Giant DIY Party Chalkboard

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Happy June! Can you believe it’s June already? This year is flying by- maybe that’s what kids do to a person. Did you notice I finally got around to adding a welcome image to the sidebar? I updated my ‘About Me’ page as well- since, y’know I have kids now. Check it out and let me know what you think- I always love feedback :)

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

So I know last week I mentioned we were hosting a birthday party and that I’d be sharing photos. But I was so sick I barely showed up to plug in the coffee maker. This headcold is really taking it’s toll and this week I got ear infections in both ears as well… lucky my babes didn’t get that one too (the worst)! But I did make a chalkboard for the party so I thought I’d share that with you. But while we’re being honest with each other… we didn’t even use the chalkboard at the birthday party- we had to move the party inside at the last minute because of rain (you’ll see how temperamental the weather is in my photos) and chalkboard art is one of those things that just didn’t happen.

DIY Giant Chalkboard -

But I did do up a pretty sign for a baby shower later in the week. They were doing a ‘Little Man’ theme with bow ties galore. This time I used a ruler for the longer straight lines… I love how crisp it made the ‘Welcome’. I also didn’t attend this (thank you illness) but sent along the chalkboard and a couple other decor pieces- I really wish I could have seen how it all came together and gotten in some tiny baby snuggles. So I don’t really have an ‘In Action’ photo- but this is what it looked like before it got dragged across town :) So all this effort didn’t go to waste- plus, a friend saw it outside and asked to use it for her wedding.

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Can I talk about how much I love directional signage? For those of us who don’t have one level living- or the party is around back- it’s nice to have something to point the way to guests so you aren’t stuck at your front door the whole party. It’s cute and casual and so much better than yelling down the stairs ‘We’re up here!’. Anyways- let’s get to how we made it.

Since I was sick and we’re in the middle of renovations (the best time to host a party), I procrastinated making this a bit. It’s the one thing I was doing for the party and I really put it off… like until the morning of. But you know what they say? If you give the laziest person a job- you’ll learn the easiest way to do it. So here’s probably the easiest way to make a giant chalkboard:

Supplies to make two giant chalkboards:

  • 1 Piece Hardboard (mine was 4×4) ($11 from Home Depot)
  • Chalkboard Paint & Foam roller ($12 – you’ll only use part of the can)
  • Pallet, Hammer & Pry bar
  • Circular Saw & Square
  • Wood Stain (free- leftovers!)
  • Wood Glue & Clamps (I had these on hand as well)

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

This is what I started with- a giant piece of standard hardboard. Mine was white, but you can get the plain stuff for $10 and that’s enough to make two chalkboards. I’d painted it a while back using storebought chalkboard paint. At the time I didn’t have grout or black paint to test out making my own- honestly I haven’t heard of too many people who had success with that anyways, I just shelled out the twelve bucks. Painting the entire board two coats used about one third of the can, so I can use it for future projects too. We’d been using it during renovations as a task list, but has been relegated to the basement since we moved in.

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

I decided I’d like two chalkboards so my handy hubby cut it in half for me. I measured and marked the line down the middle (using a square to make sure it’s nice and straight) and we used a circular saw to cut. Cutting something so big and bendy is a bit tricky, so I’m glad I got to stand back and watch this part.

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

The other piece of the puzzle? An old pallet. Our flooring was delivered on one so I didn’t have to go hunting (win!) so I just had to disassemble it. I used a hammer and small pry bar- worked like a charm. When you’re done disassembling you’ll have a pile of nails (SO many nails) and different widths of usable board. At this point my little helper woke up early from his nap so we moved a little slower.

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Next I laid out the pieces I wanted to use to make the frame and marked where they needed to be cut. Hubby used a square to straighten my lines while Em and I watched from a distance (that little guy loves anything with a motor so watching Daddy with the saw was exciting). The dots on the chalkboard are rain- but since we’re last minute DIYers, we pressed on (because we had no choice).

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Next I did a quick sand on the cut pieces to get rid of the really rough spots- but still keep the beat-up texture. Then I stained the boards- I had the stain leftover from our floors and used a cheap paintbrush to get it on there as quick as possible. No matter how rushed- always wear gloves when working with stain- especially when you have to attend a party that day (lessons learned). Then you can walk away while your stain dries. Oh- if you love your lawn, you should probably lay a garbage bag out.

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

Giant DIY Chalkboard -

You’re almost done- I promise. Use a generous amount of woodglue and lay your frame pieces out how you would like them. Since pallet wood is pretty warped, you’ll definitely need to clamp it down (or use buckets of paint and stain to squish it) while it dries. UPDATE: The wood glue worked… for a while. But if you’re going to use this for more than one or two parties, I’d use PL (a construction adhesive). Hardboard doesn’t take wood glue very well and I found I had pieces fall off. To get it to adhere properly I had to scrape off the wood glue (ugh) and apply PL before clamping. But- now, it really works ;)

DIY Giant Chalkboard -

So that’s it! The quickest, easiest (and one of the cheapest) ways to make a giant chalkboard for that party that is tomorrow. I’m thinking about taking the two chalkboards and making them into a sandwich board with hinges and a chain… maybe another day though.

Newborn Photography -

And since it was a 1 year old party- I thought I could at least share a photo of the sweet girl we were celebrating. But I’m going to do it throwback style because this year has gone so quickly. Last summer I photographed her as a newborn and so I’ve got my favourite one here for you… isn’t she adorable? Those squishy cheeks still get me.

Do you have any parties you could use a giant chalkboard for? I think I’m going to get some good use out of these guys. And how do you DIY… planned and proper or are you a last minute maker?


XO Colleen

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  1. oh gosh, colleen, this is gorgeous – looks like something you’d buy at restoration hardware :)

  2. I just love this!! You make it look do-able! I will have to see. Plus, I can almost feel the squishy-ness of those baby cheeks. Happy 1 year!! Smiles!

  3. This turned out lovely. Love how rustic the frame is! Thanks for linking up to the DIY’ers!

  4. Great tutorial…pinned and stumbled!

  5. This is fantastic! Don’t forget to link it up to the Feature Friday Link Party!

    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic

  6. This is SO fabulous! I can’t wait to make one of my own to hang in my kitchen! Thank you SO much for sharing at this week’s Linkn’ Blogs!

  7. Super cute! I have a bunch of pallets in my garage that need taken apart, but we’re having trouble getting the spirally nails out. Actually we only tried once, and by we I mean my husband, but it was tough enough that we (he) were too intimidated to try again. We’re wimps :)

    • They’re tough nails! These ones had little burrs or barbs or something (I’m not sure exactly what they’re called) but it was a beast… That little pry bar with a hammer to tap it in was magic though. You should get one :)

  8. I’m loving this chalkboard!!! Featuring you tomorrow. XO, Aimee

  9. Sorry to hear that you have been sick but the sign came out adorable!

  10. Tami says:

    Your RSS feed button does not work. Please sign me up. Thanks.

    • Thanks for the interest in LemonThistle Tami! The RSS shows up okay on my browser, so my guess is you mean to subscribe via email? I’m actually in the middle of trying to set that up- hopefully in the next week! I’ll sign you up when I do, and if that’s not what you meant, just don’t confirm when the subscription comes in and you wont get any more emails.

      Thanks again for taking the time to leave me a note! (and for the kick in the butt to get on my to-do list!)


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