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    Craft Wars: Two New Ways To DIY With Chalkboard Paint

    It's a great way to add an unexpected twist to home decor.

    Nowadays you can use chalkboard paint to turn almost anything into something you can write on. In this installment of Craft Wars, two expert crafters share their ideas for incorporating the chalkboard trend into their home.

    First up, Jenny from Hank & Hunt made chalkboard butter bell place settings.

    Here's how she did it. (So simple!)

    Gather your supplies. All you'll need is a mini butter bell, chalkboard spray paint, and chalk.

    Wash and dry your butter bell, then take the top piece outside to paint. Place it on a piece of cardboard or paper. Spray evenly with two light coats of chalkboard paint, allowing time to dry between coats. Let the paint to cure according to the directions on the can.

    Gently rub the painted top with chalk and dust it off. This 'conditions' the chalk to prevent ghosting. Write names on the tops, insert a treat, and place at a table setting. Since the inside of the butter bell is glass, edibles are OK!

    Send these cute place cards home with your guests as dinner party favors, and you're pretty much the best hostess ever.

    Next up, Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone makes a whale-shaped chalkboard.

    You can make one too, in any shape you like!

    To start, collect your supplies. You'll need a piece of wood, a jigsaw, chalkboard paint, a pencil and marker, and chalk.

    Using a piece of plywood or scrapwood, free-hand draw the shape you want directly on the wood in pencil. Don't worry about being perfect on your first try; you can keep sketching until you have it right. Once you are happy with it, redraw the final shape in marker so it's easier to follow.

    Using your jigsaw, cut out the shape you just marked. If at all possible, use a jig saw that plugs in - cordless versions aren't as powerful and make cutting much more difficult. Sand any rough edges.

    Go outdoors and spray or paint the wood with chalkboard paint. Allow to dry.

    Condition your new chalkboard with the edge of a piece of chalk. Simply rub it along the chalkboard and dust it off.

    Hang and enjoy! It's great for leaving little notes, reminders, and to-do lists!

    —Pippa Armbrester is a quilt maker and designer. Follow her adventures in quilting and in life on her website.

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