My Super Easy DIY Chalkboards That Were Not So Super Easy

I have this (potentially bad) habit of feeling the need to buy something when I think it’s cute, regardless of whether or not I actually have a plan for it or know exactly how I can use it. (I’m also a pro at returning things.) So when I saw these little wooden frames for a buck or two at Michaels a few months back, I bought a whole bunch of them. They had a rustic type vibe and I figured there had to be something I could do with them for the wedding.

On the way home, it came to me: chalkboards!


Image taken from | Photo by Suzanna March Photography

I know everyone and their mother seems to be incorporating chalkboards into their wedding in some form or another these days, and I’m totally another sucker for ’em. I would love to place one at each of our food stations, one at the bar, one for the restrooms, etc and so forth. However, seeing as the frames I bought were just frames – no backing, no stand, just plain unfinished wood – I figured I could get some plywood from Home Depot to use as the backing, get it cut to size, spray with chalkboard paint, and glue it to the frames. Easy peasy, right?

Well obviously not, if you read the title of this post.

The first step was painting the frames – easy enough.


Wine always helps.

Then we had to recruit a friend to help us cut the plywood, since we don’t have the appropriate tools. In theory, this was pretty easy, except every time we got together with said friend, we found a million other things to do (like eat…and drink) instead of cut plywood. So finally, about a month later, we got everything cut down to size.


The boys hard at work!


The backings ended up being a bit larger than the frame openings, mostly so that I had ample room to glue them to the frames. However…some ended up being a bit too large.


I originally thought I could just sand down the edges until they were the perfect fit. Not so. This plywood is THICK. 10 minutes of vigorous sanding had my hand cramping and made barely a dent on the size.


See how much it sticks out? Not good. The plan is to take them back to our friend and have him shave off some of the side.. I’m just nervous because it has to be pretty exact (and our schedules don’t exactly mesh). I didn’t really think about how small of a margin we have between too big and too small, and still being able to glue the backing to the frame.

The other issue is figuring out how to get them to stand. If you’ve noticed, none of the frames are flat on the bottom. They all have little filigree type designs sticking out, thus making my life increasingly difficult. I haven’t even begun to think about this yet. One thing at a time.

I mean.. they’ll (hopefully) look good when they are all finished.


But I honestly thought this project would take a few days, maybe a week. Not three months (and then some, since they still aren’t finished). Miss Dalmatian, I am not.

Have you ever misjudged the work that needed to go into a project? Or…maybe I’m just a DIY failure. Most likely that.


Mrs. Fox

Washington DC/Havre de Grace, MD
Wedding Date:
June 2012
Last Day to WIN a Free DJ from Scratch Weddings!
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  1. Member
    razzelbride 90 posts, Worker bee @ 2:38 pm

    Thanks Mrs. Fox! I have mine curing w/ wood glue under piles of books right now! 🙂
    (razzelbride = rachel)

  2. Member
    mimuracrystal 5 posts, Newbee @ 11:45 pm


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