Children, may I have your attention?
Children, didn’t you hear the school bell?! Class is in session!
Today in shop class we’ll get schooled on how to build this DIY Knockoff Schoolhouse Chalkboard! And in home economics we’ll learn how the original catalog retailer’s chalkboard cost $229, but by DIYing it, we can make it for about $15!
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You guys may remember a few months ago I shared my second project as part of my stint as the Domestically Speaking 2016 Creative Team. The first Domestically Speaking project I shared was this. As the school year is quickly approaching I thought it was time to get my curriculum in gear and share my DIY Knockoff Schoolhouse Chalkboard lesson plan with you!
The schoolhouse chalkboard project got started when I discovered it on the Ballard Designs site while I was researching this project.
When I saw the original cost $229, I knew I could DIY for less. And that’s exactly what I did! This DIY schoolhouse chalkboard stays true to the original design… aged looking wood, metal fasteners, rope and of course chalkboard!
The uses for this chalkboard are endless… I think anyone who loves antiques and vintage pieces would love one of these. I can also see one in a cafe or bistro. I’m a craft beer guy, so I think this would be perfect in a tasting room displaying all of the micro brews on tap. And forget an apple, what about this as an inexpensive teacher’s gift? Your kid is totally getting an A! Let’s quit talking and start building!
DIY Knockoff Schoolhouse Chalkboard Plan
24″x 48″ chalkboard
Sisal rope – about 48″
#6 1-1/4″ wood screws
3/8″ one hole straps or screw eyes
Rust-Oleum Early American Ultimate Wood Stain
Step 1. Cut 4 pieces of 1×2 to 35-7/8″. Round over the edges with sandpaper to give the pieces an aged, worn look.
Step 2. Stain the wood. I chose an Early American stain and I think the color came pretty close to the original piece.
Be sure to stain about a 1/2″ on the back of the wood, because the wood overhangs the chalkboard and you don’t want to see raw wood on your finished piece.
Once the stain was dry I applied a couple coats of my favorite “can’t mess it up” wipe on finish that gave the pieces a hand rubbed finish look.
Step 3. While the stain and finish are drying, you can cut the chalkboard. The chalkboard is 24″ x 35-3/8″. I applied a piece of painter’s tape to the cut line to keep the chalkboard from chipping. Clamp a crosscut jig on the cut line and cut with a circular saw.
Step 4. To assemble, put two of the wood pieces on your work surface with the stained sides facing down. Place the chalkboard on top of the wood. Align the wood so the edges are flush with the chalkboard and the ends overhang about 1/4″.
Apply glue to the remaining wood pieces and place on top of the chalkboard and align just as you did the bottom pieces.
Drill several countersink holes in the top pieces.
And attach using 1-1/4″ screws.
Step 5. Attach the straps. Place the chalkboard with the back facing your work surface and the chalkboard facing up. On the back piece of wood, measure in 2″ on each side and make a mark. Attach the straps with 1-1/4″ screws, but leave the screws loose.
Step 6. Cut a piece of sisal rope to about 48″. Make a knot in one end leaving a tail about an 1″ long.
Insert the rope into the strap and tighten. Adjust the rope to your desired length and repeat for the other end.
All that’s left is to hang on the wall, get out your chalk and write some clever messages!