Party Crafts and DIY

Kid’s Project Ideas: Sam’s Outdoor Chalkboard

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Sam loves to play outside and I’m glad to have him in the fresh air and getting a little sunshine.  Of course summertime activities often include some sort of water play but kids can’t be in the water nonstop (ever hear of the superhero, Prune Boy?). When I saw this great outdoor chalkboard idea from Project Denneler I knew I wanted to make it for Sam. OK, I actually wanted Mike to make it for Sam but then I agreed it would really be a wonderful family project. It truly is an easy DIY. The most difficult part would be trying to heft a large sheet of plywood by yourself. Thankfully I didn’t have to.

How to Make an Outdoor Chalkboard

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We used a 4’ x 8’ sheet of exterior grade plywood. Mike lightly sanded the drawing surface side since exterior grade is a little rough.  Because I’m hoping this chalkboard will last more than a couple of seasons, we opted to first paint the front, back and side edges with just exterior primer (we used a roller with nap: quick!). When that was dry we flipped it over and painted the drawing surface with three coats of chalk spray paint, letting it dry completely between the coats. While we opted to do a black chalkboard, you can make your chalkboard any color. There are a number of homemade chalk paint recipes; the most popular version is:

  • 1 cup of exterior paint, any color
  • 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout

I guess with some paint the mixture becomes too thick between coats and you might need to add a little water to get the right painting consistency.

Chalkboard for Outdoors

If you want a more finished look you could add a frame all around but we were happy with the flat surface, plus Mike was concerned the lip of a frame might hold more water on the chalkboard and cause it to rot quicker.

DIY Outdoors Chalkboard

We mounted the chalkboard on our fence with 1 ¼” screws. Remember to hang it at kid height!

Outdoor DIY Chalkboard How To

DIY Chalkboard

Sam is delighted with his new outdoor art station! Besides using it for the joy of drawing, he has pretended he’s a teacher and a mad scientist already.  One of the neighbor boys came over and they played a game of adding to each other’s picture.

How To DIY Chalkboard for Outdoors

This has been a great idea for our family. Since we grill outside a lot during the nice weather, the chalkboard is another activity that keeps Sam happily busy while Mike and I catch up on each other’s day: win win!

This project is part of a Kids Summer Craft Camp blog hop.
Be sure to check out the rest of the campers amazing projects here:
Chalkboard Placemats by Sowdering About
Chalk Car Track by Messes to Memories
Chalkboard Frisbee by Hoyby Crafts
Chalkboard Tray by My Craftily Ever After

Find all the supplies you need for a great kid’s project, sourced for you by the Spaceships and Laser Beams team:

Plus, get more great kid’s project ideas with these posts:

What kid’s project idea will you try next?

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Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it’s okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.