How I Organized My Life with this DIY Aqua & Gold Chalkboard Calendar

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all the opinions are my own. #pmedia #StaplesBTS
I would absolutely describe myself as a gal that likes to keep organized. I find comfort in knowing what I’m doing tomorrow, next week and even next month! With SO many things on the go, my calendar is my lifeline really … it’s how I keep everything spinning in my head straight. I’ve used a traditional paper calendar for years now and it works, but if I’m being honest, I really don’t like how it turns into such a jumbled mess as plans change. The Monica Geller in me needs my universe to be neat & organized and my messy calendar was frankly, driving me nuts (please tell me I’m not the only one)!

I cannot wait to share how I organized my life with this Aqua & Gold Chalkboard Calendar!!!

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
Here’s what you’ll need to build your own:

30″ x 24″ piece of 1/4″ thick plywood
1″x2″ pine – 2 pieces cut to 31.5″ and 2 cut to 25.5″
1 piece of 36″ x 24″sheet metal
1/4″ screen moulding
Zinsser 123 Primer
Chalkboard paint (we’ll chat more about that later)
Construction Adhesive
Chalk or Chalk Pens
Sticky notes
Sharpies in your choice of colour(s)
Picture hanging hardware

We began by building the frame. We cut two pieces of 1×2 to 31 1/2″ and two to 25 1/2″. If you have a mitre saw, this is where you would cut your corners to fancy 45 degree angles, but since we didn’t, we simply butted the corners up against one another like this:

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
To give the fame a bit more stiffness and provide a place to nail the MDF to, we cut a few 1 ½” long pieces from scrap 1x4s and nailed and glued them as shown. To get the top to sit flush with the frame it’s a good idea to test fit the top before gluing and nailing the scrap pieces. We had to remove a couple (and cut a couple more when they broke while removing them) when the top didn’t sit flush the first time around. Whoops! In the end, we were left with a frame that looked like this:

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

We then cut our plywood down to 30″ x 24″ and nailed it onto our scrap pieces of pine.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
We purchased some paper thin sheet metal for the base of our calendar with the hopes that we could make the calendar not only a chalkboard, but magnetic too – I know, mind blown, am I right?! Well, spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. Insert devastated blogger here.

The hardware store was supposed to have cut the sheet metal to just the right size – note to self: follow your gut: when that voice in your head is telling you that it’s a much bigger piece than you asked for, you’re probably right! Whomp, Whomp. My heart sank when I realized that I was going to have to make the 25 minute drive back to the hardware store to either re-cut the metal or buy some tin snips to do it ourselves. Brady, in his infinite wisdom and reasonable tone, suggested we try some scissors before making the trip and what do you know? – they worked just fine! To mark the cut lines we used the black Sharpie that we keep in the shop (we may not have a mitre saw, but what kind of shop would it be without a handy-dandy Sharpie?!) and just cut along the line.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
With the metal sizing righted once again, this is where I chose to stop and paint with the hopes to avoid any taping (yet another brilliant suggestion from Brady!). I started with a coat of Zinnsser 123 primer over the frame, the sheet metal and our screen moulding pieces (don’t worry, we’ll put those to good use soon). I then painted 3 coats of Cloud White paint (leftover from this Paint Dipped DIY End Table project) over the frame and mouldings. Now it was time to turn our sheet metal into a chalkboard and this is where things really got interesting (I’ve got you on the edge of your seat now, don’t I?)! You see, months ago I came across a brilliant paint from Martha Stewart Crafts that has the ability to turn any painted surface into a chalkboard. I’ll just give you a minute to let that sink in.

That’s right folks, that means that instead of making the traditional black chalkboard, I was free to use any colour I wanted! I’ll give you one guess what colour I chose (this would be SO much more fun if y’all hadn’t already seen a picture!) … need another hint? Anyone that’s read about my DIY Ladder Shelf, knows how smitten I am with the bright aqua colour I chose (Benjamin Moore Origins’s Sweet Turquoise OR-368). I simply used a foam brush to apply the paint as per the instructions – 2 coats of aqua & 3 coats of clear chalkboard paint later and I had myself my very own aqua chalkboard! Eeeeek!

Finally it was time to put it all together! To attach the painted metal to the frame, we used the construction adhesive that they recommended at the hardware store. We were a bit nervous about using too much and having it spill out the sides, but the goldilocks theory proved useful and we seemed to have just enough.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
For the trim we used our ¼” x ¾” screen molding. With this were able to get pretty good angle cuts with a circular saw. Using a tip he had read to cut the trim as you go was really helpful to Brady. Unfortunately, he was so focused on making good cuts that he ended up cutting the wrong piece, leaving not enough trim to go all the way around and requiring yet another trip to the world’s farthest hardware store. Having pre-painted the trim (new and old) already, we simply used the construction adhesive to attach it to the frame. We used a golf pencil to keep even spacing from the trim to the outside of the frame (full credit for this creative idea goes to you … you guessed it, Brady!) and made sure that all of the corners lined up with the corner of the frame. Definitely use a mitre saw if you have one, but in a pinch, the circular saw worked out okay for us. We’ll chalk (pun TOTALLY intended) this one up to the list of projects that it would have been nice to have a mitre saw for and keep saving our pennies.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
We weighed it all down with clamps and photo albums (creative, right?!) and let it set overnight.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
Once the adhesive was dry (and the paint was touched up), I had a blank canvas on which to create the calendar. Brady’s engineering skills proved ultra handy for this part as he was able to design a template for me on his super cool engineering software, which made things SO much easier! I knew I wanted to leave some extra space at the top to write the month and some on the side for extra notes. He came up with and printed out a 21″ x 19″ template, which I was able to easily transfer onto the chalkboard by simply colouring over the lines with a pencil, placing the pencil lines down onto my board and then tracing over them from the other side of the paper. I quickly realized that I didn’t even need to trace the entire line, but just mark the corners of each square – since I would be using a ruler to make my final lines anyway, I really just needed a guide to match it up with at either end.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
With everything marked in pencil, it was time to take the plunge with a permanent marker. Enter again the fabulous Sharpie! With my trusty ruler in one hand and my gold Sharpie in the other, I traced from one end to the other until my calendar grid was complete. Then I stood back and admired how pretty my gold Sharpie looked on my aqua chalkboard!!! I used a foam brush to apply one more coat of clear chalkboard paint over top of it all.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
Before covering my new chalkboard in chalk, I had Brady attach some picture hanging hardware to the back to hang it with.

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
Then one last important step, “seasoning” the chalk board, which basically just means rubbing a piece of chalk all over the board and then wiping it off with a wet cloth.

Finally it was time to turn this grid into a calendar! I had made some super cute numbered magnets to mark the days, which I won’t waste your time sharing today, because this is where my blow-your-mind idea all fell apart. With my pretty new calendar lying on the living room floor, I proceeded to add my brilliant magnetic numbers into their respective spots. Everything looked pretty and perfect and I was SOOOOO excited about it all! Then I picked it up and every single numbered disk slid onto the floor taking my dreams to knock your socks off with it! Ugh! SO frustrating! After trying at least a hundred times more to make these magnets stick with (of course) the same disappointing result, I gave up and resigned myself to the fact that my my brilliant idea just wasn’t going to come to fruition. After giving myself some time to grieve, I decided that my aqua chalkboard was special in it’s own way, even if it wasn’t magnetic and so, still deserved my undying love! So, instead of pretty magnets, I rolled with the punches and just used some chalk to mark the numbers on my calendar. With my plans changing at the very last minute, I had to make due with what I had on hand, which was plain old chalk, but I can’t wait to pick up some chalk ink pens the next time I’m in the city. I really do LOVE chalk ink because, unlike it’s traditional counterpart (ie. regular chalk), you need a wet wipe to wipe it off not to mention that you can write with so much more precision (and let’s face it, they make everything look so much prettier!). I also plan to write any important events that I know aren’t likely to change through the month with the chalk ink as well.

The very last step was to fill in my calendar! I used some post it note tabs in different colors to work in the most important part – every single thing I need to keep track of. This is where things got really organized (I’m talking life changing organized)! I used the rainbow of Sharpie Fine Markers I picked up at Staples along with some post-it note labels to colour code each event: each person had their own colour, our nightly meals got another colour and finally, my blog stuff (that overwhelming amount of blue!) claimed it’s own colour too!

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this part sooner! SO much easier to keep track of everything!!!

Here’s how it all came together in the end!

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie

DIY Aqua Chalkboard Calendar with Sharpie
I am CRAZY excited to finally have SUCH a neat & tidy way to keep my life organized! Plus, isn’t it pretty?!

Ready to get your life organized for back-to-school? Sharpies are on sale now at your local Staples (or online if you live in the boonies like me!) until August 24th while supplies last! Looking for more ways to get organized with Sharpie? Check out their website or visit them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all sorts of inspiration!

How are you getting your life organized for back to school?


*This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #StaplesBTS Find more information on my disclosure policy here.*

Shared with: A Bright & Beautiful Life, Carrie this Home, Huckleberry Love, My Pinterventures, I Should be Mopping the Floor, Hawthorne and Main, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, DIY Showoff, Delineate Your Dwelling, Flamingo Toes, It’s Overflowing, Denise Designed, View from the Fridge, Six Sisters’ Stuff, Pieced Pastimes, The Sits Girls, Reasons to Skip the Housework, Be Different Act Normal, Classy Clutter, The Girl Creative, Domestic Superhero, I Heart Naptime, Snippets of Inspiration, The 36th Avenue, The Bold Abode, My Romantic Home, Love of Family and Home, The Grant Life, The Charm of Home, Tidy Mom, The Golden Sycamore, AKA Design, Redoux Interiors, Jennifer Rizzo, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace, Krafty Kards, A Prudent Life, All Things With Purpose, A Vision to Remember, Chic California, The Style Sisters, Posed Perfection, Saving 4 Six, Average but Inspired, Top Notch Mom, Migonis Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, Probably Crafting, The Happy Housie, Crafty Allie, My Paper Craze, Mostly Homemade Mom, Crafty Wife, Maison de Pax, A Savory Feast, Just a Girl & her Blog, OH My! Creative, Thrifty T’s Treasures, Ducks ‘n a Row, DIY Dreamer, Ladybug Blessings, Cupcakes and Crinoline, Lou Lou Girls, Kleinworth & Co., Epic Mommy Adventures, It’s a Ginger Snap, Designed by BH, A Stroll Through Life, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Denverista, Elizabeth Joan, Suburble, Tiny Sidekick, Mabey She Made It, A Bowl Full of Lemons & Bigger Than the Three of Us.

Happy Notes copy    

53 thoughts on “How I Organized My Life with this DIY Aqua & Gold Chalkboard Calendar

  1. I LOVE this project. I am going to make one just to keep my SIX grandchildren’s soccer,baseball, etc. activities and my 🙂 doctor appts. gets pretty busy with all of that. Thank you for sharing once again a wonderful idea.

  2. Oh my goodness what a labor of love! I totally feel your pain about making trips to the hardware store. Ours is about 25 minutes away as well. But this turned out great and I love the aqua color! Congrats on your first sponsored post 🙂

  3. This is brilliant! I love the idea of using post-its. It’s cute and very effective. I have been trying to get organized, so I just put together a blog binder. I may need to find a way to incorporate the post-its.

  4. Congrats on your first sponsored post! It was very natural and doesn’t feel like you are trying to “sell” me something. I LOVE Sharpies, anyway 🙂 I can feel your pain about the magnets. They would have been so cute! What a bummer! But you still have a pretty calendar and I really like the post-it idea, too!

  5. Wow, Kristi! This was such a project, but well worth the time investment! I just love the idea of using the sticky notes so that you can easily move things around and stay organized. And so smart to use Sharpies to draw the grid – much easier than painting the lines! All of those fun Sharpie colors make me want some!

    1. Thank you SO much Bre!!! It’s been such a great way to keep everything organized and looking pretty at the same time! And I LOVE that my calendar is no longer a big jumbled up mess 😉

  6. Love this, especially the color coding (which I’ve played around with), I need to use it more. It really helps me to have a huge calendar visible, I have to have my schedule in front of my or things fall through the cracks. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Stopping by from Hump Day Happenings,

    1. Thank you SO much April! It really was a pretty quick and simple project!

      I haven’t discovered Project Life Scrapbooking yet, but I’ll definitely check it out!

  7. Great job! I love the use of the small sticky notes, but bummer on the sheet metal not working out. I’ve used sheet metal for a few projects and realized that the thinner kind is not magnetic. I’ve even taken magnets to the hardware store just to make sure what I was getting was magnetic. Thanks so much for linking up to Your Designs This Time!

  8. Love, love, love it! I especially love the color you chose. It is beautiful! Thanks for linking up to The Creative Exchange. I featured your project this week.
    xo, Laura

  9. This is so cool and SO PRETTY. I’m one of those people who really shouldn’t be handed a saw, so I was wondering if there were any products out there that would let me skip the wood part and just do painting and chalkboard? Like do you think I could use a dry erase board that hangs and paint over it or would it slide or do you know? 🙂

I can't wait to hear your thoughts?