer & scissors
  • I think that's it
To start this project, my handsome assistant created a template of the USA that you can print out in 8 sheets & piece together to make an 28" x 18" pattern. (Do you see why I'm crazy about this guy?) You can click here to print this template for yourself.

{Update: somehow my link is no longer working! Email me for a pdf of the pattern.}

Once you print it out, lay out the pieces & line them up at the tick marks, taping them in place. The pages will overlap slightly.



Next, cut it out & trace it onto your board.


Then, using a jigsaw, cut it out & then sand the edges smooth with a sanding block or sandpaper.


Next, we made the "rail system" which we would use to hang the chalkboard on the wall, allowing it to stand off the wall a little like the one from PB. To do this, cut a piece of 1x4 wood or MDF trim to about 20" long. Then, using a table saw, set the blade at a 45 degree angle & cut it down the middle. This will be your hanging system.


Here is how it will hang:


The top piece attaches to the back of the chalkboard & the bottom piece screws onto the wall. Then, the pieces will fit together to hold the board securely to the wall. I love this system! It can work for so many projects!

Make a guideline for your rail system on the board by holding it up with a level (you should place your board face against the wall--not like pictured) & drawing the line on the back of the board where you will want to attach the rail. This is an important step to assure that it hangs level! This is a MUST if you are like me & have any kind of OCD tendency!


You will also need one more piece of trim cut to about 16" as a stabilizer/spacer for the bottom of the board. Use epoxy or another strong adhesive to attach the 2 pieces to the back of the board on your guidelines.


Have I lost you yet? It's easier than it sounds, trust me!

After this, just give the front of the board a few good coats of the chalkboard spray & let the glue & paint dry overnight.

To hang the board, level the bottom piece of the rail system on the wall where you want it to hang. It should attach like this:



Then, just slide your rail system pieces together & you're done!

We didn't add the lights to the back of ours like PB did, but it would be simple to add some little string lights if you wanted to.




Oh, Pottery Barn! Thanks again for inspiration on yet another project! How we love to copy you!

I'll be sharing this little how-to with some of these cool crafters!


65 comments:

  1. i LOVE that! it's awesome!!! i just showed it to my husband and said, "how cool is that?" so you know i really love it. ;)

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  2. what a terrific idea for your handsome assistant! love his room too with those bold stripe curtains.
    judi ;)

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  3. I LOVE it! I love the hanging system as well! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. This is simply SPECTACULAR!!! Way to go.

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  5. I think your son is really, really cool too! All the Presidents? Geez, I am sorry to say I couldn't even tell you the last 10, ok, maybe 10 but that is pushing it. I love, love the chalkboard and the awesome tutorial. I love that hanging system. You guys did a wonderful job. I love where you hung it above the desk.

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  6. Julie! I LOVE this project. This is something my son-in-law could make for my granddaughters. What a perfect piece...love it & thanks for the instructions! Diana

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  7. Oh-I forgot to say-He is a REALLY cute kid! Isn't it awesome when our kids are interested in learning? You did something right, Mom! diana

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  8. Oh my goodness! I got my catalog a few weeks ago and had planned on doing the exact same project! Glad you beat me to it so I can copy your pattern :)
    I too have a son (7 yrs old) that is a geography nut...can't wait to try this one myself!

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  9. Very, very cool idea! I think it looks great over your son's desk. I am featuring this tomorrow at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com.

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  10. That is just the cutest idea for a boys room. It's sometimes hard to do something unique for boys...perfect.

    I would love for you to visit my "Small Pratice Painting" GIVEAWAY!

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  11. Fantastic, Julie! You're right, how could you not have made it for him ~ smart and cute . . . : ) Great step by step instructions and it's nice that it will also provide a function for him. Nicely done!

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  12. What an awesome project. It looks great. Thanks for sharing.
    Monica

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  13. Wonderful idea and great tutorial. :)

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  14. Thanks for stopping by "In His Grip". This is a great idea. You pulled it off perfectly.

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  15. This is so stinking cool! I love it!!!
    ~Tana

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  16. What a great idea. I was wondering if there is some kind of material that could be used to make a dry erase board.

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  17. Lol I just that last bit..."Oh, Pottery Barn! Thanks again for inspiration on yet another project! How we love to copy you!"
    It turned out really wonderful. My oldest probably would not use one but, I believe my youngest would love it!

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  18. What a fun idea for your son. I think both my boys would love one. Thank you for the template and how-to.

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  19. I think I just found a Christmas present for my son. Thanks!

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  20. Such a cool map. I love that it's a chalkboard. An amazing knock off. My son is eyeing the lighted guitar rack in the PB catalog. Now to figure out the best way to do that!

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  21. Now that is cool. As homeschoolers, I just might do this. My husband can get prepainted chalkboard at work. The guys like to show off what they can do. I'll have to see if they can do this.

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  22. Incredible! Absolutely incredible! I saw your project featured over at Someday Crafts and am so glad I stopped by to pay my compliments. What a beautifully executed project and an excellent tutorial. I'm headin' to Home Depot! I look forward to following your blog and getting inspired by your future creations. Best, Jenn/Rook No. 17

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  23. Oh, forgot to ask...may I post a link to this post on my FB Fan page? I know my readers would be as elated as I!

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  24. CUTE idea.... but you may want to move Twain/Clemens up just a touch. Right now, he seems to be on the Missouri bootheel/Arkansas border. = )

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  25. great creation. i just saw a version of this in JoAnns. it was 50% off.

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  26. GREAT project!!!! I love how you give great directions too! It turned out wonderful and your son is so handsome! :)
    Kristi

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  27. Oh my word that looks great! and you made it look so simple. Thanks for the great step by step :)

    ~Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

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  28. oh my goodness that is just beyond cool! :) i just found a link to your blog on meg's Whatever blog and i'm glad to find you! :) from the "we live here" on your chalkboard...it looks like you could possibly live in the same city that i do...or at least close by!

    thanks for the great idea!

    kathryn

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  29. This is awesome! What a great idea. It turned out amazing, great job!

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  30. I adore maps as art and this is a neat and classy one! I think you make it look easier to do than it actually is, especially for those of us without much experience with power tools. Want to come over to my house and make one for me? Spotted you at Blue Cricket Design's link party.

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  31. How cool is that! I'm going to show my hubby and see if it's something he'd like to make for my boys. Love it!

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  32. oh, i just saw that in the catalogue. . . what an awesome job!

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  33. I love that! amazing. I'm going to hack this idea too but I might do a different shape other than united states. Thanks for the great idea!

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  34. So crafty and smart...wow, you did an amazing job cutting out an exact shape! I love "educational" pieces like this!

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  35. I spotted this in the catalog, too... but I think I like your version even better with the mounting construction. I featured it here. So talented!

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  36. Cool website I loved reading your info

    [url=http://partyopedia.com]birthday supplies[/url]

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  37. I recently saw this in the PB catalog and wondered when someone would get around to doing it on their blog. Well done - It's so impressive.

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  38. Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

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  39. Incredible! You'd never know it didn't come from a catalog!

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  40. Fan-tastic!!!!!! Seriously so cool!

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  41. awesome! but for the price of me buying the tools and asking someone how to use them, i could just order it off PB! ha ha i'm glad you can do it though!!

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  42. Are you kidding me?! I am floored, completely amazed at this. You are the best mom ever, lol. I LOVE what you created. Well done.

    Also, I have a giveaway on my blog right now and would love for you to enter if you're interested. <3

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  43. I always love PB-inspired projects but this one is amazing! You did an incredible job.

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  44. That is so stinkin' awesome! You did great! Love this idea.

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  45. Julie, This is beyond amazing!I'll be featuring it tomorrow on BCD! Thanks for linking!


    Becca

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  46. gave you an award at my blog

    kimboscrafts.blogspot.com

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  47. Hi-- I wanted to do this project for my 6 homeschooled kids, but the link to the map sent me to a sign-in screen instead...

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  48. @Anonymous
    So sorry! I'm not sure what's wrong with my link. Email me & I'll send you the pattern!

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  49. Love this idea and also love the color of your room. What color/brand is it? :)

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  50. @Andrea
    That is Rosemary Sprig by Benjamin Moore. Hope that helps you!

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  51. I've put together a round up of PB inspired projects on Craft Gossip today and included your project. :) You can see it here
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/9-pb-inspired-projects/

    If you would like to share the Craft Gossip love and show your visitors you've been featured, you can grab a button here!
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/grab-a-craft-gossip-button/

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  52. Julie, I tried to email you and ask if the pdf file was still available. For some reason (probably my craptastic computer) it wouldn't pull up your email address or anything. I would love to make this and a the printout sure would help. Thanks!

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  53. @Jessica
    I'd be happy to send it to you! Can you try to email me again so I have your email address? I can't access your blogger profile.

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  54. I just saw this, and it's amazing! I have to add I just saw on tv today someone took the inexpensive rope light and put it behind a mirror in a bathroom to give it a glow from behind. That's probably all that's needed here to make it just like the original!

    Great job!

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  55. Can you email me the pdf? my email is jede4063(at)colorado(dot)edu (but formatted like a normal email). This is a great project :) My boyfriend and I are going to try it this weekend :)

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  56. Can you email me the pdf as well? daniel-boyce(at)hotmail(dot)com... Thanks so much!!

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  57. I love this. We are all about Americana in our house and would love to make one of these. Would you, could you please oh please send me the PDF for the outline. My email is krafterkaren@sbcglobal.net
    Thank you !
    Karen

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I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!