A classroom chalkboard brings back a special kind of nostalgia. For students who used them—the haze of chalk dust hanging in the classroom, the frenzied anticipation of being chosen to go outside and clap the erasers, the temptation to run your finger along the baseboard then wipe it on your friend’s shirt. And for teachers who used them—the dry brittle fingernails from handling manicure-penetrating chalk all day and the lovely smear of white dust from wrist to elbow on every single shirt you laundered.
Sadly, as technology has advanced, the old classroom chalkboard has become somewhat of a dinosaur. That’s why we were happy when Sarah wrote into our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE to ask, “My room needs a little bit of a makeover before next year! I have an old chalkboard that runs across the entire back wall of my room. Any great ideas for using this space more productively?”
Here are six creative solutions for a repurposed chalkboard.
1. Cover it with cork.
You can use either cork board rolls, which come in thin, long rolls or cork squares which are generally thicker and more durable. Either one can be secured with heavy-duty adhesive spray. Watch this tutorial from Young House Love for tips.
2. Paint it with magnetic paint.
So cool! Just cover the whole chalkboard with a magnetic paint, or tape off sections and spray different colored shapes. Word on the street is you need to use super strong magnets for the best results, so you may want to just paint a strip at the top where little hands can’t reach. Here’s a great YouTube tutorial from SuperHolly.
3. Use hot glue and clothespins.
Simply use a heavy duty adhesive to cover the board with colored butcher paper. Then arrange pieces of card stock in a pattern on top. Lastly, hot glue clothespins directly to the paper squares.
4. Resurface it with Post-it Dry Erase Surface.
This product is amazing! It would be the perfect solution for an old, worn out chalkboard. Simple to use and durable. Watch this tutorial from 3M for directions and ideas, including cutting out small squares and adhering to student desks for individual writing surfaces. No more time wasted passing out the white boards!
5. Cover it with fabric.
Pick any colorful fabric that goes with your classroom theme. You may want to use spray adhesive to attach a thin layer of cork or foam board under the fabric so that push pins will stick. Staple or nail the borders of the fabric to the chalk board frame. Don’t worry about jagged edges, you can cover those with borders made of paper or wide ribbon.
6. Or, revitalize it with chalkboard paint.
Hey, sometimes the original idea is the best idea. The good news is it’s super easy to slap on a fresh new coat of paint to make your chalkboard look like new, and chalkboard paint now comes in a whole rainbow of colors. Read this tutorial fro Jenna Burger Design for best results.
Have you ever repurposed an old chalkboard in your classroom? Share your ideas in the comments below.