Monday, December 17, 2012

Chalkboard Wine Glasses Gift Set

Some friends had the terrific idea this Christmas to avoid the whole "presents for everyone" debacle by doing a Secret Santa instead. Of course, we're crafty ladies, so of course, ordinary Secret Santa would not do. We needed crafty Secret Santa. The gift cannot cost more than $20 in materials, and has to be homemade.

My friend Kelly has an affinity for turquoise and chevrons. And well, I've got an affinity for wine and chalkboards. So, inspired by a little balsa wood box (yes, this whole thing started because of the little box...) I made a set of coasters with silver and turquoise chevrons on them. The real challenge here, buy the way, was that I couldn't find those cork coasters at Michael's, and they didn't have any wood coasters small enough to fit in the box. So, I had to hand made my own coasters. There was sawdust all over my apartment.

But, coasters are pretty lame gift on their own. Coasters need glasses to put on them! Back to the dollar store, of course, for wine glasses. Using the same sparkly turquoise paint that Martha Stewart claims is dishwasher safe when used on glass, I painted a chevron pattern on the glasses as well. And, taking a hint from pinterest, I decided I would dip the bases in chalkboard paint. Terrific idea, Veronica. You're so clever!

Now this was really where the wheels began to fall off of the craft wagon. First, I baked the glasses, because that's supposed to cure the sparkly paint to make it dishwasher safe. When I did this it turned green.

Then, I dipped the bases in chalkboard paint and carefully held each one for about 15 minutes (while grading papers with my other hand) to let the excess paint drip off of them. I tried a few different strategies suggested by various blogs for how to make this work. When dried them upside-down, the paint dripped up the stem. When I dried them right side up they ended up fused to the waxed paper and needed to be scraped from it with a razor blade. The best part: 2 days later and the paint was still a little mushy. So, when I tried to "prime" the chalkboard with a little chalk, it just left big gouges in the paint.

Then, I tried to put the coasters (that I had so carefully cut by hand with my Dremel to fit) back in the box. They wouldn't fit. Too much paint, I suppose. So, with a coarse sanding head on the Dremel I shaved off a bit from the inside of the box.

Essentially, nothing turned out right. Nothing. The whole project was a total mess.

Needless to say, I wrapped up the whole lot and gave it to her anyway. It's the thought that counts, right?

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