Friday, May 21, 2010

DIY Cork board & Chalkboard Combo Tutorial

Hi friends!  Here is the chalkboard/corkboard combo tutorial I have been promising.  Enjoy!
For more great chalkboard inspiring ideas, check out Beth's linky party over at The Stories of AtoZ!
New or old frame (mine was scored at an estate type sale hosted by Rachel for $8!)
Paint for frame
Masonite (often comes in big sheets of 4'x8')
Chalkboard paint or spray paint
Fabric piece of some sort to wrap around cork (optional)
Glue of some sort (I just used a hot glue gun, but wood glue would work well)
Screws or Staple Gun

Phase 1 the planning part & the most important part!:
After aquiring and measuring your frame take a trip to the hardware store for your supplies and to get your masonite cut (unless you have a good table saw at home).  My frame is 30"x40", and I knew I wanted half of it to be cork and half to be chalkboard, so I had them cut my masonite to 18"x26" and then at home I cut my cork to the same dimensions.
Now you will need one more piece of masonite cut for the backing of the entire frame (you could also use plywood, but might as well get use out of that big piece of masonite!).  I had mine cut to 28.5"x38.5".
Now you can go home with your goodies!    

Phase 2:
Prep & paint your items starting with the frame.  First apply primer.
Then apply your choice of color.  I used Martha Stewart's Aegean Blue

Phase 3:
Prep your chalkboard by first priming the masonite (I learned how to do this phase from this fun post)
Even little 5 year old hands can help :)
Next grab your chalkboard paint, or in this case, spray paint and spray the masonite with an even coat of paint.
Then after the spray paint has fully dried for 24 hours, cover the chalkboard with chalk, then erase.  This helps to cure the chalkboard.
Phase 4:
Now it's time to get the cork all set.  Start off by wrapping your cork (optional) in your choice of fabric.  I used burlap because it's cheap, it's neutral, I love it and I had a piece lying around the house.
I first laid the piece of cork on top of the burlap, then I started hot gluing the burlap edges to the cork
Cut off the corner edges to get rid of extra bulk in the corners.  Remember this is going to lie in the frame, so we want it nice and flush.
And this is what the finished wrapped cork looks like.

Phase 5:
Now this is the part where we reinforce the burlap, since it is a flimsy material to begin with.  Remember that big piece of masonite I had you get cut?  Grab that out now.  That big piece will serve as not only the reinforcement for the cork, but also the backing for our entire frame.  Think of that big piece as the black velvet piece that comes with any photo frame you purchase.  Get it?  If not, you'll see...
 Apply hot glue (or wood glue if you have that) to the back of the burlap wrapped cork piece.  Smother it all over, don't be shy!  Then flip it over and press it down to the big piece of masonite, towards the bottom half of it (or top, depending on where you want your cork at the top or bottom of the frame).
Glue down the corners just to reinforce it.
And this is what it will look like when complete
Phase 6 - Assembly (Final Phase!)
So take your frame and lie it face down on your work surface.
Next, insert the chalkboard piece into the frame by simply sliding it in, just like a picture.  You may notice that there are a couple of extra pieces of board glued to the back of my masonite.  I added those pieces at the end with hot glue just to add thickness to the chalkboard so that the chalkboard and cork would be the same depths and be flush in the frame.  Depending on the thickness of your masonite and cork, you may have to do the same, or not.
Then take your big piece of masonite with the cork glued to it and slide that in.  The cork will pop right into the grooves of the frame, and then that big piece of masonite will just lie right over the grooves of the frame, holding and securing everything in!
Finally, you just screw in the large overlaying piece of masonite onto the frame.
And you're done!
I added some decorative pom-poms with hot glue, but of course that's optional.
Hang, add your important items and a sweet message to someone special, and ENJOY!


  1. What a great idea! Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial!

  2. You almost lost me at Masonite (sounds scary and technical)but luckily I read on and think I could actually make this.

  3. how long did it take to make?

  4. That is Darling!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. Very cute! I might try to make a large one for the kitchen. Maybe just nail everything to the wall and frame it with molding. Hmmm, we'll see if I can get to it before the babies arrive!

  6. Lise, it actually took a couple of days to make because you have to do it in parts. I would say a total of 2.5 hours maybe. 1.5 hours of painting the frame and chalkboard, then an hour of assembly.
    Mary, you could absolutely just nail to the wall and put some frame some molding around it. I did it this way because I wanted to use that frame plus I wanted it to be movable in case we end up remodeling and I get a different office.

  7. OH how fabulous are you ? Fantastic step by step and what a great result ! Now that's a multitasking board if I ever saw one, your family must love it !

    Thanks for sharing with me,

  8. WOW!!!
    I love this.... hmmmmm.... where could I use one of these???? (EVERYWHERE!) :D

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  11. Great job and tutorial! I've priced these type memo boards and they're so expensive. With your step by step it would be easy to recreate! Thanks for sharing! I'm coming from Beth's party. Lisa

  12. Fantastic tutorial! I know how much work goes into taking pics of each step and explaining it all and you did a GREAT job :). Your board combo looks perfect! Thanks for linking up!

  13. I can't wait to make one! What a great idea!

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