How To Make a Kitchen Chalkboard

updated Jun 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Coco Morante)

Renters, rejoice! There’s a fun way to give your kitchen a little chalkboard love without painting a wall, drilling holes, or spending a lot of money. A trip to the craft store will provide you with the tools for this fun, easy DIY chalkboard, perfect for scribbling grocery lists, menu plans, or notes to your housemates.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

When my husband and I first moved into our apartment, we discovered something unfortunate about the walls. Fabricated in the late 1940s, they’re made out of a brittle, plaster-like material that defies drilling. After making a few unsightly craters in the walls, we realized traditional picture hooks weren’t an option.

As we were searching for other ways to decorate, we found that the folks at 3m had solved our problem for us. They have an impressive array of hooks and adhesive tabs that hold fast without leaving a mark.

Their picture hanging strips come in many different sizes — you’ll want to choose the ones with the appropriate weight capacity so your chalkboard will stay put, no problem. For a lightweight wood frame like the one I’ve used here, you can use the smallest adhesive tabs. If you’re going with something larger and heavier, choose the medium or large tabs to be safe.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

As for the chalkboard part of this tutorial, it was incredibly easy to make. While you can try doing something like this with chalkboard paint, I was pleased to find there’s a less messy option: chalkboard liner paper.

Con-Tact has recently come out with these rolls of black, adhesive material that you can cut to size just like any other shelf liner paper. Peel off the backing, then smooth it onto any surface you please. You could theoretically use it to cover an entire cabinet, backsplash, or fridge door if you wanted to!

Where to Buy Supplies for Making a DIY Chalkboard

Here, I’ve simply covered the cardboard insert that came with the frame. Nine times out of 10, you’ll find a piece of cardboard just behind the placeholder photo, but you can use poster board, a manila folder, or any other stiff paper you’ve got around the house. Cover it with the chalkboard liner paper, put it right back in the frame, and you’re done.

To make sure there’s always a piece of chalk on hand, I stuck a little wooden crate to the wall right underneath the chalkboard. I was unable to locate this particular item on the Michael’s website, so call ahead if you plan to find one in-store. At 99 cents, it was a no-brainer addition to the project, and I think it looks pretty cute, too!

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You’ll need a lightweight picture frame, picture hanging strips, cutting tools, a pencil, and a level. (Image credit: Coco Morante)

How To Make a DIY Kitchen Chalkboard

Makes 1 framed chalkboard

What You Need


1 lightweight picture frame, up to 18 inches on the longest side
1 roll Con-Tact chalkboard paper
Cardboard frame insert or a piece of poster board, cut to fit the frame
Cutting mat, cutting guide, and rotary cutter OR a ruler and craft scissors
3m picture hanging strips (choose size according to the weight of your picture frame)
Mini-crate (optional)


  1. Prepare the picture frame: Remove the cardboard and placeholder photo from the picture frame. Discard the placeholder paper.
  2. Measure the chalkboard paper: Unroll the chalkboard paper onto the cutting mat (or a flat work surface, if you’re using craft scissors instead of a rotary cutter), backing side up. Place the piece of cardboard onto the chalkboard paper, then use a pencil to trace along its edges.
  3. Cut the chalkboard paper: Press firmly with the rotary cutter or use scissors to cut out the piece of chalkboard paper.
  4. Position it: Peel off a corner of the adhesive backing, then position the chalkboard paper on top of the cardboard, tacking down the exposed corner.
  5. Apply it: Slowly peel the chalkboard paper away from the backing and smooth it onto the cardboard as you go, working gradually out from the corner to prevent any air bubbles.
  6. Place it in the frame: Place the piece of cardboard (now with the chalkboard paper affixed to it) back in the frame.
  7. Apply the 3m hanging strips: Next, following the instructions on the package of adhesive picture frame tabs, “click” 2 of the tabs together, then peel off one side of the adhesive backing from the tab, and stick it onto the picture frame. Repeat with 3 more pairs of the tabs, in order to evenly distribute the weight of the frame when affixing it to the wall.
  8. Place on the wall: Place the frame on the wall where you want it to go, and use a level and a pencil to mark the spot.
  9. Peel: Peel off the adhesive backings from the hanging tabs, then press the frame firmly to the wall for 30 seconds.
  10. Repeat: Repeat this process with the small crate if you’re using one, with 2 pairs of the tabs.

Ta-da! You’re done! It’s time to write your grocery list, or whatever else you’d like to put on your new chalkboard.

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