the facebook craft-it-forward project

at the beginning of the year there was a status message thing on facebook that was basically a craft-it-forward event. someone would post their status message promising to make a craft for the first five commentors and in turn those commentors had to post that same status message on their page and so forth and so on. i thought it was a fun idea so i commented on someone's and copied to my status update. well, i only had four people that were brave enough to comment on my status, which actually made things slightly easier. at first i wanted to create a unique gift for each person, but i decided early that this idea wasn't going to happen. and several of my friends had commented on how much they liked the crafts i did for the alex in wonderland party, so i tried to think in that mindset. what i came up with was chalkboard placemats. i started off with what they call craft board, which is basically really strong balsa wood. i wanted to make four mats for each person, therefore i planned for sixteen boards. i got long pieces and cut them in half - that wood is stronger than you think, i ended up using a power saw to cut them. the boards weren't long enough to cut in half and have a rectangle placemat so they turned out more square, but i kind of like that. next step, i painted them all front and back with green chalk board paint (i took over the living room with newspaper so i could lay out all the mats to dry between coats). then i found some fun craft papers, all different styles for the utensils. i used my craft robo (a cutting machine that you hook up to your computer. you can draw what you want in illustrator and send it to the cutter just like it was a printer) to cut out all the utensils - and it did a great job of it too. i glued all those on to the boards, each person got two sets of two different paper designs. after the utensits were all set and dry, i outlined their shapes with a white paint pen and added some doodles around the edges/sides. finally, i wanted them to washable so i coated all the paper and paint doodles with a clear coating of furniture sealant leaving as much untreated space for chalking as possible. i think they turned out super fun, but i did not test the washability of any of them so i hope that is working well too. i added a bar of lavendar jasmine cold process soap that i made along with a large bath bomb cupcake (i'll talk about those in another post) and some chalk of course. it turned out to be a rather fun little set and i think all my friends enjoyed being on the receiving end of these surprises.
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