How to Make a Chalkboard Eraser

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Eventually, even the most important message is erased.
Eventually, even the most important message is erased. (Image: einstein´s formel image by Carsten Meyer from Fotolia.com)

Chalkboards are handy and useful in the classroom and the home. You can make a washable chalkboard eraser that will work as well or better than commercially available erasers. Choose fabrics that will absorb and hold the chalk dust as you erase, rather than simply dispersing it into the air and onto the furniture and the floor. Suede, wool felt and chamois are traditional choices; however, modern microfiber fabrics are also effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • 1/2-inch thick kitchen sponge
  • Black marker
  • Chamois, suede, wool felt or medium-weight microfiber fabric
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine or hand-sewing needle
  • Thread
  • 1/2-inch wide hook and loop tape (optional)

Cut two identical pieces from the sponge in the size and shape that will work best for your chalkboard. A 5-by-2-inch rectangle is the standard size for a school chalkboard eraser, but you'll want a smaller eraser for a smaller chalkboard.

Draw a line on the piece of fabric, beginning near the corner of the fabric and parallel to an edge, measuring the length of the cut sponge plus 1 1/8 inch. Use the ruler to measure the length of the line, and then use the straight edge to draw the line on the fabric with a black marker.

Draw a second line, beginning at the end of the first line and at a 90 degree angle, measuring twice the width of the sponge plus 5/8 inch. Use the ruler to measure the length of the line, and then use the straight edge to draw the line on the fabric with a black marker.

Draw a third line, parallel to the second line and using the same measurement, at the beginning of the first line and at a 90 degree angle to the first line. Use the ruler to measure the length of the line, and then use the straight edge to draw the line on the fabric with a black marker.

Draw a fourth line, parallel to the first, connecting the bottom of the second and third line. Use the ruler to measure the length of the line, and then use the straight edge to draw the line on the fabric with a black marker.

Cut along the black marker line. This fabric piece is the eraser cover.

Stack the two cut sponge pieces.

Fold the cut fabric piece in half -- lengthwise, if it is rectangular -- with right sides together, if applicable.

Stitch along one short edge of the doubled fabric. Allow a 5/8-inch seam allowance. Use a sewing machine or hand sew, according to your preference.

Sew a seam 5/8 inch from the edge on the longest of the remaining two sides. Turn the fabric inside out; you now have what looks like a small fabric bag.

If the fabric used is not machine washable, skip this step. Otherwise, stuff the stacked sponges into the the fabric bag you just made, snugging the corners of the sponges carefully into the corners of the bag. It will be a very tight fit, but this is desirable. Tuck the remaining raw edges of fabric into the bag and machine stitch or hand-stitch the remaining side closed. Your chalkboard eraser is finished.

Cut a length of hook and loop tape the length of the remaining open side of the bag. Sew the hook side of the tape to the wrong side of one side, and the loop side to the other. This is a viable option when the fabric is not machine-washable. Stuff the stacked sponges into the the fabric bag you just made, snugging the corners of the sponges carefully into the corners of the bag. It will be a very tight fit, but this is desirable.

Tips & Warnings

  • Toss a microfiber eraser in the washing machine when it becomes too clogged with chalk dust to be effective.
  • Remove the sponge from the chamois, felt or suede eraser when it becomes clogged with chalk dust. Wash the sponge in the washing machine or dishwasher, and vacuum the built-up dust from the fabric bag using a the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

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