10 Minute Leather and Cork Chalkboard

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I’m just popping in quickly today- we just got back from a lovely weekend of camping (for the first time with the babes!). So we’re taking the day to relax and unpack. I thought it’s about time I shared with you this cork chalkboard I created for Crafty Allie a couple months ago. It’s seriously one of my favourite crafts that I’ve done on Lemon Thistle so I had to show you guys! This leather and cork chalkboard is the perfect last minute DIY to spruce up your office, empty wall, or to whip up as a gift.

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

I used things I had kickin’ around so this project cost me nothing. Zip, Zilch (the best kind of project). I used cork leftover from this vase – but a pack of four cork tiles was from the dollar store. I used leftover chalkboard paint from my giant party board– a whole quart cost $13. And I used leather cord that was actually a shoe lace from some old shoes my hubby was retiring (score!). Let’s assume you don’t have these things filling up your closets- here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Cork Tile (knife and craft mat to cut to preferred size)
  • 1 length leather cord (and screwdriver to punch holes)
  • Chalkboard paint (and paintbrush)
  • Chalk to write on your beauty

This project took me a grand total of 10 minutes (besides dry time), so I know you can do it! But in total transparency- I think I’ve also had my biggest blunder in making this little gem.

The leather cord I used to hang the board was a shoelace from one of my hubby’s old pairs of shoes. They’d made it into the give-away pile so I thought, even if I try something and it doesn’t work- it’s free, big deal! The leather was white when I started, but decided I’d like a brown cord better. I thought I’d use the floor stain we had leftover to dye the cord. Shane pointed out that the stain might eat through a plastic cup, so I thought I’d outsmart it and use five plastic cups stacked. It actually worked quite well to dye the cord and so I put it on our bathroom counter with the fan on and walked away to let it dry.

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

I cam back in an hour or so later to find (the horror!) the stain had eaten through all five cups… and turned the red and white plastic solo cups into a pink gummy mess. All over my counter, the screwdriver I’d used to douse it, and all over my beautiful brown leather cord. You wouldn’t imagine the scrubbing it took to get that pink gooey madness off everything. It was all over my hands and all over the sink and getting the pink tinge off of the leather took more time than I care to admit. So if you feel like dying leather cord- it works really well… but use a glass or metal container. Lessons learned!

Sometimes the greatest plans- right? But it all worked out and I’ve got a sweet little chalkboard to write love notes on.

Okay… so the DIY! Just lay out your cork on your craft mat (or cutting board) and cut it to the size you’d like. I’ve found the best way to cut cork is to use a knife (craft knife or kitchen knife is fine) and press through the cork, working your way down the line (instead of dragging the knife through). You get less cork crumbles on the edge this way (much tidier looking).

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

After you cut the cork, you can paint on your chalkboard. If you’d like it to look like a perfect line, use painters tape. I was going for a hand-made look so made sure my lines weren’t too perfect. Make sure you coat the cork in enough paint that the cork is completely covered. I don’t bother making my own chalkboard paint. I love the Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint that you can find at Home Depot or Walmart- a small can goes a long way!

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

While it’s drying, you can decide where you’d like to punch holes for your leather cord, making sure the holes aren’t too close to the edges. I used a screwdriver to make the holes in the cork. Originally, I tried a punch, but it didn’t make a clean edge like a Phillips head did. I pressed it in, then gently twisted it (essentially drilling through the cork). Once you have your holes, thread your cord through and tie.

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

Before you write on your chalkboard (or any chalkboard) make sure you cure it by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over the board, then wiping clean. If you skip this step it’s near impossible to get those first words written off the board (I’ve tried to skip this step- silly me). Then your chalkboard is ready to be written on and loved!

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

DIY Cork Chalkboard - lemonthistle.com

So simple, and I love the way it turned out. It’s minimal fuss and will match almost any decor. What would you use yours for? Happy crafting!

XO Colleen
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Comments

  1. says

    I happen to have all of these things lying around too. Crafty pack-rat, um maybe. I desperately need one of those little signs to hang on my front door knob that says “baby sleeping” because I have had several unfortunately timed doorbell ringings lately. This would be perfect for that!

    • says

      We could probably start a crafty pack-rat club. And something cuter than a post-it taped over the doorknob would be fabulous. Thanks for always stopping by Megan!

  2. says

    I love the way you used up stuff from other projects.
    I can imagine even smaller ones tied round plant pots with herbs in them on a kitchen windowsill, or hanging on the font door as a cute “welcome and come straight round the back” for a barbecue party. Ooo that would be a great party idea, all the food could have cute little cork & chalk paint labels too.

    • says

      What a great idea! I’d love the mini version for around drink pitchers too… and really I’m a sucker for party signage. Thanks for stopping by Julie :)

  3. Michele says

    I <3 chalkboards! Yours is super cute. Perfect for wedding table MR and MRS too:)Pinned

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