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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 Im 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 hes a teacher and a mad scientist already. One of the neighbor boys came over and they played a game of adding to each others 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 others 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
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:

  • Chalkboard Spray Paint
  • Chalkboard Brush-On Paint
  • Crayola 48 Count Sidewalk Chalk
  • And because I LOVE it: The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up

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

  • Easy Dinosaur Bones Craft
  • Kid’s DIY Project: Robot Bank
  • DIY Mason Jar Lego Guy
  • Mini Super Hero Shield
  • Kid’s Let’s Go Bag

What kid’s project idea will you try next?

[pinterest board=”projects-things-to-make”]

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