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Home Office Decor Series #3: DIY Chalkboard & Craft Stick Chalk Tray

Hello, folks! I continue my Office Series where I discuss, in installments, each of the pieces I have up on my home office wall.

Office Wall Decor

This post deals with the chalkboard and the small tray at the bottom left corner in the picture. Both are basic pieces; there is so much going on with everything else on the wall that I decided to leave these two simple and not colour them. Of course, when I saw the black-white-yellow pen at my local Michaels, I had to pick that up!

If you are interested in another item in the series, skip to that post: DIY Magnet Board & Magnets DIY Painted Corkboard & Thumb Tack Ink Transfer on Canvas Owl String Art


I have had a fascination with chalkboards for as long as I can remember. My mother can tell you many a story from my childhood that involved me, small pieces of chalk collected from the classroom floor, near the end of their life span, and the doors in the room my sister & I shared! Why the discarded pieces of chalk instead of buying whole ones? Well, because my mother was strictly against the use of bedroom doors to pave my way as a potential academic/artist! I would mimic my school teachers, teaching an invisible class of 23 students (yes, that was the number!) everything I had learnt in school that day. Just think about that for a second – that means I was spending twice the number of hours “at school”… I cannot understand what my mother was complaining about!

Decades later, chalkboards are oh-so-trendy! Chalkboard paint is ubiquitous! What is even better, you don’t have to stick to the traditional colours of black and green anymore; you can make your own from any colour you like using some tile grout! Life rocks! That’s too many exclamation points, you say? That is just how I feel about chalkboards! 😀

You can imagine my excitement when I bought a small can of chalkboard paint; and I will admit, it has taken all of my restraint and willpower not to paint everything with it! So back to the topic of discussion, of course this wall was incomplete without its own chalkboard, albeit a rather tiny one when compared to a door. I used a somewhat large cutting board that my husband had received as a move-in present years ago that we never used. Apparently, we hadn’t never used it; once I finished the paint job, waited the necessary number of hours, conditioned it and was ready to start writing on it, I realized there were knife marks in a few areas. Oh well, the distressed look was what I going for anyway! 😉

There isn’t much to this: Most chalkboard paints can be used on any surface, be it glass, metal, plastic, wood or even fabric (I just noticed that’s what it says on the tin I have; what?!? Chalkboard t-shirt, here I come!). The curing times vary depending on the material, with glass surfaces taking the longest before they are ready for use. The can of paint should tell you what these times are, by material. I painted the cutting board, which was made of plastic, with two coats of chalkboard paint. I waited almost 2 days for the paint to cure; the tin says it should be done in 24 hours, but I waited anyway, for good measure.

Now, this step is crucial; do not skip this. The only exception is if you want to use the board for a permanent piece of art; in that case, skip this step and dive right into business! Once the paint has dried and cured completely, rub the entire surface with a piece of chalk. This conditions the surface, and prepares it for writing. If you skip this step, the first thing you ever write on your new board will remain etched on it and haunt you for all of eternity, like a ghost. Once you have conditioned it, wipe off the chalk, and the board is ready to use! Skip over to your local stationery shop, pick up chalk in all available colours, and go wild!

Craft Stick Chalk Holder

As soon as my new chalkboard was ready, I skipped over to my local stationery shop, picked up chalk in all available colours, and went wild! Now, the question was, where could I store my chalk for easy access? I put most of my office supplies in a drawer, but chalk can be messy and I didn’t want to take a piece out of the box every time I wanted to write something. Enter, my craft stick chalk holder. In this office decor project, I can honestly say that this is the one item that was entirely my own creation!

DIY chalk holder

It is made up of craft sticks, which I decided to leave bare because there is just too much going on in this wall as it is. I used hot glue along the sides of each craft stick to join six sticks in a single layer for the base, and then did the same for the back. I added a second layer to the base for sturdiness. Then I glued the base to the back, added in two halves of a craft stick to either side, and two more sticks to the front to create a ledge that would prevent the chalk/pen from sliding off. Finally, I attached four small mounting squares to the backside to mount it on the wall.

So there you have it, Part 3 of the Office Series! Stay tuned for the less functional, artistic pieces in the coming weeks!



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