I needed a sign for my Alamo Etsy Craft Party last week, so after raiding my husband’s woodshop, I came out with a pair of old windows and some hinges that were perfect for the job. Add some chalkboard paint, and presto! You have an instant sandwich sign!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- A pair of windows (preferably the same size)
- Vinegar and a rag (for cleaning)
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Painters tape, chalkboard paint, and a paint brush
- 2 door hinges, screws, and a drill
Here are my dirty old windows. We live in an old house and have been working on renovating our windows. These were some (new) old ones my husband had picked up as extras.
Make sure your windows are clean before you do anything. I like the look of the old, peeling paint, but if you wanted to fix yours up (paint them, etc.) I’d start with that too.
To ensure that your paint sticks to the glass run a fine piece of sandpaper across the surface. It won’t look like it’s doing much of anything, but trust me. And make sure you clean it off again after this step.
Next, you want to bust out your painter’s tape. I love Frog Tape; it always helps me get super-crisp lines.
Section of the area you want to paint. You can paint the entire pane of glass, or leave a transparent border like I did above.
After you have your tape where you want it, you’re ready to paint! (I bought this bucket of Rust-oleum chalkboard paint from Home Depot forever ago, and still have about half left–it really goes a long way!)
Start with strokes all in one direction (from top to bottom or side to side).
And make sure you let each layer dry before adding another.
Otherwise you’ll start to get little wavy lines where the layer beneath begins moving (like it did here, oops!). Don’t stress too much if this happens to you, though. I found that the lines began to disappear as I added each layer (after letting them dry of course!). And make sure you alternate the direction you’re painting from layer to layer in order to get a more even look.
And unless you have something behind your glass pane, you’ll need to add enough layers until it’s no longer transparent. You can still see my hand after just two layers. I think I ended up adding about 5 or 6 layers total to get the look I wanted. You might need more or less, just check it from time to time to see if you can still see any light shining through.
When you’re done with the paint, let it dry a few more minutes (or more if needed–I was doing this outside during the South Texas summer so it was drying pretty fast). Then, peel off the tape and check out those sweet lines!
Painting the windows is the most time-consuming part, so you’re almost done!
Next, you want to gather your hinges, screws, and a drill (I have my husband to thank for the power tools).
Place your windows top to top with your hinges open–and make sure that they’re in position to fold closed when you stand your sandwich board up.
Start with one screw on each side of the hinge to get it started.
(My husband helped me get started, but I insisted on doing the rest of the drilling–mamas can use power tools too–you should probably wear some goggles though–unlike I did!)
Drill in all your screws…
…and there you have it! My windows were pretty heavy and sturdy so I’m not worried about them falling open. If yours are lighter (or you’re using something other than windows), you may want to add a hinge between them to keep it from opening flat on itself.
Lastly, you want to set the chalkboard paint. I don’t really get why, but that’s what the directions say (they also say to wait several days between steps but I needed this done ASAP). To set the paint, just take a piece of chalk and run it across the chalkboard, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.
Now you’re ready to pretty it up with some fancy writing.
Or just scribble your chicken scratch like I did! Maybe I need to revisit this post on How to Draw Like an Artist on a Chalkboard!
You can use your sign for just about anything from parties, to craft shows, or just a fun way to greet visitors at home. I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, and I’d love to see your DIY sandwich board signs!