Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chalkboard wine glasses

This is my first post on a Christmas gift project idea for the year.  I am okay with posting this one because it is for a family member, not a friend.  You see, my family DOESN'T read my blog ;-)

My dad and his wife love hosting parties and they love wine, as does much of my family.  However, they always have the problem of who set their glass where, and am I drinking someone else's wine?  There have been many solutions to this problem, like wine glass charms, different glass styles, and the like, but when you are at a particularly GOOD party, and are half in the bag, its hard to remember if you were blue or green or if yours had that funny flourish thingy on the stem.  One thing you are unlikely to forget is your name, regardless of how drunk you are.  You get that at keggers with those little red cups and a sharpie, but that doesn't translate well to the world of wine.  I needed a real wine glass that was writable, preferably rewritable, and elegant.

So I set about making some glasses with chalkboard paint on them.  I was kind of unconvinced that it would come out well, but I figured with some goodwill glasses and the multi-surface paint I already had, it was worth a shot.  They came out pretty well!

I will say that I don't think the chalkboard paint will last forever, but I can totally scrape it off and reapply.  It wasn't a terribly labor intensive process, so I wouldn't mind spiffing them up every now and again.  I wouldn't recommend washing them in the dishwasher or leaving them to soak, but a gentle hand washing and drying seems like it wouldn't be a problem.

Supplies needed:
all surface or glass Chalkboard paint (I used Martha Stewart paint, available at Michael's)
paint brush
Wine glasses - go to the dollar store or goodwill and save yourself some money!
Xacto knife
contact paper (the kind you use to line shelves)
a nice pretty template (I used 2 for fun, found here and here)

Step 1:
Find your template and print it out.  Cut it out and use the inside piece to trace onto the contact paper as many times as needed for the number of glasses you are making. Make sure to leave enough space between tracings for a good solid border.  You will need at least half an inch (preferably more) around each template to mask off the glass.  Cut them out into individually rectangles.

Step 2:
Carefully cut out the middle of each template using your exacto knife.  Gently peel off the backing and adhere each one to the glasses, trying to keep the top aligned with the upper edge of the glass.  I found that using four fingers one on each corner, and pulling taut was the best way to keep the shape even.

Step 3:
Carefully apply the paint to the glass.  I used a natural bristle brush because it was what I had, but it royally sucked.  I think a synthetic brush would have worked better.  Mine left awful streaks.  Let it dry thoroughly between coats (at least an hour according to the bottle).  I used 4 coats.  I think a good rule of thumb is holding the glass up to the light with the painted part facing away from you.  When you can no longer see light through the painted part, you have sufficient coverage.

Step 4:
After letting the paint dry thoroughly overnight, its time to peel off the contact paper.  BE CAREFUL!  If you have ever painted anything and left the masking tape on, you know that the paint will peel up just as easily as the masking.  First, take your exacto knife and score around the edge of the shape.  Then, use the edge of the blade to gently push away the contact paper from one edge.  Cut out to the edge of the contact paper, and use that point to start peeling up the masking.

Score around the edge,

Pull away one small section and cut the template to the outside edge.

Then peel off carefully.

Step 5:
There will be some small spots where the paint bled under the masking.  Use the exacto blade to scrape off any excess and clean up the edges (sorry for the REALLY bad photo).  Next, rub chalk over the surface of the painted portion (to prime it and make it easier to write on), smooth it out with your finger, and write something clever.  Voila!  You're finished!

Pretty simple, right?  And at a dollar a glass and about $4 for the paint, its a pretty cheap gift, too!  I will stress, be careful about the scoring and peeling part.  I botched one of the glasses, but I figure its not that big a deal since they wont last forever anyway.  But just to make you feel better in case one of yours don't turn out either, here it is :-)

Crap.  Well, lesson learned.  Be careful. :-)

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