Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jive Chalkin'...

Here's a little serendipitous discovery.  The oilcloth that I bought at Ikea (by the metre), to cover our dining room table can be drawn on with chalk and then wiped clean with a damp cloth.

So why would I be encouraging my children to draw on the furniture, I hear you ask? Well, ten minutes of quiet time around dinner can be a precious thing, and this seems to give me just that.

It's a bit of a novelty at the moment - I'm not sure it will last, but perhaps if I keep it as a once in while thing, it might just do the trick for those "cactus hour" moments when it's really needed.

Here's the rub though:  The oilcloth needs to be completely dry when you write on it otherwise it's much harder to clean.  Also, I'd use white or pale coloured chalks as dark or bright colours are a bit harder to get off (requiring spray cleaner as opposed to just a damp cloth).  Also beware of chalk dust on your kids clothes.  I've been putting Master J in a bib first (it's mealtime anyway), to contain that a bit.

Oh, and make sure you do a little patch test on your terms before letting your kids go crazy - I can't promise all oil cloth will behave like mine does.

Image from Oilcloth Addict's Etsy Store

Now, if you like this idea and you'd like to make it a bit more official, I can point you in the direction of a great Etsy shop that might inspire you.  Every type of oilcloth you could possibly imagine and also some great chalk cloth too...

I'm going to procure some for myself, and already have some great ideas for Christmas which I'll be sharing with you later.

Image from

With my newfound fascination with oilcloth & chalkcloth, and with the help of Google, I have come across this fantastic blog, and thought I'd share this cute Thanksgiving table project with you. Click on the photo to go through to the site.

Until my next post (yes, yes, it's coming!), have a great week.  I'll be the one explaining to my children why they can't draw on the sofa...

LM x


  1. You are amazing how you find all these things!! I don't even know if "oil cloth" is available in good ol NZ! Master J looks like he's having an absolute blast though!! I hope he understands the difference between "oil cloth" & "sofa"!!! xxoo

  2. Wow, thanks so very much for all the kind words on my little Etsy shop, OILCLOTH ADDICT! I am so happy to share my addiction with your readers.

    Many thanks,
    Kelly an Oilcloth Addict

  3. @ George. I've been doing some research and I'm pretty sure you will be able to get chalk cloth at Spotlight. I saw some projects done with it on their website, but it may be only Australia. Worth asking, next time you're there.

    @Kelly. I am now an oilcloth addict too! I hope I can send some visitors your way - more than half my readers are in the US :).



Thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them!

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