DIY: Custom Dry-Erase or Chalkboard

A step-by-step tutorial

If you are planning a wedding or event, looking for a creative custom gift, or just want to create new décor for your home, this is a great project for you! Making your own custom chalk or dry-erase board is easy and affordable.

To get started, you will need the following:

To make a Chalk Board: 

  • Frame 
  • Chalk Pens
  • Chalk Board Paint (can find this at Lowes, Home Depot, or for more color selection online. You can also find magnetic chalk board paint if you want to get even more use out of your board)
  • Paint Primer (recommended)
  • Paint Brush or Paint Roller (for a smoother surface)
  • Masonite Board (pre-cut to fit frame)
  • Needle Nose Pliers (optional)

 To make a Dry-Erase Board: 

  • Frame – you will want it to have the glass
  • Chalk or Paint Pens 
  • Needle Nose Pliers (optional)
  • Paint and Paint Brush (optional)
  • Fabric or Decorative Paper to place behind the glass (optional)
  • Glass Cleaner or Water (water will usually work fine if you have water based paint  or chalk pens. Oil based pens are harder to clean but resist water much better.)

If you purchased your frame from a thrift store and want to paint it, you can start off by either removing the glass or taping it off to avoid getting any excess paint on it. Some people prefer spray paint, while others like to hand paint their frame. It really just depends on your preference and the amount of detail you want to add.

TIP: I usually find inexpensive frames at thrift stores. You can find some really unique frames and with a little paint can completely transform them. 

For those of you wanting a chalkboard, take your masonite board, coat it with the primer paint. Once it is dry apply the chalk paint and let dry. Add another coat if desired. If it is intended for more then one time use, check the paint instructions to see if you will need to prep the board additionally once it is dry before use.

Now it is time to remove the back of the frame. This is where the pliers can come in handy. For a chalkboard, go ahead and remove the glass (if any) and replace it with your masonite board. For dry-erase place decorative paper or fabric behind the glass for a custom look. When you are ready, secure the masonite board or return the back to the frame.

TIP: Instead of using masonite, follow these steps using cork to create a cork board.


Now that you are done, grab some paint or chalk and get to work! Tag me on Instagram @thiscraftedlife because I would love to see the end results!