While cutting out the life-size cat and witch silhouettes for lawn decorations, I thought it would be cute to have some halloween decorations the kids could play with inside. They love their chalkboard place mats given to them for Christmas last year so I decided to cut out some pumpkins and paint them orange with non-sanded grout to create a festive chalkboard. My kids helped draw the different shaped pumpkins and paint them. It was a fun family activity.
All morning they have been using chalk and chalkboard markers to draw on these pumpkins. My two year old is only allowed to use chalk since we went through a writing on the walls phase with markers!
You do not have to make pumpkins. You can cut out bats, a witch’s hat, a cat, a broom, a spider or anything else you want. A glow in the dark skeleton would be awesome. Since you can use any paint color to create chalkboard paint, you can create anything.
I bought a quart of flat Buttered Yam AF-230 Benjamin Moore Natura paint which is very eco-friendly and nontoxic product. Since the chalkboards will be inside and my kids are going to be hovered over them, I do not want the paint to off-gas or release VOCs.
1) Using a pencil, draw some pumpkins on a thin piece of plywood. We used some leftover beadboard plywood. Use a sharpie to make the final designs to be cut.
2) Use a jigsaw to cut out the pumpkins. This is the silhouette for the cat.
3) Sand the face and sides with 100 grit sand paper.
4) Mix 1 cup of paint with 2 tablespoons non-sanded grout. I poured the grout in first and then added the paint which did not work as well and clumped at the bottom. So add the grout on top of the paint!
5) Paint the chalkboards. It would be better to prime them first but we did not have time. Let dry and then add another coat. Let dry.
6) Sand the face with 180 grit sand paper. Wipe off with a wet towel. Rub chalk all over the face and wipe clean.
7) Now draw away. Enjoy!
My cousin Amy makes the chalkboard placemats we love. She even monograms them for gifts. They make the perfect party favors and are useful! Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want some for your kids or to give as a cute present. They come in a set of 4 placemats and cost $35 with an extra $10 for personalization. As you can see from the photo, we use them a lot!