How to make recycled chalkboards (without paint)

This is a super-easy home recycling or upcycling project. I love this project because I have ADHD and chalkboards around the house help me keep track of things. This is really simple to make and you don’t need any specific crafting skill or equipment.

Do you have old cardboard boxes lying around? All you need to make a load of chalkboards are the following:

1. Some cardboard boxes.
2. This chalkboard Fablon stickyback plastic (you can write on it with chalk pens). Similar in the US here.
3. A pair of scissors

That is literally it.

How to make your chalkboards

Cut your cardboard down to the right size.

Place the cardboard on an unrolled length of Fablon. When cutting the Fablon, make sure to leave about 1-2cm around each side of your piece of cardboard so it can stick properly (I judge this with the squares on the backing paper).

Cut a diagonal line in each of the four corners of the Fablon to help it fold over onto the cardboard.

Now carefully remove the backing paper and line your card against it. Do a little at a time to avoid any air bubbles or creases and press it down moving toward the unfinished part of the chalkboard.

Last, fold the edges over, one at a time, and press them down. Cut any extra bits off.

Voila, you have a chalkboard. Now you can get some chalkboard pens and start drawing on them. The Chalkola chalkboard pens I use are here (or here in the US). To remove chalkboard pen ink from your chalkboard, use a wet cloth. The longer the paint is on the board, the more likely it is to stain.

You can also do the same project with whiteboard plastic, available here (or here in the US). The result is less pretty (IMO) but more functional for things like a classroom where you want to get feedback from your kids as part of your AfL strategy.

Level up your chalkboards: Make them magnetic!

Buy a sheet of sticky magnets, or magnet tape, and stick them to the back of your chalkboard. If it’s not sticking to your fridge very well, double the amount of magnet stickers/tape you are using (as a rule, the amount of magnet should be abut 5-10% of the size of the chalkboard).

10 uses for your new chalkboards:

Write your weekly meal plan on a board and stick it to the fridge.

Have another chalkboard for your grocery list.

Make a beautiful sign welcoming people to your home.

Keep one empty for mindfulness – with a pack of chalkboard pens, you can doodle, draw or write down what’s bothering you then wash it away when you feel better.

Make a note of any important tasks you need to get done today and number them in order of importance (don’t overload it though). It’s really satisfying to wipe this board clean at the end of the day.

Give one to your child to entertain them. This is especially good as a high chair tray activity or a car activity that’s easy to clean up. Remember to get non-toxic chalks, and NEVER give children under 5 chalk pens.

Make tiny chalkboards for a doll’s house.

Frame postcard-sized chalkboards and write some inspirational messages on them. To make a frame, cut out a bigger piece of card so the inside edge is a little smaller than your chalkboard, and paint it white.

Use chalkboards to help organize your cleaning schedule by writing each cleaning task along with the date it was last done. When you clean that thing again, just wipe off the date and write the new one in! Stick this in the cleaning cupboard to keep it with your cleaning products.

Use chalkboards to help your child learn new words, you can draw a picture and ask them to tell you what it is, or to write the word under it, or give your child a word and ask them to draw it to tell you what it is.

What will you use your new chalkboards for? Let me know in the comments!

Author: Torie Adams

I am a thirtysomething travel writer, lifestyle blogger, photographer, and USA Today bestselling author in Ireland, aka Mama Adventure. As a writer, I have written articles that are published in Offbeat Bride and on Buzzfeed, and as a photographer, I have taken photographs that are published in local and national news outlets in the UK. I have a blog at www.mamaadventure.com Twitter: @mamaadventurez

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