Like thousands of other Americans, we received our PB Teen catalog in our mailbox last week. And before I even had a chance to look through it, my 13-year-old son had spotted this cool chalkboard:

I had to agree. It was cool. And perfect for a kid who DVR’s the History Channel & can name every American president & the years they were in office in about 90 seconds flat. He’s so cool.

So I had to do this for him. And you can do one, too, in way less time than it would take for it to be shipped to your door. Oh, and for a fraction of the price.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A piece of particle board or other thin board. I use Eucaboard for many of my projects including chalkboards & my jewelry organizers. It’s rough on one side & smooth on the other. You can find this at HD & Lowes in a 4×8 sheet (it may come smaller as well).
  • A jigsaw, a table saw, a pencil, & a sanding block or sandpaper & a level
  • Chalkboard paint (I use Krylon’s Chalkboard Spray Paint)
  • A couple of scrap pieces of wood (I used 1×4’s cut to 20″ & 16″)
  • A printer & scissors
  • I think that’s it

To start this project, my handsome assistant created a template of the USA that you can print out in 8 sheets & piece together to make an 28″ x 18″ pattern. (Do you see why I’m crazy about this guy?) You can click here to print this template for yourself.

Once you print it out, lay out the pieces & line them up at the tick marks, taping them in place. The pages will overlap slightly.

Next, cut it out & trace it onto your board.

Then, using a jigsaw, cut it out & then sand the edges smooth with a sanding block or sandpaper.

Next, we made the “rail system” which we would use to hang the chalkboard on the wall, allowing it to stand off the wall a little like the one from PB. To do this, cut a piece of 1×4 wood or MDF trim to about 20″ long. Then, using a table saw, set the blade at a 45 degree angle & cut it down the middle. This will be your hanging system.

Here is how it will hang:

The top piece attaches to the back of the chalkboard & the bottom piece screws onto the wall. Then, the pieces will fit together to hold the board securely to the wall. I love this system! It can work for so many projects!

Make a guideline for your rail system on the board by holding it up with a level (you should place your board face against the wall–not like pictured) & drawing the line on the back of the board where you will want to attach the rail. This is an important step to assure that it hangs level! This is a MUST if you are like me & have any kind of OCD tendency!

You will also need one more piece of trim cut to about 16″ as a stabilizer/spacer for the bottom of the board. Use epoxy or another strong adhesive to attach the 2 pieces to the back of the board on your guidelines.

Have I lost you yet? It’s easier than it sounds, trust me!

After this, just give the front of the board a few good coats of the chalkboard spray & let the glue & paint dry overnight.

To hang the board, level the bottom piece of the rail system on the wall where you want it to hang. It should attach like this:

Then, just slide your rail system pieces together & you’re done!

We didn’t add the lights to the back of ours like PB did, but it would be simple to add some little string lights if you wanted to.

Oh, Pottery Barn! Thanks again for inspiration on yet another project! How we love to copy you!

I’ll be sharing this little how-to with some of these cool crafters!