DIY Chalkboard: Back to School

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This is one of my favorite back to school posts and I wanted to repost and share it with you! I made this wonderful chalkboard for my daughter's teacher last year. We typically find out who the new teacher for the year a week before school starts, so just enough time to get a sweet personalized gift ready for those first days.

I've had so much fun this summer with the kids, but it has went by way to fast. I hope to make the last few days packed full as much fun as I can. Even a trip to the local water park.

So onto this awesome  (and did I mention insanely easy?!!) back to school inspired chalkboard. 

This chalkboard project is super frugal and quick to make.  I bought all of my supplies at Lowes and used some extra items that I had around the house.

Supplies I used: 
3 Yardsticks
Thin piece of wood, approx. 16x24
Chalkboard Paint
Paint Brush
Gorilla Wood Glue
E-6000 Craft Glue

1. Cut your main piece of wood (if needed) and yard sticks to make a frame around the chalkboard.  I cut my main board to 24x16 inches and cut my yard sticks so that they butted up to each other instead of making angles to form a more traditional frame look. I used my black and decker electric orbital jigsaw. It is small and easy to use, but you may have a big fancy saw to use instead. Just make sure that you wear eye protection and keep your fingers and other body parts away from the saw.
2. I took each yard stick piece and lightly sanded the words to make them less of a marketing product for Lowe's and a little more distressed.  Make sure that you take a paper towel and wipe off the blue paint that will sand off and wood dust that is left from sanding before you stain.

3. Lightly brush on stain and wipe off any excess with a paper towel.  You only need to stain the top and the sides.  You could do multiple coats if you like. I also stained the backside of the chalkboard, but this isn't necessary.

4. Now it's time to paint the chalkboard.  I used chalkboard spray paint. If you want, you can wear a mask since it is a good idea to not breath in the fumes.

For the chalkboard paint, you really need to do two coats... light coats and it's quick and easy.  I let it dry for about 6 hours between coats and then the next day I rubbed the chalk all over the board to get it ready for use. Then I wiped it off with a wet white dishtowel and it looked amazing!

5. Now it's time for assembly. Lay your chalkboard on a flat surface with some sort of protectant for the table if you need to. Place your yardsticks where they go and make sure everything lines up perfectly. Mine wasn't perfect on one corner, but that just gives it some character :)

(I didn't end up using the staple gun... but that's the glue that I used)

Have some paper towels ready and clamps. Get out your Gorilla Glue or preferred wood glue brand. Put a small line of wood glue on the back of each yardstick and put it into place. Gently place the clamps onto the sticks and leave it to dry for an hour or so. Some glue will take longer to dry. You will also need to let the glue cure overnight. 

6. Now for the embellishments. I chose to add a flower from my stash to the bottom corner. I used my amazingly strong and quick drying E-6000 craft glue. I also clamped down my flower to help it to stay tightly connected while it dried.

I added a washi tape covered clothespin to the top right corner. This will be great for attaching little notes or encouraging prints or pictures. 

I added in a piece of paper from my project life kit, a letter and photo of mine to finish it off.  I didn't want to add in too much, since I don't know the teacher well enough to know what she really likes or doesn't like. I love how it turned out, so cute!!  

7. The final step is to add a hangar on the back of the chalkboard. You could also add a ribbon for hanging if you want. I chose to add a sawtooth hangar on the back for mine.

I hope that you like this project as much as I did. You could make one for many occasions... like a countdown for Christmas or to hang at the kid's homework area. You could also use a different framing item... the possibilities are endless.  

Have a wonderful week! More projects to come... soon!


  1. What an awesome idea... Featuring you tomorrow!

  2. Okay, this is so freakin' cool! What an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Looks fantastic! Love the use of the stain to age the yardsticks!

    ~ Robin "Redo It"


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