Who knows if it was my ADHD or my intense love for arts and crafts projects, but I couldn’t resist taking a break from editing recently to immediately browse “DIY Chalkboard Crafts” by Lizette Schapekahm (Adams Media, $18.99) when it turned up in my mailbox.
Chalkboards and stuff painted with chalkboard paint are all the rage right now, and this book offers more than 50 nifty craft projects that allow you to create your own trendy chalkboard tchotchkes. But first, the book offers general tips and techniques, including using primers to help keep the chalkboard paint from flaking and peeling (this is especially important on shiny surfaces) and seasoning the chalkboard by rubbing a piece of white chalk over the entire surface, then erasing it.
Many projects involve ready-made items like globes, wall sconces and coffee mugs, but there are several, such as silhouette cutouts, a step stool and a pull toy, that require woodworking skills. Those seem a little excessive for a trendy item that you might be tired of in a few years.
My favorite projects include making plant markers from shims and a faux-slate serving tray from plywood.