Is your week jumbled all together? Do you feel like you can’t keep track of what things are happening on what days? Or maybe all of a sudden it’s dinner time and you have no idea what to make? Do you wish life could run more smoothly and you could feel a little more in control? Yeah, me too! Today, I am going to show you how to make a days of the week chalkboard. Which is part of our beautiful, farmhouse command center.
The possibilities for this chalkboard are endless!! One of the ways I use mine is to plan out my work schedule for the week. I specifically list what it is that I am doing on each day. I like to have it written out because it is easy for me to get distracted or even forget all the tasks that need to be done. If I didn’t have a separate menu board I would also write dinner on each day. I just feel it helps things run smoother to have them planned out.
Let’s get started. Here’s what you’re gonna need.
- 2 pieces of 1×2’s each measuring 40″ long
- 7 pieces of 1×2’s measuring 8″ long
- chalkboard backing measuring 39 3/4″long by 9 1/4″ high
- wood glue
- brad nailer or staple gun (with correct size nails or staples)
- wood stain & gloves
- palm sander
- sand paper or sanding sponge (I used 120 grit but any will work)
- tape measure
- carbon transfer paper
- White paint marker or white paint and paint brush
- days of the week PDF (free PDF’s at end of post)
- hanging hardware
Step 1: Building your days of the week chalk board frame
You are going to start by nailing and gluing the 7 short, 8″, pieces to 1 of the long 40″ pieces. Start at one end and glue and nail the first piece into place. This will create the side of the frame. Lay your frame flat on your work surface.
Here is a link, with photos, to show you the idea of what you are going to do (keep in mind, the project has different measurements than this one).
Measure 5 3/4″ from the first piece you nailed into place and lay the second piece there. Do not secure into place yet. You want to check your spacing before you glue any of the rest into place. It’s best to have it all laid out to check the spacing incase you need to make adjustments. Wood can be so different in it’s measurements sometimes. You want to can get even spacing on all the “frames”.
Again, measure another 5 3/4″ from the location of the second one you just placed, and lay the third piece there. Repeat this until you have all your pieces laid out. Your end piece should be at the end of the long piece or very close to it. Make any adjustments you might need to in order to get even spacing, and the end of the frame nicely finished off. Make note of the spacing of each section, you will need these measurements again later (or you can just re-measure when you need them). Mark the location, and begin gluing into place.
Once you have all 7 small pieces secured to the first long piece, it’s time to secure the last long piece to the frame. Starting at the same end you started with last time, glue and nail into place. I put glue on the ends of all the small pieces all at once.
Looking back on your measurement notes (if you didn’t write them down, re-measure before securing each piece) and make sure the spacing is the same before you nail the second piece into place. Repeat this step for all 7 pieces.
Step 2: Staining your days of the week chalkboard frame
After you have built your frame, you are going to stain the entire piece. I used the color Provincial, but you can use whatever color best matches your home. Read this tutorial on how I stain my projects.
Let your days of the week chalkboard dry for about 24 hours before moving forward. If your frame is not dry enough then you are going to gum up your sand paper and it’s not going to give you the finish you are going for.
Step 3: Antiquing your days of the week chalkboard
Your stain should be completely dry by this step, otherwise you will go through an insane amount of sand paper and you won’t even get the look you want. So make sure it’s dry.
You want to sand the front, sides, and edges of each and every little frame in the whole frame. Hold the sander flat on the surface. Sand with the grain of the wood, back and forth. The more you sand, the more the stain will be removed and the natural wood will show through.
Tips on sanding:
- Using a palm or hand sander is going to make this step much easier and faster, but it is not required. This can also be done by hand.
- If you use a finer grit, you’ll get a softer look. You can use a coarse grit, it just is not as smooth and delicate of a finish. I prefer to use 120 grit.
- Practicing on the back is a great idea until you get the hang of it.
Sand the entire piece until you have the look and finish that you like and then brush off all the sawdust.
Step 4: Painting the days on the days of the week chalkboard
Grab your chalkboard backing and lay it on your work surface. Gently place the finished frame on the top, making sure there are no edges poking out anywhere.
Print and cut out the PDF pattern for the days. Place each day in the coordinating frame. Using a small piece of tape under the top of the paper, tape the paper into place. Once all “days” are taped down, remove the frame.
How to use carbon transfer paper (tutorial with photos)
Lifting the bottom of the paper up, place the carbon transfer paper under the paper (shiny side down). Use a pencil, gently outline the letters of the day. This should transfer a black outline onto your chalkboard. Carefully lift a corner of the transfer paper to make sure it is working. Yes, it will be hard to see because the surface is also black. I found that if the light hit it right I could see it really well.
When you have traced all the days, pull off the papers. Using your White paint marker begin filling in the outline of the days. You might want to practice on a piece of paper first so you can get use to how the paint marker works. This step takes some patience so hang in there, it will all be worth it in the end. Be careful not to touch or smear the wet paint. After you have filled in all the days of the week, let it dry for at least 15 minutes. (I like to do clean up while my projects are drying)
Step 5: attaching your frame to your days of the week chalkboard
When your paint is dry, gently set the frame on top of the chalkboard. Check to make sure all “days of the week” line up in their individual frames. Also, check to make sure there are no edges poking out around the sides. When everything is lined up, carefully turn the entire piece over, keeping everything aligned.
Using the bradnailer or staple gun, secure the outside frame into place. I did 2 staples on each of the short ends and 5 staples on each of the pieces that made the frames on the front side.
You are now done! You can insert hanging hardware and hang where you want to use it.
Now you are ready to experience less clutter, more time, and a smooth running, and feeling in control life. I would love to hear how you use your days of the week chalkboard!
Here’s to feeling more organized! -Brandee
Free days of the week PDF printables
If you missed my previous post on how to make part 1 of the command center; the list holder click the link below:
DIY command center part 1: pallet wood list holder