DIY Knockoff Schoolhouse Chalkboard

Thanks for Sharing!

Let’s learn how to make a DIY Knockoff Schoolhouse Chalkboard inspired by Ballard Designs. The original retails for $229, but I’ll show you how to make this nearly identical DIY version for about $15! Talk about a bargain!

DIY Schoolhouse Chalkboard inspired by Ballard Designs!


A few weeks ago I found a unique chalkboard shelf in the Ballard Designs catalog and knew immediately I just found my next project. Then I went on their site to do a little more research for my design and stumbled on a schoolhouse chalkboard. I just found a second project! If you need a chalkboard fix, you can check out the plans for my DIY Ballard Designs inspired Chalkboard Shelf here.

Steps to make a Schoolhouse Chalkboard


This DIY schoolhouse chalkboard stays true to the Ballard designs original… aged looking wood, metal fasteners, rope and of course chalkboard!

The uses for this chalkboard are endless… I think anyone who loves antiques and vintage pieces would love one of these. I can also see one in a cafe or bistro. And forget an apple, what about this as an inexpensive teacher’s gift? Your kid is totally getting an A! Let’s quit talking and start building!

DIY Knockoff Schoolhouse Chalkboard

{affiliate links provided for your convenience}

Chalkboard Supplies
(2) 1x2x6
24″x 48″ chalkboard
Sisal rope – about 48″
#6 1-1/4″ wood screws
3/8″ one hole straps or screw eyes
Early American wood stain

Miter saw
Circular saw
Countersink bit

Schoolhouse Chalkboard Directions

1. Cut 4 pieces of 1×2 to 35-7/8″. Round over the edges with sandpaper to give the pieces an aged, worn look.

Wood cut and sanded for the Vintage Chalkboard


2. Stain the wood. I chose an Early American stain and I think the color came pretty close to the original piece.

Stained wood pieces for the DIY Chalkboard


Be sure to stain about a 1/2″ on the back of the wood, because the wood overhangs the chalkboard and you don’t want to see raw wood on your finished piece.


Once the stain was dry I applied a couple of coats of my favorite “can’t mess it up wipe on” finish that gave the pieces a hand rubbed finish look. You can get the recipe for “Bob’s Miracle Finish” here.

3. While the stain and finish are drying, you can cut the chalkboard. I applied a piece of painter’s tape to the cut line to keep the chalkboard from chipping. Cut the chalkboard to 35-3/8″.

4. To assemble, put two of the wood pieces on your work surface with the stained sides facing down. Place the chalkboard on top of the wood. Align the wood so the edges are flush with the chalkboard and the ends overhang about 1/4″.

Attaching the chalkboard to the wood pieces for the Schoolhouse Chalkboard


Apply glue to the remaining wood pieces and place on top of the chalkboard and align just as you did the bottom pieces. Drill several countersink holes in the top pieces and attach using 1-1/4″ screws.

Attaching the chalkboard to the wood pieces for the Schoolhouse Chalkboard


5. Attach the straps. Place the chalkboard with the back facing your work surface and the chalkboard facing up. On the back piece of wood, measure in 2″ on each side and make a mark. Attach the straps with 1-1/4″ screws, but leave the screws loose.

Attaching the chalkboard to the wood pieces for the Schoolhouse Chalkboard


6. Cut a piece of sisal rope to about 48″. Make a knot in one end leaving a tail about a 1″ long.

Tying a Sisal Rope Knot

Insert the rope into the strap and tighten. Adjust the rope to your desired length and repeat for the other end.

Attaching the sisal rope to hang the vintage chalkboard.


All that’s left is to hang on the wall, get out your chalk and write some clever messages

Thank you for stopping by to check out my Schoolhouse Chalkboard tutorial. Let’s stay in touch. Please stop by sawsonskates.com to see more of my DIY projects. Remember, always work safely. See you next time!

Cool DIY Schoolhouse Chalkboard with that vintage vibe. Learn how to make your own for around $15!


A big thanks to Scott from Saws on Skates for sharing this easy, affordable and adorable DIY project!

Other Chalkboard Projects


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *