I recently shared my tips on using a jigsaw to make the DIY Cutting Board for the Power Tool Challenge project. I’ve got another fun jigsaw project to share with you today — chalkboard speech bubbles! I made some speech bubbles years ago for Jamie’s Wedding, but these turned out a lot better. I have so many thin plywood scraps, that I could make tons of these.
Gather scrap pieces of plywood
The first order of business -- I grabbed a scrap piece of thin plywood and divided into two pieces.
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Comparison of jigsaw blades
As I shared in my tips for using a jigsaw post, I compared two different kinds of jigsaw blades on this thin plywood. I bought mine on Amazon, and you can see them below.
Trace shape on plywood
I traced two semi-circles and then joined them together to make an oval.
You may have a better way to trace an oval….
Add tail to plywood chalkboard speech bubble
I simply joined the two semi-circles to make an oval, and quickly drew some small circles to represent a “thought” bubble. Hindsight 20/20 I wish I had mad the bubble more like a cloud like I did in the original speech bubbles I made years ago.
Carefully cut out speech bubble shape
It’s best to cut a little at a time with the jigsaw, and and work your way slowly around the thought bubble.
It’s best to move the jigsaw slowly and let the blade do the cutting. This thin plywood (underlayment) is rough and definitely needs a little help . . .
For best results-sand wooden speech bubbles
. . . with an orbital sander! The sander takes care of the rough edges, and makes the bubble more smooth and ready for the chalkboard paint.
The speech bubble was traced the same way. You can see how I was able to start and cut all the way around with one pass.
So, there you have it, one speech bubble and one thought bubble cut with a jigsaw!
They look so much better after sanding!
After I finished these I wanted to show you how you can make multiple chalkboard speech bubbles, so I set out to test it for you.
How to cut multiple speech bubbles out of plywood
I rummaged through all my scraps and found similar sized pieces of thin plywood (underlayment). Now here’s where you get to learn from my mistakes. I should have trimmed them up so that they would all be the same size. Sometimes I just get too impatient. An Irwin quick clamp was used to secure all the pieces together. I used the same Bosch jigsaw blades as I did for the other speech bubbles. I used a small plastic cup to make the rounded edges, and freehanded the tail of the speech bubble.
If you clamp the plywood in the right place you can cut all the way around without removing the clamp. After cutting the stack of plywood, it is easiest to sand around all the edges while they are still clamped together.
Not shown—I sanded both sides of each speech bubble smooth.
There ya go—FIVE diy chalkboard speech bubbles cut out all at the same time.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled post . . .
In this picture you can see I sort of rounded over the edge a little with the sander to make them ready for chalkboard paint. I generally use a foam brush, but I chose to use a cheap chip brush for these. I love using these brushes because they do a great job and they don’t waste a lot of paint down the sink. You can see how old the brush is—the older they get, the better they are.
Paint speech bubbles with chalkboard paint
This is after the first coat. I ended up doing two coats on both sides of the speech bubbles. I like to go north and south with one coat, then east and west with the next coat.
Add fun dots and dashes to speech bubbles
When the chalkboard paint was dry, I used a Sharpie oil paint pen to embellish the outer edge to make the speech bubbles “pop” a little more. These paint pens are awesome. They dry pretty much instantly and are permanent. I made a little mistake on the thought bubble and ended up having to touch it up with more chalkboard paint and then did a do-over with the white dashes.
These DIY chalkboard speech bubbles were so fun and easy to make!
sharing at Creativity Unleashed
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Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.