a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Jan, 2011

Chalkboards: the new art

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

The other day someone from a PR firm asked me if I wanted a sample of the new baby elephant chalkboard wall decal set from WallCandy Arts. I replied in the affirmative because it was TOO CUTE TO REFUSE. We picked it up from the post office before the holidays. The girls were over the moon. Emma has a tree-shaped chalkboard set (shown here, but I don’t think it’s available anymore) by WallCandy in her room already, and she uses it all of the time.

I’m a convert. These peel and stick decals are removable and reusable, non-toxic, lead-free, and VOC free. And the designs are fabulous.

The baby elephant (along with her cute little birdie friends and water droplets) has been added to the wall right next to our kitchen. I have pledged to use it to answer the one question that gets asked about 100 times every day (and I get really tired of answering after the first ten times):

“What’s for Dinner?”

And so I am slowly getting into the habit of asking one of the girls to fill out the elephant for me.

I do love the idea of using chalkboards around the house. We have a chalkboard oilcloth which is nice to spread on the floor every once in awhile. This came from my friend Marla in the mail some time ago:

Doodling on "chalkboard" oil cloth

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10 Responses to "Chalkboards: the new art"

1 | Alicia

January 5th, 2011 at 11:06 am


Chalkboards in the house are extremely popular these days! I picked up a large vintage picture frame from a consignment shop, painted the frame, cut a piece of wood to fit in, and painted it with chalkboard paint to hang on my kitchen wall….all part of my re-decorating this month. I plan to use it to post my weekly meal plans and other family messages. Fun!

2 | Marianne

January 5th, 2011 at 11:57 am


Apart from using dustless chalk (which I find to be just *less* dusty rather than dustless), how do you combat the horrific mess that chalk makes? It drives me crazy, especially the coloured chalk since it stains, particularly if you get it wet. I love the idea of encourgaing my 3-year-old to play with the chalk, but I cringe every time. Any suggestions? Or should I just wait until she’s older and better able to control the mess?

3 | andrea

January 5th, 2011 at 12:08 pm


Alicia: that’a great idea!

Marianne: I have this one positioned in a place where there is very little damage that can be done with chalk. How does your 3yo get it wet? Apart from a tiny bit of dust I don’t find it to be too messy when they use it…

4 | Down Comforter

January 5th, 2011 at 12:25 pm


I love the idea of the dinner post and such but how do you keep your kids from drawing on the walls. I am the mother of four, my kids range from 9 to 4. The older two understand only drawing on the chalkboard but the younger not so much. ANY SUGGESTIONS?!

5 | Javamom

January 5th, 2011 at 1:21 pm


I use those vinyl chalkboards which came in a pack of 4 at Chapters. Bought them a couple of years ago. I have them in my kitchen…one I use for jotting down who got which medication when and one I use for random notes. The other two I have in a different location in the kitchen and I use for grocery list.

The dust of the chalk hasn’t really bothered me that much because I use them for notes as opposed to the kids who would use a LOT of chalk (hence create a lot of dust).

I first saw them on a Martha Stewart site…of all places, but today they make the cutest things out of those chalkboards! A great gift for someone who has everything…

You just made me add another item onto my lengthy to do list – paint the top of the kids ikea table with chalkboard paint….lol

6 | katie

January 5th, 2011 at 7:31 pm


We use our aubergine-shaped chalk board in the kitchen to display our weekly dinner menu. I love knowing what there is to look forward to during the week!

7 | marianne

January 5th, 2011 at 8:50 pm


Maya doesn’t get the chalk itself wet, but when you wash chalk-dust impregnated clothes, the colour from the chalk can stain. Picture the 3-year old deciding use her sleeves to wipe the chalkboard. Not to mention just generally getting the chalk all over the place. And when she went to wash her hands and didn’t quite get them clean, the wet chalk dust also stained the handtowel in the bathroom. I’m an elementary teacher and overall not a particularly fussy mom when it comes to most messy things but the chalk dust just drives me crazy.

8 | Liisa

January 5th, 2011 at 9:30 pm


Love chalkboards!

We have a whole wall in the playroom that was painted with chalkboard paint and the kids can draw all over it. It’s right behind an elevated area that I picture they could use as a stage down the road and create scenes on the chalkboard.

I bought the dustless chalk and so far the dust hasn’t been too bad.

9 | Sara

January 6th, 2011 at 9:15 am


We have a little table in our living room that the boys use for playing, snacks, and reading. The wall beside it is a bit splattered/finger-printed/messy to say the least. Now i’m thinking that would be a great place to put a chalkboard decal!

10 | FireMom

January 9th, 2011 at 12:33 pm


Mmm, I have that page bookmarked now. I’m doing some re-modeling stuff in the playroom office this year (year long project) and I think maybe we need the panels… two for their side, two for my side.

Thank you for your review!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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