There is something about chalkboard stuff that always seems to get the adults & the kids excited. Probably because it's fun to make & to use. It's also a great way for a timid crafter to unleash creativity, since there are no special tools or know-how required.
This project literally took a hot second to throw together. I got the plain canvas backpack at Michael's for $0.59 (at that price why bother to make one?!?), marked off a big rectangle with painter's tape and then painted it.
My 4yr old loves backpacks & I like how he can decorate this himself or I can put a message on it. I think this could be ideal when out at a crowded place like the zoo or when on a group trip somewhere and you want to be able to spot your kid in the crowd by putting a giant shape or the name of the group on the it.
Another fun & cheap kid's project is this DIY puppet:
The blank puppet was another $0.59 Michael's find simply covered in white chalkboard paint that can be whatever the kids want. Silly monster one minute....
Little girl with braids the next! Endless possibilities, over and over again.
Now one thing I do want to mention is kid safety when it comes to chalkboard stuff. There are a lot of chalkboard paints out there (crafters jars, spray paints, "regular" metal canned paint and chalkboard fabric). The only one that is certified non-toxic and therefore safe for kids is the craft kind that comes in a small jar made by Plaid's Folk Art line (the company that makes Mod Podge). I've seen a lot of cute kid's projects out there using chalkboard fabric, but it is not CPSIA certified. What's the big deal? This means that it is not free of lead or phthalates, which is a required of manufacturer's of most products for children under 12yrs. As a crafter I love making stuff for my kids, but I feel that as a parent, I need to make sure what I make for my kids (or anyone else's) is in fact safe for them.
For me this means checking on what goes into the crafting materials, even if it means taking extra time beforehand or having to pass on something I'd really love to buy. This is why I cringe a little when I see baby bibs crafted from vinyl tablecloths or oilcloth & kid's place mats made from chalkboard fabric. A lot of crafters don't know it, but these can contain lead & phthalates, so it is considered illegal for a manufacturer or a retailer to sell them because they do not meet safety standards. I know this because I own a children's store and the products we carry require documentation proving their materials have been tested for lead & phthalates and in fact pass.
So instead of buying chalkboard fabric, you can easily paint a bit of canvas with the Folk Art Paint and get the same effect, but without the worry. Same goes for using laminated cotton in place of vinyl or oilcloth. Same crafting fun, but without the concerns to the kiddies. Sorry to get on my soapbox today, but it's meant to kindly inform crafters that may not know & help home crafted kid's items be as safe as they are pretty:)
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