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DIY - Whale chalkboard

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This week we’re whaley showing you how to make this chalk board that we normally sell in the shop for £40!

 You will need:

I haven't suggested which power tools to buy as they vary wildly in price, I’m hoping you will already have the them or be able to borrow them. If you are planning on buying power tools I always recommend buying a well known brand and reading reviews before purchasing, good tools are worth investing in and will way outlast cheaper versions.

Lastly if you have a workbench handy I would recommend using it, but if not you can use the edge of a kitchen table – just be extra careful when using the jigsaw. 

Got everything? Right lets get started then!

Here's your outline design:

First of all draw your design on the wood, use the straight edge of the wood as much as possible as this will give you less to cut and keep the design as straight as possible. I have used a piece of MDF that I had already so needed to cut out more, if you have bought the size suggested you should only need to round off the edges and cut out the tail.

Clamp your wood to your workbench or table with the first part you intend to cut hanging off the edge. Pop on your mask and goggles and cut out your design with your jigsaw, being extra careful to move the wood so that the part you are cutting is always hanging of the edge of the table so that you don’t accidentally saw in to it (I’ve done it before much to my chagrin!)

Always try and keep to the right of your drawn line – this way you can always see your line and if you have any wobbles you will be able to sand them away. If you cut on the line or to the left if you make a mistake you will not be able to see your line anymore and have to re-draw your design smaller to fix it.

Jigsaws don’t like tight curves so with trickier areas such as the tale don’t try to cut it all in one cut, do as much as you can and then come in from a different angle. If your new to using a jigsaw I would recommend trying to cut out some wavy and straight lines before going straight in to this so that you get a feel for it.


Hard part over! Now you have finished cutting your design you will need to sand down the edges to perfect the shape and smooth it down ready for painting. Wrap a piece of your sand paper around your sanding block and rub it against the side of your wood. Try to keep your hand at a right angle to your wood so that you don’t accidentally round off the edges from sanding them.

With areas that are too small to get your sanding block in rip a bit of sand paper off and use just your hands.

Once you happy that your wood is smooth and your design is how you wanted it your ready to drill your eye and chalk blowhole. Firstly draw where you would like the eye to be, place a bit of scrape wood underneath your wood making sure it is behind where the eye would be. Clamp down your wood to your surface and using your power drill and 8mm drill bit drill through as straight as you can.

Now mark on where your blowhole will be, clamp your wood so that it is standing up straight at a nice right angle (I have used the leg of my table). Drill a hole the depth you want your chalk to sit ( I suggest at least 3cm) firstly using your 3mm drill bit , then your 8mm drill bit. Using a smaller drill bit first helps to make sure the drill goes where you want, with drilling into such a small thickness it’s easy to slip off.

Now your ready to paint you whale using the chalkboard paint and mini gloss roller. 2 coats should be plenty.


Once dry decide which way you would like your whale to face and place face down on a tea towel to protect your paint job. Screw in your picture frame hooks, tie on your rope or coil round your wire and that's it, your finished and ready to hang!


Hope you enjoyed this make, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section! If you would rather just buy this instead of making it they are available on our online shop here.


All the best, Jude

DIY Tutorial

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