If there ever was a thing as having too many books, I would be guilty. We absolutely love them…and we are also very hard on all of our books. They get read until they are torn, tattered, and falling apart. To me throwing a book away is a crime. I seriously have a hard time with it. I would rather donate a book than throw it away. Sadly, we usually destroy our books before we outgrow them.
Currently we are outgrowing our board books. Every now and then lil’ man will bring me one to read, but more often than not he is grabbing the books that he sees his sisters reading. This last week I took on the daunting task of cleaning up our bookshelf and my pile of torn up books was just as big as my pile of books to donate. While some of our destroyed books were beyond the point of salvage, a lot of them weren’t. They just weren’t in a decent enough condition for the library to take. So I got to thinking and to crafting. I came up with an array of activity books to make from our pile and this homemade chalkboard book is the first one that I made.
To make a homemade chalkboard book is super easy. I was able to do this in about two days (due to drying times). The longest step was the actual application and drying of the chalkboard paint. It would take about one minute to cover the pages in chalkboard paint and 1-2 hours for that layer to dry before being able to apply to the next page.
- Chalkboard Spray Paint
- Paint Brush
- Old Board Book
- Something to Cover the Surface where you will be spraying
- Duct Tape – optional
The first step is to cover all the pages of the book with a couple coats of gesso. It does not have to be perfect. You want to add enough layers of gesso that the images in the book are diluted. It does not have to be a blank white page layer of coverage but it should be 3-4 coats. If you plan on painting the cover and back of the book you should also gesso these. If you plan on covering them with another material such as fabric or duct tape there is no need to gesso them.
Once you have applied the gesso and your pages are dry it is time to apply the chalkboard paint. If you are using a spray paint you are going to want to cover about an arms length each way that you are spraying. You are also going to want to make sure you are in a space with decent ventilation. If you do not want to use spray paint there are companies out there that do make brush on chalkboard paint.
When you do this step you are only going to do two pages at a time. Cover them completely and then let them dry. Do note that as you flip to the next page the binding will crack (hence the duct tape down the creases in my book). I chose to use duct tape to seal any of those edges that have the possibility to peel. Since I used them on the binding I decided to stick with the same pattern on the cover. It would be just as easy to add another type of sealant.
Once all the pages have a coat of chalkboard paint on them and are dry, style the book however you desire. And you are done. Super easy craft that your kids will love! This book has been great for quiet time! My daughter will disappear into her quiet nook for an hour at a time with it!