Friday, November 11, 2011

Chalkboard Trays

Since I still have nearly a full jar of chalkboard paint from my pantry organization project, I've been looking for ways to use it without, you know, just painting a whole wall. Our kitchen opens into the living room and so it's short on walls I can paint black.

I've had a few chalkboard trays in my Etsy shopping cart for a while now. I thought one would be cute for welcoming guests, writing notes, or planning menus. I decided to one-up the ones I found online by sticking magnets on the back and using it on the fridge.

Here's how I did it:

First, I hunted down trays to use.  I looked at Target, but the ones there were too Christmas-y or cheap looking and it felt silly to buy a new tray and just paint over it anyway.  Driving home a new way the other day, I happened to pass a Goodwill.  I found two trays that would work perfectly for this.  They were ludicrously inexpensive.  And a little dirty.

Once I cleaned my new trays, I put on my painting pants (I seem to stain everything I wear when I'm within 20 feet of an open paint can) and got started.

Yes, I'm working outside.  It was a 70 degree day in November in New England and I wasn't about to let it go to waste.  And yes, I always look this good.  It's not just when I'm crafting.

As you can see above, the first layer of paint wasn't enough.  I waited for them to dry and did two more layers.

Once the paint was dry, I broke out the other items for this project - chalkboard pens*, Velcro, magnets, and  some leftover ribbon.  I glued the magnets to the bottom of the trays, stuck a piece of Velcro on the side of the trays and to the chalk pen, and glued the ribbon between the chalk pen and the tray.

I gave the white and green tray to my mother-in-law and stuck the silver one up on our fridge.  Don't judge my weekly menu... I'm not Jaisa!

*after a few days of using this, I switched to just using regular chalk.  The chalkboard pen is SUPER hard to wash off of the tray.  No need to get fancy.


  1. Love this! So would my readers! Please share it at the Meet Me Monday linky party! They would love to meet you! I am getting ready to follow along on your blog so I can keep up with your fun ideas! A thrifter after my own heart! Love, Me

  2. Goodwill and SArmy are my fav hunting ground for bargains.
    Would luv for my readers to discover your blog, will you please join our weekly party at
    have a great crafting week!

  3. I like your menu idea. Did you have trouble getting the paint to stick?

    I tried to make a magnetic chalk board and after two coats all the paint peeled right off (that was a throw your chalkboard out the window moment). I had to switch to chalkboard spray paint but the finish isn't as nice and it doesn't erase as well as I'd like.

  4. Hi Alecia - no problem at all with getting it to stick. Maybe because they were metal trays and not plastic? I've never worked with chalkboard spray paint so thanks for the pointers.

  5. Love this - I did this with my vintage silver platters but taped the edges. Some of the paint came off when I removed the tape! You have a very steady hand and need to try it free hand next time!

    Love the way you attached the chalk pen to the platter!

    And your menu looks good to me - my chalkboard in my kitchen says "leftovers"!

  6. Hi Kelly- Did you use primer when you painted your vintage silver platters? I'm very excited to do this to use in my upcoming wedding but am hesitant that it's going to come off without the primer.

    1. Nope - no primer and they are still going strong!


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