Make your own chalkboard wall organizer

If you are anything like me you’re always forgetting things. Your keys, shopping lists and constantly slinging your jacket over the chair, despite cries from your better half to not leave stuff lying around… sounds familiar?

If any of the above apply then this fun, easy to do project might be something you want to spend a few hours tackling over the weekend.

I built mine from scraps and offcuts so my sizes were governed by that, I’m listing them below purely as a reference, feel free to scale up/down to meet your needs.

So lets get started!

Supplies needed: a 635mm x 295mm piece of 18mm ply sheet, a 423mm piece of 22mm x 94mm pine, a piece of 106mm x 295mm of 4mm cork, a 106mm x 295mm 4mm mirror, 500ml tin of Plascon Black Schoolboard Paint, a roller and tray, ‘NO More Nails’ adhesive, Mirror silicon, 16mm masking tape, a 66mm holesaw, a battery drill, 4mm drill bit, screw bit, a bag of 5mm x 75mm screws, a set of slotted plates and screws, 3 door handles/knobs, a pencil and a small potted plant.

NOT SHOWN: A tape measure, sandpaper, water-based wood sealant, paint brush, chalk and a set square.

Step 1. Start by taping the sides of the 635mm x 295mm 18mm ply sheet with masking tape. Measure out 200mm from one side and apply a piece of tape across the face of the ply sheet. Apply a coat of the Plascon schoolboard paint, allow time to dry and apply a 2nd coat.

Step 2. Using a tape measure and pencil measure out the center of your 22mm x 94mm pine piece and mark it, then measure in 100mm from the one end and cut out a hole using the 66mm holesaw.

Step 3. Using a piece of sandpaper smooth out the edges of the hole and the sides of the pine piece.

Step 4. Use a suitable water-based wood sealant to seal your timber with at least two coats of sealant, it’s not essential, but it will extend the life of your pine shelf and make it water and stain resistant.

Step 5. Lay out your pine piece on your dry painted ply sheet. I measured up 100mm from the bottom for my pine shelf and used a random asymmetrical layout for the knobs. Once you are happy with the placement use a pencil to mark where you need to drill your holes. To line up the pine shelf it’s best to use a set square.

Step 6. Drill your holes using the 4mm wood drill bit. I left 100mm between screw holes on the pine shelf, bar the end with the cut out, I came in 50mm from the end.

Step 7. In order to hang your organizer you’ll need to use a set of slotted plates. I measured in 50mm from the top and sides of the ply sheet then drilled pilot holes and mounted the plates with accompanying screws. When hanging it it is essential to measure the center to center space as there is a little room for error in mounting it.

Step 8. Line up your wooden pine shelf and then use your drill and the 4mm bit to make pilot holes in the timber through the rear side of the painted ply sheet. Then using your 5mm x 75mm screws screw them into the ply from the rear. It’s best to start on one end, making sure you are flush with the edge of the ply sheet, then do the opposite end, using a set square to see you’re level and then work in the rest of the screws, side to side. Lastly screw on your cupboard handles, which will be used as a coat rack.

Step 9. Remove the the strip of masking tape that you applied to the front of the board in Step 1. Apply beads of ‘No more nails’ to the back side of the cork and line it up with the edge of the shelf, press firmly and allow 15 minutes to bond. Do the same for the mirror, using the mirror silicon and wipe off any excess glue with a cloth or tissue. Allow 24hrs to cure then remove the masking tape from the edges of the ply board.

Presto! There you have it, a very easy and inexpensive build. All in it cost around R100 to make as most of the parts were offcuts from previous projects. Now all you have to do is fine a suitable place to hang it and try not to lose your keys again!

31 Responses to Make your own chalkboard wall organizer

  1. Cari says:

    Your DIYs just keep getting better. Love this!

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  4. Great idea and so stylish! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Matt says:

      Hi Shelley, thanks for the kind words and kudos. Just popped on over to your blog, love your ethos and ‘manifesto’, it’s in part why I do these ‘how-tos’, with a bit of imagination and motivation you can quickly turn a house into a home without going broke in the process!

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  8. MonkeeBoo says:

    Hi, Matt. Great idea for wall organizer! I am going to try my hand at it soon. Where did you get those cute wood animal figurines?

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  11. Very nice design! I’ve been thinking of ways to spiff up my entryway, and this might just be the ticket. Thank you for the thorough how-to!


  12. Hi Matt!

    This is such a cool project. I’d love to pin it to The Home Depot’s Storage & Organization pinboard if you don’t mind!

    Senior Editor, The Home Depot

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  15. Concha says:

    I don’t understand where I should apply the duct tape in step 1 can anyone help me please?

    • Matt says:

      Hi Concha, if you look at image 1 you’ll see it illustrated, you place a line of tape on the front side of the board, where you paint the blackboard paint, just to give it a clean line, but it’s not essential, if you choose to forgo it.

  16. Doreen says:

    Hi Matt
    I just popped over from California Home+Design’s blog. Love this chalkboard organizer. I like the way you combined a shelf with the board. Very FUNctional.

    I’m now following you and can’t wait for more inspiration.


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  23. Andrea says:

    Hi Matt! We absolutely love this tutorial! It’s be featured on our lastest blog post :10+ Stylish DIY Gifts for Fathers Day!
    Keep up your creative posts!

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