It has been a couple of months since I wrote about my plans for the Wall Candy Arts - Chalkboard Removable Wall Decals from AllModernBaby. They arrived on my doorstep just before we were due to leave on our vacation, and by the time we were done with a ten-day trip to Vancouver and Alaska, and a week-long family reunion in Los Angeles, I was so busy trying to get caught up on work and other things that I barely had time to look at them. So much for using them as my secret weapon in the Plan to Get Organized.
When I did get a chance to open the package, I found the chalkboard decals commiserating with my Franklin Planner and my son's dog-eared, but largely unused, assignment notebook from Seventh Grade. The decals were exactly as advertised - easy to apply.
It's not the most beautiful wall decoration ever, particularly when applied over eggshell white paint. (Oh, hey - you were expecting to see this in the kids' rooms? My youngest is 13, meaning we don't post pictures of his private inner sanctum on the blog. Just imagine it on the wall in your toddler's room, or think of all the creative places YOU could put it in YOUR house.) But these are meant to encourage creativity, doodling, and posting quick reminders - not to grace the walls of a formal living room. Be sure to peel each decal carefully off the backing; I got a faint but definite crease in this one when I peeled it too quickly and it folded over on itself. I suspect the crease will show up more, over time, as it collects a fine layer of chalk dust. I'm also sure that a damp cloth will make it (mostly) disappear again. My main concern had been the fact that all of our walls are textured and painted. Although a smooth surface is recommended, the chalkboard decals work just fine on textured, painted walls. It does make for a slightly bumpy writing surface, and that makes it harder to write actual words - assuming you care, later, about being able to read them. But it might serve to teach the basics of stone rubbing, and it can be a great little pick-me-up when the kids write encouraging notes, like, "Oh, for cripe's sake, mom, you're not blogging about ME again, are you?"
I made that up. Between the bumpy surface and the three sticks of standard-issue white institutional chalk that comes with these things, there's not really room for all that prose.
I suppose, if I'd put all the decals together, edge-to-edge, there would've been room for the first draft of a very short children's picture book or a couple of colorful limericks. But I suggest that these wall clings are more appropriate for creative, artistic doodles and I would like to have seen a small package of multicolored chalk included in the cylinder with the decals. That said, I think these should be reserved for kids who are old enough to know how how to color inside the lines, or you'll have chalk all over the walls. It's not easy to keep it off the walls when erasing, as it is.
Overall, the chalkboard wall decals from WallCandy Arts are fun, imaginative, and a nice way to encourage creativity, assuming you're pretty sure your kids won't take it as a license to freely write on all the walls. Together or separately, they can serve as a cute little family message board, but for organization and scheduling, I'd stick to a write-on, wipe-off wall calendar.
My twenty year old daughter is eager to steal a couple of these for herself. I told her she could, as soon as I finished telling you about them.