CraftSanity On TV: DIY Rainbow Chalkboards, Tags and Sidewalk Chalk

by jennifer

Clipboards are fun without any enhancements, but they get even better when you paint them them with chalkboard paint, especially if you’re looking to keep the kids busy on the next long car trip.

I priced out chalkboard paint (which is most readily available in green and black) and decided that using official chalkboard paint was going to cost more than I wanted to pay for a limited color palette. After doing some research online, I learned that all you have to do to make chalkboard paint is mix a little unsanded grout into regular interior paint.

So I headed over to my local Lowe’s home improvement store where my daughters and I met Tom, the Valspar paint rep, who supplied us with the interior paint samples we used to make this project. (Thanks again, Tom!) The paint samples come in whatever color you want and retail for about $4 each compared to $7 for about the same amount of the chalkboard variety sold in craft stores.

On today’s WZZM “Take Five” segment, I showed viewers how to convert clipboards into chalkboards. Read on for instructions to make a chalkboard in the color of your choice.

Chalkboard Supplies:

* Plain clipboard(s), and scrap cardboard for the gift tags
* Interior house paint (Use what you have in the basement if want a clipboard to match your dining room, or buy a 7 oz. sample in your favorite color from your local paint supplier.)
* Unsanded tile grout (Buy the smallest container you can find because you only need 2 tablespoons for every cup of paint.)
* Paint brushes (the foam kind work good for this project)
* 120 to 150 grit sand paper (I used 120.)
* Hole punch and yarn or twine (for the gift tags)
* White chalk

1) Mix 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout into 1 cup of paint. I was working with the sample-size jars of interior  paint, so I simply added the grout to the jars and didn’t spend time messing up more containers trying to carefully measure out an exact cup of paint. So feel free to eyeball it and move along to step 2.

2) Paint the surface of the clipboard. Then apply two more coats, letting the surface dry between applications. (I painted the front and back of the clipboards.)

3) After the paint dries, lightly sand the surface of the clipboard using a circular motion. Be careful not to sand the paint off. You just want to smooth out the surface for writing and drawing.

4) Grab some chalk and start doodling on your new chalkboard clipboard.

Gift Tag Instructions:

1) To make gift tags, cut up a piece of cardboard into the gift tag size of your choice. Paint one side of each cardboard tag and set aside to dry.

2) Sand the the painted side of the tag. Then punch a hole into one end of the tag and thread yarn or twine through.

Sidewalk Chalk

I don’t plan to make a lot of homemade sidewalk chalk because it’s readily available in stores in a variety of colors and very inexpensive. However, with that said, I do think it’s great for kids to learn how things are made. So whip up a handmade batch and see what you think.


* Plaster of Paris
* Water-based paint
* Mini-muffin tin
* Plastic wrap
* Container to mix in and a spoon (I used a butter tub from my recycle bin.)

1) Mix one cup of plaster with 3/4 cup of water. And then mix in a couple tablespoons of paint.

2) I covered the muffin tin with plastic wrap and then poured the plaster into the muffin spaces to create little pieces of chalk. The plastic wrap keeps the chalk from sticking to the tin.

3) Let the chalk dry for about 24 hours before using.

**Note you can make large pieces of chalk using toilet paper tubes as molds, but I prefer making little pieces so there are more piece of chalk to go around in the end.

Alright, I think that’s all you need to know to whip up some sidewalk chalk, gift tags and a new batch of rainbow chalkboards. In addition to occupying kids on car trips, the chalkboards are handy message boards to hang on the wall.


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