How to Make a Giant Outdoor Chalkboard

This outdoor chalkboard is a hit! Our little lady loves to draw and now that spring has sprung and we will be spending much more time outside we thought that an outdoor chalkboard would be a perfect 3rd birthday gift. Not to mention her little brother will be crawling sometime this summer and I can just see him covered in sidewalk chalk if it is all over the patio.  Here is what we came up with and some snags we remedied along the way!  I love the way it looks and it is a great use of space along our side yard!

How to make a giant outdoor chalkboard for your yard. This is such a perfect outdoor activity for the kids and it has held up for over 2 years!
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How to Build an Outdoor Chalkboard

UPDATE: I wrote about how our outdoor chalkboard is holding up after 3 years in this post!

Supplies:

Tip: We got our supplies at The Home Depot and discovered that you can actually buy online, they gather it all up for you and you pick it up! Hooray for never walking around that giant store lost again!
I even linked directly to the supplies we used here.

Steps:

Our fence measures 8 feet from one post to the next which is why we are making an 8 foot chalkboard.  If you have more or less space between your posts you may want to make your chalkboard longer or shorter accordingly.

chalkboard tutorial

Step 1: Measure and mark 12 inches from the 3 foot edge of each piece of backer board.  (You will be cutting 1 foot off of each piece of 5×3 backer boards to make 4×3 pieces if you are making an 8 foot chalkboard.)

Step 2: Draw a straight line 12 inches in from the short edge using the marks you just made.

Step 3: Score many times along the line with a utility knife until you get a pretty deep grove.

Step 4: Place a piece of the frame board under the board with the edge along the line you just scored and apply pressure until the board breaks along the line.  If it is not breaking you will need to score the board some more to make the grove deeper.

Step 5: Voilà!  The board comes apart and now you have a 3×4 piece of backer board.  Now do the same thing to the other piece.

chalkboard-tutorial-2

Step 6: With the short sides of the 2 pieces of backer board together, place two of the 8 foot long frame boards down the long edges and trim if necessary.

Step 7: Cut 4 30 3/4 inch piecs of the frame board.  You will use 2 now and 2 for the front frame in step 16.chalkboard tutorial 3

Step 8: Set the backer board to the side and recreate the frame on the ground.

Step 9: Put a bead of liquid nails on the frame board using a caulk gun.

Step 10: Now, with the help of a buddy, lift each piece of backer board onto the frame (with the side that you will use as the chalkboard facing up.) Apply pressure.how to make an outdoor chalkboard

Step 11: Reinforce the back frame that you just built with screws about every 18 inches using a power drill.

Step 12: Cut 2 or 3 small pieces of frame board from a scrap piece and drill along the seam where the 2 pieces of backer board come together  (One of the problems we ran into was that the seam where backer boards came together was not smooth.  There was a little bit of a step, which would be annoying when drawing.  This was our remedy.)

Step 13: Flip the entire project over and get ready for the fun part…Painting!

(Optional) Caulk the seam with exterior or waterproof caulk and let dry before painting.

Step 14: Apply 2 generous coats of chalkboard paint with a roller allowing it to dry between coats.

Step 15: Dry fit the frame boards in the same way you did for the back frame with the 8 foot pieces along the long sides and 2 shorter pieces (that you cut in step 7) along the short sides.

how to make an outdoor chalkboard

Step 16: Paint the frame pieces in the color of your choice with outdoor paint. Allow everything to dry.

Step 17: Place the frame on the blackboard and reinforce with screws.  (You can putty and paint these if you want to when it is installed on the fence.)

Step 18: Lean the chalkboard against the fence where you want to install it.  (This is important so that you can find where you will need to predrill holes in your fence posts and the frame.)  Note:  Keep in mind the height of the kiddos that will be using it.  We hung ours 14 inches off of the ground so that our 3 year old could reach to the top, and our littlest one will be able to use the bottom portion from a sitting position so he can join in before he can even walk!)

Step 19: Predrill holes in the frame of the chalkboard.

Step 20: Secure the chalkboard to the fence posts using the lag bolts.Step by step tutorial to make this weatherproof outdoor chalkboard

Step 21: Decide where you want the hooks to hold the buckets of chalk and install them. (ours are 11 inches from the bottom of the frame.)

Step 22: Hang the chalk buckets and let the kiddos go wild!

How to make a giant outdoor chalkboard for your yard. This is such a perfect outdoor activity for the kids and it has held up for over 2 years!Now we are ready for hours of fun outside.  You can find me watching my little lady draw from my newly spruced up plastic outdoor chairs.
How to make a giant outdoor chalkboard for your yard. This is such a perfect outdoor activity for the kids and it has held up for over 2 years!

How to make a giant outdoor chalkboard for your yard. This is such a perfect outdoor activity for the kids and it has held up for over 2 years!

Want to know how our outdoor chalkboard has held up? Click here.

Related:

OUTDOOR LIVING ROOM REVEAL

FUN SIDEWALK CHALK TODDLER GAME: SHAPES AND COLORS

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home (formerly TinySidkeick,) where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

67 thoughts on “How to Make a Giant Outdoor Chalkboard

  1. Chrystal says:

    Hi, this is such a great idea thank you for posting, do you mind letting us know the average cost for all this?

    1. Hey Chrystal. I think it was about 100 bucks.

  2. Nikki says:

    is that just a strip of artificial grass they are standing on? I’m looking to do that to our whole kid corner outside. Wondering what you used…?

  3. Kim says:

    Hey, this looks awesome! However, I wanted to see your comments on how it held up before I made this for our school. The link is not working. Can you provide a brief update on how it functions over time? Thanks!

    1. Hey Kim. Thanks for letting me know. I fixed the link. It has held up great! You can check out the update post right here.

  4. Elyse Greenhouse says:

    I did this project and I am thrilled with how it turned out! Thank you ,Corey!
    -Elyse

  5. Thanks for the post. We’re about to go buy the stuff for this!

    Your link for “HOW OUR OUTDOOR CHALKBOARD IS HOLDING UP AFTER 3 YEARS IN THIS POST!” is broken. It takes me to http://_wp_link_placeholder/ on Chrome.

    Thanks

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