Category: DINING

DIY CHALKBOARD WINE BOTTLES

Recycle your wine bottles into budget-friendly and versatile decor. All you need is a little bit of wine, cheese, … and chalk!

diy (how to make) chalkboard wine bottles

This post contains affiliate links to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


If you are like me, then you probably have a small stash of wine bottles and corks in hopes of doing something creative with them one day. These chalkboard wine bottles are a creative and versatile decor option that work great on a wall shelf or fireplace mantel!

I stumbled upon this cute project when searching for some wedding gift ideas. Between the expense of airline tickets, hotel stays, and a rental car, we honestly didn’t have much in the budget for a wedding gift. You can look at it as our main gift was getting to be there to celebrate with them!

After some Pinterest inspiration and some ideas of my own, I ended up pairing these chalkboard wine bottles with a chalkboard serving tray and wedding date pillows for some handmade wedding gifts!

The idea of using chalkboard paint on wine bottles creates tons of versatility in the project. With three bottles you can write initials for bedroom decor or baby showers, his and her initials for wedding showers, “JOY” for Christmas, etc.

In addition, you can swap out seasonal floral to give them a fresh new look all year long! Flowers, branches, dried floral, Christmas tree clippings, etc. Using the same decorative items year round, but simply changing it up a tad for every season, is such a great way to stay in budget with home decor.

Now, this tutorial is going to be rather straight forward, but here it is none-the-less!

how to make chalkboard wine bottles

SUPPLIES

  • 3 Glass Bottles (wine, champagne, cider, etc.)
  • Floral (live, dried, faux, etc.)
  • #28 3-Ply Natural Jute (Mine is from Hobby Lobby)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Chalkboard Paint (This is our favorite paint brand!)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Wax Paper
  • Chalk

PREP + PAINT

The first step is to determine which three glass bottles to use. I say three because of the rule of three; items arranged in odd number groupings is more aesthetically appealing. In addition, I chose to use varying sizes to add dimension; two of the same size wine bottles and one spiced cider bottle.

Remove the labels and any residue from the glass until the surface is free of any gunk. Wash and dry the bottles.

painted chalkboard wine bottles

There are two ways you could go about painting the bottles: liquid paint or spray paint. I had some liquid chalkboard paint on hand from my chalkboard serving tray and decided to use that.

When working with either liquid paint or spray paint make certain to work with THIN coats; otherwise, you will end up with paint drips running down the sides of the bottle – thanks a lot gravity.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate drying time between each coat.

I chose to not paint the bottom of the bottles; therefore, I was able dry them upright on wax paper. The wax paper works great by preventing any sticking to the bottles surface when dry.

DECORATE

Let your creative side shine and start decorating your bottles! I kept mine simple and only used jute to remain versatile for everyday decor, holidays, and other occasions.

Use a hot glue gun when adhering the jute and periodically apply beads of glue while wrapping the jute around the bottleneck.

decorated chalkboard wine bottles

After the decorating is done, grab some chalk and test out your new chalkboard surface! Finish them off with dried or faux floral.

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DIY CHALKBOARD SERVING TRAY

diy chalkboard serving tray

Learn how to make a custom chalkboard serving tray. This tray is such an easy project and perfect for a wedding gift, housewarming gift, etc.

diy chalkboard serving tray, how to make a chalkboard serving tray

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


Summer is here and that means pool parties, BBQ, and good company! All of this equals entertaining, and with entertaining comes serving ware.

I was actually searching for wedding gift inspiration when I stumbled upon the idea of these neat chalkboard serving trays. I decided to give it a go and make one as a wedding gift for one of my best friends, in addition to using the tray at her bridal brunch.

In addition to this chalkboard serving tray, I also made chalkboard wine bottles and wedding date pillows for some more custom decor to use as accompanying wedding gifts.

If you need a great gift idea this is it! I fell in love with the finished product and wanted to keep it for myself. Needless to say, I plan to make one for us as well!

diy chalkboard serving tray, handmade wedding gift

MATERIALS


WOOD PREP

Begin by either finding a piece of scrap wood in your garage, or by cutting a board to your chosen dimensions. I had managed to find the perfect size of scrap board in our garage that was left over from a previous project we had done – no cutting required!

Lay the handles and a few dishes you might like to use on the tray to determine what size would be best.

how to determine the size of a serving tray

Use an electric sander to round all corners and edges of the tray. I wanted to add a unique feature to the back of the tray so I chose to wood burn my logo into the lower corner. If you would like to add a special feature of your own just follow these simple steps below!

how to sand the edges of a serving tray

WOOD BURNING (OPTIONAL)

Print out the image or text onto a piece of paper at the size you want. Lay the paper onto the wood and use a pencil to trace the outlines you wish to display. Press hard when tracing with the pencil to make indents on the wood.

Remove the paper when you are finished and make sure all of the outlines you want are pressed into the wood. Simply trace the outlines with your wood burning kit and you are ready for staining.

how to wood burn a logo on a serving tray
– When our name was still The Navy Home. –

STAIN + SEAL

Select your choice of stain color and apply with a staining rag. We used Minwax in Red Mahogany, but have since found and highly recommend this brand.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat.

Next, use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of polyurethane. I chose to seal the tray in case any liquids were to get on it during food prep, serving, etc.

CHALKBOARD PAINT

Once the tray is nice and dry, apply painter’s tape around the edges to form the area that will become the chalkboard surface.

Using the painter’s tape, create a 1” border along the length of the tray with a 2” border along the widths where the handles will be added later. Be sure to press tape down firmly around all edges to ensure the chalkboard paint will not bleed underneath.

how to paint a chalkboard serving tray

Time to pop open your can of chalkboard paint and get to painting! I’m not gonna lie, this is when I stir my paint with a stick I found in the yard. But, I am 99% positive this is not recommended. Instead, a clean stir stick does the trick and helps maintain the integrity of the product.

Use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of chalkboard paint to your tray within the taped off work space.

When painting at the tapes edge, make sure your brush is lightly soiled with paint and apply with strokes moving away from the tape, not towards. If you paint with stroke towards the tapes edge, you are liable to end up with paint under the tape.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat.

diy chalkboard serving tray, how to make a chalkboard serving tray, handmade wedding gift

ASSEMBLING THE TRAY

After your new chalkboard surface is completely dry – especially at the tapes edge – carefully remove the tape by pulling at a slight angle towards the painted surface.

The only thing left is to attach your decorative handles! Mark the locations for your screws, drill small pilot holes, lay the handles in place, and drill in the screws.

You’re done! Look at that beauty! Now you have a fun and beautiful chalkboard serving tray for all your summer festivities!

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RUSTIC FARMHOUSE DECOR WITH BUDGET DECORATING TIPS

rustic farmhouse decor

Rustic farmhouse decor with tips for how to decorate on a budget and choose versatile furniture pieces that can move with you.

rustic farmhouse decor with budget decorating tips

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


We recently rearranged our living room area which in turn lead to us redoing our fireplace mantel. Before we did any rearranging; however, this was our original setup for what was the dining room portion of the area.

We do not have a grand china cabinet, but I felt this cabinet could work as a rustic, yet elegant substitute for housing serving ware, table linens, candles, etc.

As a side note, I apologize for the not-so-fantastic picture quality; military base housing is not known for its spectacular lighting. Okay, so base housing is not all to blame…

HOW TO FIND VERSATILE FURNITURE PIECES:

Anyone who lives in a rental home or apartment knows that storage space is key. This cabinet was actually a piece I purchased when living in the definition of a “zero storage space” one-bedroom apartment.

When apartment hunting, I somehow did not notice the massive lack of storage space… that is until I moved in. I actually had to purchase four new pieces of furniture in order to have a place to put everything.

Food had to be stowed away in the very few kitchen cabinets, which left the dishes to be stored elsewhere – cue my newly dubbed buffet cabinet. Once everything had a home, it was the perfect sized apartment for me… until my husband moved in. There was no hope for a storage solution after that.

One of the things I love about this particular piece of furniture is its versatility. A china cabinet is exactly how it sounds, a cabinet for fine china. It is most likely a very large piece of furniture and located in the dining room. However, this buffet cabinet is really just a cabinet that can be used for anything and in any room making it a great choice for those who move often.

Another perk is the reduced size of this cabinet versus a china cabinet. This allows for greater versatility in where the piece will fit in each given room or new home.

When trying to select and purchase versatile furniture pieces I look for these features: storage, size, and style.

STORAGE

Does the piece have useful storage space or is it really only for decor items? I always go for the storage feature because when moving with the military I never know what our storage space will be like in the next home.

SIZE

How big is the piece? If the piece is a massive structure that needs a large solid wall to house it, odds are I may not always find a spot for it in future homes. If the piece is too small it is essentially not very functional – at least not for storage. I try to go for moderately sized pieces and have never had trouble finding walls to place them against in each new home.

STYLE

What is the overall style of the piece? This one is easy, I go for pieces that I love and are compatible with the rest of your home decor. Neutral is always best here because it can transition with changes in decor, color scheme, etc. Mine is not exactly neutral being that it’s green, but it went great with the rest of our decor so I chose to go out on a limb with this one!

HOW TO DECORATE ON A BUDGET:

After you have your required storage, all you need is to decorate! Choose some decorative conversation items if the arrangement is in one of your common rooms where guests will be.

I loved this setup for the dining room area because it showcased some conversation starters – such as college stories, vacation memories, and the first rose my husband gave me – all while storing additional serving ware.

A great option we use for budget-friendly decor is simply mix and match items we already own along with some DIY projects. Some decor items I recommend are decorative books, cookbooks, souvenirs, coffee mugs, floral arrangements, DIY projects, family photos, etc.

The wood shelf and the preserved flower were my own DIY projects for this space.

I recommend appropriately balancing your pieces with one another in addition to both the size of the room and wall. The shelf adds a nice upper balance to the weight of the cabinet below, while the overall scale works nicely for the wall size.

When it came to the floral arrangements, these were originally for the townhouse I shared with my brother during college. My brother did not want any decor that was “too girly,” but I had already found these adorable burlap bags and had to get my floral arrangements in them somehow.

So I decided to use flowers that were not too feminine in both color and appearance with greenery. The key element here was I chose to use a more masculine twig-like greenery and moss to seal the deal.

I explained to him my balance between masculinity and femininity in the arrangement… I am not sure if he actually bought my reasoning, but he caved either way!

Through this rustic, farmhouse inspired arrangement we not only added lots of storage to the space, but also added an abundance of color to the standard barren rooms of rental properties.

If you have a lack of storage space or a tight budget, try not to look at it as a bad thing. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to get creative! You could end up inspiring your friends and help them solve their own decor or storage challenges.


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