let’s fake a chalkboard

I love finding cheaper/quicker/smarter ways to do things. I like to “beat the system.”  Cause I’m a rebel like that. 😉

You are probably wondering why one would ever want/need to “fake” a chalkboard. Good question. After making my fair share of chalkboards, I finally came to a realization…they are a pain in the butt to make.

Number one…I don’t enjoy working with chalkboard paint. It’s expensive and too labor intensive. Priming, painting, “seasoning” the chalkboard with chalk before use. Too much work.

Number two…I suffer from texture-a-chalk-a-phobia. I loathe the texture of chalk. Particularly the way it feels when writing on a chalkboard. Funny, since I was a teacher and all. Can’t help it…it sends shivers down my spine. It’s my personal version of nails on a chalkboard. Except it’s chalk on a chalkboard. I “chalk” it up to being one of my weird OCD quirks.

Number three…I don’t like chalk dust or the messy look a chalkboard has after it’s been erased. It looks…well, messy. I can remember having teachers that would erase the chalkboard as they were teaching and would miss a part of a letter or number. That was it for me. Whatever concept was being taught went right out the window as I obsessed over the un-erased section and broke into a sweat fighting the urge to jump up and erase it.

Hashtag# More issues than National Geographic. 😉

So I found a way to beat the system. By creating a “faux” chalkboard. In about a minute, for less than a dollar.

Let’s do dis.

Materials you’ll need: a frame, black foam board, pencil, ruler, x-acto knife

Measure the inside lip on the back of the frame.

Using the x-acto knife, cut a piece of foam board in those dimensions.

You have just made a faux chalkboard in two steps for less than a dollar. Go you!

Draw or write whatever you want the chalkboard to say.

Pop it into the frame and call it a day.

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28 Responses to let’s fake a chalkboard

  1. Carla Coffee August 20, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    can it be erased?

    • Maple & Magnolia August 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      Nope. It’s “faux.” But you can fix little mistakes with a damp paper towel.

  2. Elizabeth L August 20, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    I LOVE it! I’m totally with you on hating real chalkboards, and I used to be a teacher, too! Is the foam board able to be erased and rewritten or do you just pop a new piece of foam board in? I wish I had your cute handwriting 🙂

  3. Debra@CommonGround August 20, 2012 at 2:42 am #

    I’m with you, I just can’t get there with real chalkboards. hate the messy dust, and having to wash it down to get it clean again. this is really cool, prepare to be copied!!

  4. Carol August 20, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    You are something!!!! Love it!

  5. Gina August 20, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    Oh my…..I believe we must have been separated at birth. I cannot stand the feel of chalk on my hands. It makes my skin crawl. As a child I did gymnastics….the chalk on the hands…..couldn’t do it. My skin was crawling watching the Olympics when the girls would coat themselves in it. I also always wanted to jump up and erase the blackboard if it wasn’t erased completely but to do it I would then have to get all chalky. I’m getting the heebee jeebies just thinking about it!

  6. Laura August 20, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    I always wanted to make a real chalkboard, but now that you have explained how difficult it is, I’m going for the faux thing 🙂

  7. Wendy August 20, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    ha ha. I laughed so hard at your obsessing over the un-erased part. Same! 🙂

  8. A Speckled Trout August 20, 2012 at 3:43 am #

    This is great! I have made many chalkboards for resale and it takes about five coats to get an even finish. I have gone through so many cans of chalkboard paint. This is such a great idea and no passing out from the fumes 🙂

  9. Elizabeth August 20, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    You are a genius!!!! Love it!

  10. Gee August 20, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    Hahahaha… Ahem. I can’t believe I laughed so hard. Me.. (what room did I have to laugh), another ex teacher who is allergic to chalk dust. I had to have a sleeve for my chalk. AND… yes and, I also hated the sound of the chalk on the board….. I wrote so lightly, my students ( kindergarten level) would complain. :-/
    But I luv your idea. No messy ‘unwashed’ board look. Whew!!! So doing this!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers, Gee

  11. suephillips August 20, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    That is so funny! do you not get that “wierd’ feeling from writing on the foam board? I love chalkboards but the thought of the “feeling” i could not do!!!!

  12. Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Brilliant and funny! The happiest day of my teaching career was the day dry erase boards were installed.

  13. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions August 20, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Stop it! It can’t be that easy! You’ve just saved me some time on redoing a frame that I was thinking “chalkboard or memo board?”. Chalkboard was losing because it would take me longer to complete.

  14. Traci August 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    you are too funny and too clever.

  15. Linda August 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Cool! And you don’t seem like you have the issues thing. But it is refreshing to know since I do too!

  16. Melissa August 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    i hate writing with chalk, too, but i love how it looks. i have to bite my cheek the while time i’m writing!!

  17. Liz @ Infuse With Liz August 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    LOL that’s funny…I’m the same way! I would be distracted by that too!

    Your idea is excellent! Great inspiration!

  18. Andrea August 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    This couldn’t have come at a better time since: 1.I am making aa mongo chalkboard for my laundry toom facelift (and am looking for a giant version of a frame just like yours!) and 2. writing on a chalkboard gives me the total heebs too……that and touching cotton balls. My finger nails ache thinking about it!

  19. Rachel August 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Wish I had seen this idea before I bought that expensive can of chalkboard paint. Thanks for the idea though!

  20. Betsy C. August 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    That’s so funny. I agree with EVERYTHING you said about chalkboards right down to obsessing over what wasn’t fully erased. (I thought i was the only one) I just can’t get into the chalkboard craze everyone else seems enthralled by. Very creative of you to think of this alternative.

  21. Erin August 21, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    So of course you know I have been meaning to make a chalk board for a while now..maybe a year? Anyhoo, I am sooo glad that I am not the only one that gets weirded out by the feel of chalk. I liken it to dry paper towels on my front two teeth, EEEK!!! feeling and sound! I love this idea and think this is a great idea to pass along to some lovely teachers I know(not to mention that chalkboard I am going to make…bucket list maybe???).

  22. Rachel August 23, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Great idea. I also saw David Bromstad (colorsplash guy) he painted a wall with black latex and uses white colored pencil to write on it. and it can be erased!

  23. Suzy @ Worthing Court August 28, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    This is such a great idea! I’m with you on disliking chalkboard paint. I find it SO difficult to apply smoothly.

  24. JaneEllen September 11, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    What a fantastic idea. I bought an old cupboard door to make a chalkboard at Habitat for $2.00. Now I’ll just cut the inside part of door out and pop in that foam board or maybe just stick the foam board on with sticky dots. You are a genius girl

    I don’t have money or the patience to buy chalkboard paint so this is alot more economical alternative for me. Thanks for sharing your brilliance. Can hardly wait now to make my “chalkboard”. What would I do without you wonderful bloggers? The inspiration never quits. I’m having such a great time at this point in my life. (I’m 72.)

  25. Katie April 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    I know I’m almost two years late, and I may be overlooking this, but what did you use to write on it? I know it says pencil, but a pencil wouldn’t look white like that would it? I’m wanting to make one for my daughters birthday and I can’t figure out what to write on the foam board with.

    • Maple & Magnolia April 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Hi Katie…
      you can use chalk, chalkboard pen (found at Michaels) or just a white sharpie marker. If using one of the pens…you might want to use pencil first and then trace over. Hope this helps!


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