For our Upcycle Challenge room we were really struggling with a window treatment. We knew we wanted to use some vintage ties but there was a ton of blinding light coming in from the upper windows and the window just “needed something more.” We wanted to steer clear of curtains and we couldn’t find anything in any of our local thrift stores so we decided to look online for ideas. When searching we came across a Chalkboard Map Shade on the Restoration Hardware site we knew exactly what we wanted, but we also knew would couldn’t afford to purchase it at $639 – that would be over budget and be all of our budget! So we decided to use a much, much lesser portion of our $500 budget and purchase the items to make it ourselves. Our version cost under $30 and our home tour guests couldn’t believe we did it ourselves.
Here is our inspiration for this project:
The Military Chalkboard World Map retails for a hefty $639 and our knock-off cost under $30.
Here’s a closer look at the Restoration Hardware version:
For this project you’ll need:
- Room darkening window shade (we used a Custom Size Now by Levolor White Cordless Vinyl Roller Shade and had it cut to length in store)
- Chalkboard spray paint (we used Kry-lon brand)
- Painter’s Tape (we love Frog Tape!)
- Chalkboard marker pens (we used these from Bistro)
- Map or another design you’d like to draw on the shade
- Sharpie metallic pens (not pictured below)
- Ribbon Braid (optional – not pictured below – found at your local craft or fabric store)
- Car pin striping (optional – not pictured below – found at your local car store)
The first step is to start with a window shade fitted for your window or windows. Make sure the shade is a room darkening one and the smoother the shade, the better. We found ours a Lowe’s and had them cut it in store for us.
Next, tape off a line for where you’d like to paint up to. We did ours so that when you pulled the shade down the design it would reach about midway down the windows. Spray the shade with your chalkboard paint. Please note, after the shade has dried we recommend to let it cure for at least 24 hours.
Using chalk pens, draw you design! My Mom freehand-drew the world and she wanted me to note publicly that the map is not to scale and if you notice your homeland is missing please don’t be “up in arms.” And she adds “all things cannot be perfect, but if they must be, you could use a projector for your design, or stencil of the world.” The sky is the limits on this one.
The last steps were to trim out the shade using a ribbon braid, and gold pin striping on top.
You can make a seasonal design and change it out every couple months. Chalkboard marker pens can easily be washed off, dried and new design can be started again. If you decide that you’ll want to change out the design skip the step using the Sharpie markers – they are permanent!
This was a fun project to work on and cost us just $30 to make vs. $639 to purchase from Restoration Hardware. Here’s the side by side view. (We placed the shade on two windows so it’s a bit wider than the Restoration Hardware version.)