Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Operation Upcycle: Chalkboard Peace Globe



It's time for the second installment of Operation Upcycle! I'm in the process of taking a few things here and there that I have laying around and spiffing them up. It's a fun way to learn new skills and push myself to try new things! The first project I did was adding some green and gold decorations to vintage teak bowls.

I hadn't intended to do two painting projects in a row, but the next item on the docket required some supplies that I needed to order online and they haven't arrived yet so when I saw this nifty globe on Deepest Ocean Blue, I knew what I was going to do with the old globe I had laying around.

DIY Painted Globe by Deepest Ocean Blue

The globe had been in my Etsy store, but it's a very basic mid century globe without any amazing decorative characteristics and it just hadn't sold after a few months.


I wouldn't have changed a single thing with how Nikki did her project except that 1) I don't have a Silhouette machine and 2) I bought some chalkboard spray paint that has been sitting around for a while and I hadn't had a chance to try using it yet. So if you have a Silhouette machine, go here and follow Nikki's instructions, which are great.

In order to do my project, I used the same font Nikki used, which is Lobster. You can get Lobster free online from dafont.com. I used Photoshop to lay it out on an 8 1/2" by 11" transparent background in case I wanted to change the height or width of the letters, but I didn't end up needing to do that so you could use something as simple as Microsoft Word.


I printed it out on full sheet Avery label paper that is designed to be removable. I used a tiny square to make sure it would stick enough to paint over, but not enough to damage the surface. My to my relief, it worked great.

Doug trained as a mapmaker prior to the advent of computer software so he's a dab hand with an Exacto knife. Lucky for me because Exacto knives and I don't, ahem, exactly get along.


So Doug trimmed along the edges of the letters and then peeled the backing and stuck it to the globe.


Then we took it outside, balancing it on an old drinking glass to spray paint it.


The chalkboard spray paint requires two coats, but it dries pretty fast so I was able to recoat every half hour, flipping the globe between coats to get both the top and the bottom.


I waited 24 hours, then peeled off the letters. And yay! The edges were nice and crisp. There was a tiny bit of seepage in one spot, but it came right off with a q-tip and some nail polish remover, which didn't damage the globe's surface.


According to the chalkboard paint instructions, you need to cover the entire surface with chalk and then erase it to prepare it for regular use.


I tried it out with some chalk too, just for fun.


You can still kind of make out the outlines of the continents if you know what you're looking for, and the mountain ranges are still visible because of the relief on the globe, so it could be fun to label each continent or use it to test your geography skills.

Also, I positioned the letters over the Middle East and North Africa because I think we can all agree that area could use a little peace right now.

So have you tackled any upcycling projects lately?

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