WoodUbend is fantastic for craft projects. There’s a whole array of decorative mouldings just crying out to be used by crafters. So, in a rare move away from grand upcyled furniture endeavours, I turned my attention to something a little smaller. I’m all about brevity at the moment, in a busy world it’s nice to take a break for an hour or so over the weekend, allowing your inner craft demon out, and at the end of an hour or so you have something to show for it (rather than another half finished project just laying around the house).
The fantastic thing about craft, and indeed upcycling, is the thought that you are saving something that would have been otherwise thrown out. My trash to treasure project this week was creating a restaurant-style chalkboard from an old MDF board. Bland, dull and uneventful, you don’t initially look at old MDF boards and think, “I’ll have that in my kitchen”. However, with a little vision, some WoodUbend and a little bit of spare time, that can all change.
If you’re a WoodUbend newbie and would like to learn a little more about these innovative appliques, we have a great, informative WoodUbend guide that delves into just what the decorative mouldings are all about. As we’re all about brevity this week, I’ll give you a quick rundown. WoodUbend mouldings are heat bendable decorative wood mouldings because they have such a high wood content, they have all the properties of wood – whatever you can do with wood, you can do with WoodUbend. Heat the mouldings up with a hairdryer, heat gun or on a griddle and they become bendy and can be adhered to just about any surface only using wood glue!
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at my quick and simple chalkboard craft project.
Starting out with just a plain, old MDF board I deemed it wise to get my WoodUbend on before adding any colour. If your mouldings are going to be a different colour to your piece, then you can go right ahead and pre-paint your WoodUbend before heating, bending and glueing (provided you’re using a flexible paint). This is handy as it means you don’t have to be really careful about messing up your project as you painstakingly paint your mouldings when they are on the surface.
Simplicity in mind, the mouldings would form part of the paint blend on this particular craft project so there was no need for pre-painting. A great timesaver with WoodUbend is to have them warming on a griddle in the background. Just pop your griddle onto a medium heat, lay a little foil on there to protect your appliques and go about your business safe in the knowledge that your WoodUbend is getting nice and toasty.
Once thoroughly warmed, I covered the entire back of the now bendy 2138 Vine Leaf WoodUbend moulding with Titebond wood glue. Now, if you can’t get hold of Titebond, don’t worry – any good quality wood glue will suffice. Once I’d coated the back of the moulding I placed it in the corner of the board, I was going for a wine list inspired design so vines and grapes were the order of the day!
First moulding down, simple as that.
I then placed the smaller 2140 Vine Trellis WoodUbend moulding on either side of my 2138 design. Another fantastic thing about these great craft appliques is that when warm they can be sliced using just a craft knife. With this in mind, a few strands of the 2140 mouldings didn’t seem to quite fit, they looked a little messy. A quick blast with the heat gun and an even quicker chop with a knife soon solved that. Craft projects and gardening all at the same time…I will have earned my wine after this!
Once the mouldings were safely in the corner, a little pruning was in order to blend the two mouldings together. There was a little difference in depth between the larger and smaller vine mouldings. No problem, I warmed up the moulding for the third time, sliced a little off the larger moulding and sanded down to blend them all in together.
Before I started I’d popped a bottle of prosecco in the freezer and my aim was to have it cold enough to drink, but not frozen by the time this project was finished – I was around 10 minutes in at this point.
Who doesn’t like a ticking clock to spice things up?
Next on the list, trim. All WoodUbend trims are 2.1m long and vary in their widths. I was eating off-menu a little with the choice of trim, it is yet to be released so keep your eyes peeled. The trim is a lovely, rustic basketweave design and would really fit into the styling of my under-pressure craft creation.
A great tip when using the trims is to keep them coiled once they’ve been warmed. Two reasons really, it helps the trim retain the heat better and you don’t unroll too much and have great big lengths of WoodUbend everywhere!
Now, in my haste to avoid a prosecco malfunction, I did make a little mistake, I wanted the ends of the now adhered 2140 mouldings to sit on top of the trim. Again, it’s not a big issue, although they are firmly in place when they are properly adhered, WoodUbend can also be removed. Simply heat them up and pry them off the surface with something like a wallpaper scraper.
Following my own advice, I kept the basketweave trim in its coil and only used as much as was needed. I measured out four lengths to border my project and got to work mitring.
Well, not really.
To mitre properly is difficult, to mitre with WoodUbend mouldings is to save time (and a quickly cooling prosecco bottle). I used a straight edge to draw a line between opposite corners of the board, this gave me a 45° in each corner which I would use as a guide to slice my trim once I warmed it back up. This meant I would have a pretty much perfect joint on each of my corners.
If I cut one of the trims a little short, which is highly likely, then the WoodUbend has a little trick up its sleeve to rescue me. When warm the trims and thinner mouldings stretch up to about 10%, all without affecting the styling! Whew!
When working with the trims, it’s often easier to apply the wood glue straight onto the surface as opposed to the back of the moulding. As this was a simple craft project, I wasn’t using huge lengths of the trim so applying glue onto the moulding would suffice. Choose what works best for you.
Ok, time for a splash of colour don’t you think? I used Dixie Belle’s Aubergine as a base for my chalkboard whilst opting for the dark green Palmetto and lighter Kudzo Green around the border. Don’t dismiss your french tip brush when painting WoodUbend. This type of brush is perfect for really working all of that paint into the intricate crevices of the appliques.
Now, I’d like to say that I let the paint naturally dry as I should have done, I didn’t. There was a bottle of prosecco at stake, come on!
I gently dried the paint with a heat gun and turned my attention to dry brushing. I mixed up some Lemon Gold and Copper Posh Chalk Pigments. On its own, the Lemon Gold was a little too in your face, a little too bright for this particular craft project. The Copper worked just to tone it down and gave me a lovely rose gold colour. To learn the ins and out of Posh Chalk Pigments, take a look at our brief guide.
Using a small, flat brush I just gently picked out the peaks of the decorative mouldings in my unique colour, I allowed for a little more on the vine leaves. I really wanted a subtle classy design.
With one eye on the freezer, I added a pop of colour with the water-based Posh Chalk Aqua Patinas. The Patinas come in a fantastic range of bold, boho colours including Violet and Green Fhthalo – which is what I used today to pick out the grapes and contours of the vine leaves.
There we have it, a super simple craft project in no time at all. Now…where’s that prosecco?