DIY: Wooden Chalkboard Labels

Oct 23

Yes, I’m at it again in the toy organization department. You see, what worked for me in the old house isn’t working as well in the new house. That’s bound to happen in a new space/home. Sure, my little mesh square bins with cute labels are awesome at containing the toys and keeping them organized in their various categories. And they fit perfectly into the 2 built-in shelving units in the playroom. But the issues with that system in this house?…

1.  The bins are see-through which means the kids can see everything all the time and that means…

2. They have complete access to all of the toys all the time which means…

3. The messes in the playroom have been epic which means….

4. *I* am dealing with those epic messes and…

5. The see-through bins were creating a lot of eye-clutter…and finally….

6. This may sound crazy, but I don’t want the playroom to scream “playroom!!!!”.

Let me explain number 6.

In the previous house, the playroom was its own contained room on its own floor. Oh how I miss those days and how I miss our playroom…

In this house, the playroom is in the heart of our living space. The room is in between the garage entry and kitchen. Every time I walk through (countless times each day) and see the mess, I’m compelled to stop and tidy up. It’s just me. I can’t help it because I enjoy living in a tidy home. But I’m also careful not to push my OCD issues onto the kids. Yes, I want to help create good habits and get into a routine of picking up after themselves. There’s a way to do that and it takes time.

In order to create a happy medium, I decided the playroom needed a bit of an overhaul. That’s an understatement, but let’s go with that. We’ve lived here for 2 months and in that amount of time I let the room speak to me. I’ll be sharing a full playroom reveal in the coming days, but here is a sneak peak of one wall before and after…

Simply Organized Playroom

Simply Organized Playroom


We’ll be talking more about this new wall unit and I’ll share lots of pictures in the coming days. But this wall unit has literally changed the life of this space, makes the room feel cozier, and I can’t *see* a lot of toy clutter. It makes my eyes happy, what can I say?

Today let’s talk about a small DIY project I completed in the playroom during the makeover – adorable chalkboard labels…on the cheap! As you’ve seen around blog-land and other places, chalkboard labels are a big rage in kid spaces. They can cost you a fortune if you buy them off the rack. For example, I love these labels from pottery barn kids…..

But for $10 you receive a whopping TWO labels. If I purchased the 10 needed from PBK, I would be out $50 plus tax and shipping. I knew I could cut the cost significantly and create some myself. Here’s what I did to easily to create adorable chalkboard labels.

In the lumber department, I located long strips of hobby board. The size is on the label shown below. To create 10 labels I needed 1 1/2 strips of hobby board. But depending on the size label you choose to create, your amount will vary…

The home depot lumber dept happily cut the long strips down into 5″ pieces for me. I don’t own a table saw so when I’m in need of cuts, the home depot is a great place to buy wood and have them cut it for you on the spot…

With my wood pieces cut to 5″, I sanded down all sides using a hand sander…

I found this sander with replaceable sponges at the home depot a long time ago. I love it! It works well when you need to do something by hand. Here you can see the splintered edges…

After sanding, it’s nice and smooth…

Next, I marked the holes for drilling. I decided it would be easier to drill the holes before painting.


If you’ve never used a drill, they are super easy to handle after a little lesson from a handyman or home improvement store employee. This is a great project for getting your feet wet in the drill world.

Since I was using twine to hang my labels, I made sure to cut a hole in the boards that would fit the twine thickness. Just make sure the drill bit will accommodate whatever you’re using to hang the label…

With the boards sanded and drilled, it was time to paint…

This can of chalkboard spray paint was $6.99 from my local craft store. It more than covered the labels and still have a ton remaining for future projects. I sprayed a good coat. Keep in mind, this is a job for outdoors because of the fumes….

I spread them out on my drop cloth in the driveway and went to town…

These labels are in the playroom and will be handled by the kids, so I sprayed 3 coats for added durability…

After an hour of spraying and drying in between coats, they’re done!…

I love how rustic they appear. You can still tell the labels are wood and I like that warm feeling in a playroom. With the paint completely dry and twine at the ready, I used a chalk marker to write the toy categories…

The chalk marker was found at my local craft store for $2. I wrote the toy category name on the label, then added the twine to one of the pre-drilled holes…

Once the chalk was dry (a minute or so), I hung the label on the basket and finished adding the twine through the second hole…

DIY Chalkboard Labels

Then snipped off the end when I was done…

DIY Chalkboard Labels

Adorable, personalized to your liking/size and inexpensive chalkboard labels!…

DIY Chalkboard Labels

DIY Chalkboard Labels

Eat your heart out Pottery Barn Kids!…

DIY Chalkboard Labels

DIY Chalkboard Labels

DIY Chalkboard Labels

If you’ve been eyeing chalkboard labels but don’t have the wallet to support your dreams, these are a great alternative. Here’s my cost breakdown:

wood = $4.50 (for 15 5″ pieces!)
chalk marker = $2.00
chalkboard paint = $6.99 (will plenty leftover!)
twine = had already
sander = had already
Grand total for my DIY chalkboard labels = $13.49

Go make something today and save yourself (a lot of) money! Have a great day!

comments +

  1. Melissa says:

    Love this!!! I can't wait to make some of my own chalkboard labels- great idea to do it yourself! Thanks for sharing this!

    Also can't wait to see the full playroom reveal- that tv unit looks amazing!

  2. Flossie says:

    Perfect timing!! I've been wanting to label my bins in our toy room, but couldn't decide what/how to do it. These look great!

  3. Sarah K says:

    love this project!!!

  4. I love pottery barn as much as the next person but i laugh at some of their prices. I love your take on the chalk board labels. Great job. I can't wait to see the playroom reveal.

  5. Pat Frank says:

    What a fantastic idea and it looks great! I am also a fan of baskets and your project looks wonderful! I also LOVE your wall unit and look forward for more info to come!

  6. Shannon Kidd says:

    So smart and so simple! I can't wait to make some of these now.

  7. "eat your heart out Pottery Barn kids!" Love it! 😀

  8. Pascale says:

    Great post. Where did you get your baskets?

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