Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Story of the Failed Chalkboards

Lesson Learned #392: Some DIY attempts will not work out the way you want.  Stop the madness and move on.

I had this vision in my head for a menu chalkboard and a small chalkboard for our fauxto booth.  The menu board was elegant and would lend an air of vintage French bistro (I just made that up.  I just thought it'd look cool.)  The mini chalkboard for the fauxto booth would ensure that hilarity ensued and we'd have all sorts of clever sayings documented for the ages.  In my head, it looked like exhibit A and B as seen below:

I decided to make my own chalkboard menu from a framed print I got at a thrift store for $5.  Just spray paint the frame and paint on the chalkboard paint - that was the plan.  It turned out looking alright.  I also ordered liquid chalk pens to make the writing smooth and clean.  I wrote a test menu and tried to erase.  It looked like it was going swimmingly.  Until 3 days later when I tried to erase the test menu to write the real menu.  The test menu wasn't budging.  I tried water.  I tried elbow grease.  I tried smearing regular chalk over the entire board.  See the pathetic excuse for a chalkboard in exhibit C:

Screw it! I threw up my hands in defeat.  I was 10 days away from the wedding and I decided that I would just buy a darn chalkboard and gussy it up with some hand painted stenciling around the edges.  I went to no less than 10 stores looking for a chalkboard.  Turns out that the white board is king and the chalkboard has been banished from the land.  I FINALLY found one at a Teacher's supply store and after searching through stacks of green chalkboards, I dug up a black one.  Woohoo!  I took that bad boy home and got to work writing the menu.  But I goofed and I needed to erase.  AGAIN, the chalkboard would not erase.  I wasn't using permanent chalk.  I was using good old crayola white chalk - with a big picture of it writing on chalkboards for pete's sake!   See the second non-erasing chalkboard I was gipped into buying in exhibit D:

Lastly, I tried to buy a small chalkboard for the fauxto booth.  I found a rinky dink one at JoAnn's that I thought I could bring back to life with a coat of paint and maybe some other embellishments.  This chalkboard had the EXACT OPPOSITE problem.  Chalk just would not show up at all.  It wouldn't stick to the board.  See the chalkboard that killed my will to live in exhibit E:

Even writing this now, my heart rate is climbing and I'm feeling flushed.  Days before the wedding, I was ready to cry.  This should have been simple!  I should have been able to handle this simple DIY project!  The God-forsaken chalk boards taunted me in their state of hot messiness!  I was failing as a bride!


Yeah, I thought that.  "I'm a failure of a DIY bride," crossed my mind.  That was a wake up call to me.  Step away from the chalkboards.  Ditch the idea.  See the irrationality of continuing in this vein.  In all of my cold sweat glory, I screamed, "STOP THE MADNESS!" and I walked away from the chalkboards. 

Turns out, people loved the food even if they never looked at the paper menus I created at the last minute for each table.  Oh, and the fauxto booth? Those are some of my favorite pics from the night, all without a chalkboard in sight.

Have you ever felt like a failure at a wedding project? Are there any projects that you need to put the kabosh on?


Catie said...

I had no idea you went through this! But I will you, I did read the menus you had printed at each table :) The photo booth was a great idea, even without the chalkboard part working out for you

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

OMG! I had this same stupid problem! I wanted the chalkboard for the photobooth as well and could not find one anywhere! What the heck happened to all the little chalkboards? I 'thought' about making one as you attempted to but knowing my lack of DIY knowledge and abilities, I had a feeling it would be a waste of time and money so I just searched high and low to buy one. FAIL! I ended up buying a stupid white board for the photobooth with some fun colored pens and just told myself to 'let it go' and realize that it's not that it is a chalk board that will make it's who's holding it and what they're writing on it that will (hopefully) make me smile. So glad you shared this little completely resonates!