In 2005, my husband and I got married fresh out of college and quickly began our homemaking journey with the intentions of checking off our remaining boxes: becoming home owners, having perfect children, and fulfilling successful, lifelong careers. We rented our small apartment, started our first jobs (his was home-building, and mine was home-selling), and blew every penny we made. I mean, why not?! This was the first of many years of hard work; certainly we deserved to celebrate, right?! After 16 years of education, we had finally made it. We shared a lot of celebratory drinks, laughter, and college/wedding debt together. We filled our apartment with adorable pillows, monogrammed coffee mugs, and everything cover-photo worthy for a "We Made It" magazine. We went on expensive vacations, dined out, and dressed to kill. Then, in 2006, we both got laid off.
Three perfectly imperfect children, several jobs, moves, broken down vehicles, lines of credit and hard knocks later, we arrived at the doorstep of our very first home, in January of 2015. We moved into our reasonable single-family home and my old instinct to obsess over the fantasy pages in a Pottery Barn catalog, filling our home with monogrammed "We Made It" decor, came flooding back. But, this isn't the world according to Kelly 1.0 anymore. This is the repurposed and renewed version. Kelly 2.0 got skills.
Most days, I feel like I am the cat-herder in a circus full of monkeys. Life has become legitimately chaotic and this house feels the full brunt of a hustling and bustling family of five. Our office space has become an organizational hub and without it, I'm pretty certain my children wouldn't get bathed and Freddy-the-Fish would be swimming in Fish Heaven by now. Purposeful wall decor is more of a necessity, than desire.
Tips to the Repurposing Trade:
How To Teach an Old Door New Tricks:
Ok, so I broke my "don't buy anything with lead-based paint" rule. To be honest, I'm not sure what this paint's base was, but I took precaution and wearing a mask during scraping and thoroughly washing my hands when I was finished.
Use a paint scraper to remove large chunks of pealing paint. Then use sand paper to smooth over the entire surface and even out any rough patches.
The Hanging Challenge
Decide where you want to hang this beast of a masterpiece.
Find studs (typically the studs will be "16 on center", meaning that the center of a 2x4 is 16 inches apart from the next one). The stud is the anchor you need for heavy duty wall art.
Season Your Chalkboard
Read the directions on the can of chalkboard paint before you begin writing on it. It will require "seasoning" in order to work like a real chalkboard and wipe clean with ease. The seasoning process will require an entire piece of chalk, flipped horizontally and then shaded across the entire board. Then use your eraser (or a paper towel in my case) to dry erase the board. You should wait to clean it with water for at least a week.
Finally, stare at it for a minimum of 20 minutes. Marvel at your creative and resourceful piece of art and fully own your obvious skill set. You are seriously awesome for doing this yourself. Post a picture of your masterpiece in my comments section so we can inspire each other!!
Life on a budget