OK, let me just start out by saying that if I was in charge of this chalkboard project, then I absolutely would have gone ahead and done a shoddy job of it. I ended up asking Chris to make this for Kennedy’s room though, so of course he went and turned a quick little project into a whole. big. thing. I usually get pretty annoyed when this happens (and it always happens), but this time the extra effort was definitely worth it. I love how this chalkboard turned out!
If you’ve been thinking about building yourself a custom-sized chalkboard, why not go ahead and make something that’s going to look great and really last? It may have taken Chris a little longer than I would have liked, but it really is kind of interesting to see some of the building methods he comes up with when he’s being so ridiculously detail-oriented about a simple project like this. Here’s how it all went down!
Chris set up all his stuff on the area of the driveway that used to be covered in mulch and extra topsoil for about the last three years. We finally got that area cleaned up a few weeks ago so now I guess we have a new outdoor work space!
Getting all your tools out and set up before you start a project makes everything go a lot smoother. For Chris this meant a pretentious local craft beer too, of course. Also a nail gun, air compressor, jigsaw, router, three saw horses, glue, a mitre saw, and a table saw.
He started out by cutting a piece of 1/4″ MDF to the size that he wanted to chalkboard to be.
He also cut a basic frame for the thin MDF out of some 1×4 MDF boards with a routed out inside edge for the thin MDF to sit in.
Because another decorative frame made from molding would be mitred right on top of this stronger structural frame, he made the joint a little fancy to make the whole thing have more structural integrity.
I’m pretty sure he must have invented this joint, but it does the trick! From the side, it looks like a regular mitre, but it’s got the extra little right angled bit that adds extra strength.
The decorative molding goes right over top!
It looks super simple but of course we know that there’s a little bit of DIY magic hiding hiding under that basic molding!
At the bottom, a basic 2×2 piece of lumber allowed him to create a little “sill” for the chalk to sit on. He finished it off with some more decorative molding. The end result looks pretty and classic, and it’s exactly what I had in mind!
When it came time to hang up our fancy new chalkboard, we couldn’t just do the basic “nail in the wall and a piece of string” method, now could we? Well, actually I totally would have if it was up to me. Or I would have just hot glued it right to the wall. Of course Chris stepped in and decided to do things the “right way”. And his right way was, well…. right. We don’t really want a wobbly chalkboard that could fall down at any second hanging in our daughter’s room. So here’s what he used!
He got these little inter-locking hanging things from the hardware store.
To make sure the chalkboard would sit flush on the wall, he routed out a section of the frame and put one piece in on each side.
The matching pieces got mounted directly on the wall.
Behold! The finest chalkboard that ever lived!
It looks great in her room with the blue frame and we love knowing that we know that Kennedy and her friends will have years of fun ahead of them leaving messages for each other and writing “so and so wuz here” over and over again.
If you’re like me and seem to need a chalkboard in every room, why not test your DIY skills a little bit and build your own?
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.