When it comes to gifts, my husband, R is the hardest person to buy for. He either doesn’t need it, already has it, or it costs a million dollars. (Literally. Think 50-foot yacht.) I’m sure many of you wives can relate. Well, I learned some years ago, that the best gifts are the ones that are personalized. And when I say personalized, I don’t mean buy something from Things Remembered and engrave his name on it. If any of you know us, R loves flying stunt kits. (Our first date was to St. George Island for kite flying.) So, this was my gift to him a couple of years ago. It’s a picture mosaic made up of our pictures. This picture doesn’t do it justice. Up close, you can see that all of the little pictures are pictures of us. (That’s R with his parachute kite on the beach at Tyndall AFB.)
Other years, I’ve painted pictures or done elaborate scavenger hunts. Well, we are now going on 6 years of marriage. That means 6 Christmases, Valentines Days, Birthdays and Anniversaries…24 heartfelt-“personalized” gifts over the years. Oh, and the other stipulation that I give myself is that I can’t spend a lot of money on these “personalized” gifts (with the exception of the picture mosaic above.) So, you can see why I’m slowly running out of ideas. So, for his last birthday, after much thought and “research”, I found inspiration from a DIY blog here. I chose this project because, honestly, I was tired of seeing this dusty globe take up space in our tiny garage. So, I upcycled it.
Here is my version of a chalkboard globe: (I also made mine magnetic.)
What you need: globe, chalkboard paint (black and green), paintbrushes (medium and small), light grit sandpaper, a little bit of patience, Sharpie marker (preferably metallic), magnetic paint (optional)
I started with an old globe.
Bought a quart of magnetic paint from Michael’s (using a 40% off coupon). Make sure that you stir the paint really well before using it. It must have 10 pounds of iron sitting at the bottom of the can. (It was a heavy little can of paint.)
I paid special attention to Taiwan (where R and my family are from) because I wanted to make sure I didn’t paint over it.
I started with a coat of the magnetic paint. (Don’t worry too much about outlining the continents. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve been more “interpretive” in where the borders were.) Let it dry overnight. I lightly sanded the globe and then applied another coat. Here’s what it looked like after two coats.
I then applied 2 coats of magnetic paint to the continents (following the same procedure that I did for the water). (The black chalkboard paint looks dull in this picture because I wasn’t careful and the residue from the magnetic paint got on my hands and then all over the globe as I painted. Not to worry, it wipes clean.)
After the coats of magnetic paint, I painted over it with 2 coats of green chalkboard paint. I then outlined the continents with a silver Sharpie marker. Alternatively, you could paint the outline. But I didn’t have that much patience or skill.
Wah-lah. A chalkboard globe. Apparently, these go for hundreds of dollars online. And at the time of this posting, this website was sold out. I gave it to R on Christmas and he loves it. He plans on using it in his office at school for a memo board. I also thought about doing a dry erase version, but the paint was more pricey and the reviews it weren’t so hot. Overall, a very fun DIY, upcycling project.