28 January 2014

CHALKBOARD RUNNERS

This week's HOW DO YOU DO: two easy ways to integrate a(n eternally PINTERESTing) chalkboard runner into your dinner party decor schemes.

Home Depot's 2x4, unframed chalkboard is a dream (and only ten bucks!). I have one mounted on my living room wall, and I keep an extra in the closet. It's great for personalizing a cheese table or buffet, and the option of lifting the board + dishes + food off all at once between courses or during clean up is awesome (and something you can't do with paper). Always start by rubbing the side of a stick of chalk over half your surface area, then dry-wipe with a paper towel over the entire surface. You'll get that lovely, streaky background, which softens those first-day-of-school, harsh white-on-black lettering zoinks.

For a sit-down dinner, paper is the better option. It'll keep plates and platters on the same level, and pays dividends, re: CRUMBS, when it's time to clean up and the whole thing can just crumple up and be thrown away. I've used chalkboard contact paper for this in the past when styling weddings, but in terms of cost efficiency, black Kraft paper is the move. Rip the edges for a rustic vibe, use a small roll of tape in each corner (PS, here's my new favorite YouTube video), and go to town. Just remember: a little personalization goes a long way, and a lot of personalization will inevitably go home on your friends' sleeves, arms, and elbows.

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