Last time I showed you the whimsical library we created on the attic stairway wall, with a promise to show you the rest of this fun spot. So in this post I’m going to show you the ‘trophy wall’ and give you tips on creating your own DIY chalkboard paint like I did for this one. To really play up the whimsical library fun of this small space, which is a 6′ landing wall on the attic stairway, I decided that trophies and trophy like things would really be fun. The wall trim ledge is only a few inches deep, so whatever I put there would need to be quite shallow.
Instead of buying faux trophies that look beautiful, but are totally meaningless to our family, I opted to put up vintage trophies of my husband’s.
They are fun and so unique!
How many people do you know have a trophy for selling the most vacuums? Or a goat trophy! And of course there is the racquetball and tennis trophies among them. The wooden shoe form is from my husband’s grandfather, an Italian immigrant that was a cobbler. The double handled urn thing that sort of looks like a trophy was found at the bottom of a lake by my son when he was a teen practicing diving, presented to me as a precious gift, like a bouquet of dandelions when he was a 4 year old. My husband was the tennis coach in high school for our two sons, 15 or so years ago, and that antique tennis racquet, found by one of our sons a few years ago at a tag sale, is a really special reminder of that time, and special because our son felt inspired to get it for his dad so many years after the coaching days with him were over.
That’s the thing… These ‘trophies’ aren’t precious in themselves, but they are precious in memories. They are reminders of my husband’s history, of our history together, of God’s provision in our lives. In one way it seems like a lifetime ago, but in another way it seems like just yesterday, when we were first married and we were struggling in so many ways, like to stay married when the odds were against us, and to try to keep our heads above water as my husband provided financially for our family selling vacuum cleaners… Now we can look back and see God’s providing hand through it all.
Wow! Where did the time go? At this point in life we’re becoming so very aware of how life on earth is a fleeting moment… a vapor… What really is our goal in life? Surely, it’s not just things like these earthly trophies…
With the one life we’re given, what do we do with it? Our life happens one moment at a time… one choice at a time… then becomes one memory after another, until it’s a lifetime of memories. Yes, we accumulate earthly treasures and trophies, but also, I’m striving for something more than just that…
Which brings me to this fun project with just that message on it. I love the verse in the Bible, Philippians 3:4, and that’s what I wanted to add to this ‘trophy wall’ with a reminder of our everlasting trophy. Working on PowerPoint, this is the font and clip art that I put together for reference when I hand printed it out on the chalkboard.
And here’s how I made the actual chalkboard, with homemade DIY chalkboard paint!
I’ve read a little from some of you about making your own chalkboard paint. Since I am not planning to keep re-using this chalkboard, I decided even if the homemade chalkboard paint wasn’t super durable, it really didn’t matter because I just needed it to work once. (I probably could have just used flat black paint for this single purpose, but since I had the necessary ingredients for the homemade chalkboard paint, I really wanted to try it out)
First, I started out with this pre-made plaque board I found in the garage. It was the perfect shape and even better with the finished edges. I painted primer to the face and around the edges… and oops a little on the countertop too.
Now to the ingredients for the homemade chalkboard paint…
It’s simple, only 2 ingredients: 1 part of unsanded grout added to 7 or 8 parts of flat paint, in any color you want… (I wanted a traditional black color for this project)
Since I was doing such a tiny small amount, this little craft size of flat black paint was the perfect amount, and I was lucky to have this partial bag of grout leftover from doing one of the marble floors in our 100 year old house. Remember, it must be UNSANDED grout for this project.
For this little project, we’re talking spoonfuls instead of cups or quarts for a larger project… but once I started to stir even this small amount of the grout into the paint, it did change the consistency of the paint.
After the 1st coat of black chalkboard paint it was obvious more coats would be necessary… I did 3 total coats on the top only…
The edges I finished with a gold metallic paint. Then with my PowerPoint reference, and my chalk dipped in water to make bold dark lettering I finished the message on the board.
This is such a truthful reminder for me, as I succeed in life, in earthly quests and goals, is that my priority, or is there a much bigger, longer lasting goal I am striving for?
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