diy {wallpaper frame chalkboard}

*There have been a lot of questions in the comment sections this week. I will try this weekend to go back and answer those, so if you asked a question…check back on those posts next week.

Chris came home a few weeks ago and was welcomed with the sight of a paint roller and the couch moved away from the wall. I had decided I was tired of the pencil drawn frames and random collection hanging on the wall…it was time to bring the old chalkboard back to life.

Here is what the chalkboard looked like back in 201o. Shortly after this, I repainted the walls white, made new slipcovers and relocated the chalkboard outside.

I had every intention of hanging it outside on our porch, but just never got around to it. So, when I decided to move it back inside I had some repair work to do. The frame had fallen apart and there were water stains on the main part.

After cleaning it all, I gave the whole thing a fresh spray coat of paint. The main part of the chalkboard is just a big piece of hardboard. It is the stuff that looks just like pegboard only it doesn’t have any holes. We just built a frame to fit around it.

I have a bunch of scrap wallpaper, so I covered the frame boards in Decoupage and then adhered the wallpaper strips. My little helper joined in the fun.

It is super heavy, so I attached 2 screws to the sides of the frame and hung it from nylon rope. The nylon rope is not so pretty, so I wrapped it in fabric strips.

One of my boys wanted to draw on the chalkboard. I told him he could add some ‘pleasant words’…..not sure I can ever erase this now.

Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

I’ve been thinking a lot about words and how I use them. My kids are getting older and I am very aware of the way they speak to each other and others. There are a handful of people I’ve encountered in life that use words with grace and wisdom. Their words build up, encourage and breath life into those they are around. Even when they offer critique or discipline it is woven with humility and gentleness. I want to be a woman known for speaking words that give life not tear down. The majority of my words are directed to my children. I’ve been thinking about how my words come out after I’ve asked for the third time that rooms are picked up, or dishes put away, or books shared…do my words still come out in a way that gives life to my kids? Or do my words sound harsh? Words are a powerful tool that can be used for great and mighty things or they can be used for destruction. I want my words to be born out of wisdom and gentleness. I want to raise these young children in my home to be individuals that are known for their life giving words. They won’t learn that from me if I don’t model it day in and day out.

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  • Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys - Just when you think the big board can’t get any cooler…! Love their words on the board as well. πŸ™‚

  • MixedMolly - Wow! That was like a slap in the face. I have been failing at using my words well with the kids and I know that I need to work on that. Powerful reminder this morning….Thank you…..

  • amy beth - It looks amazing! It’s great that you change things up from time to time. I noticied the wooden shlves on an adjacent wall. Could you please share with me where you purchased? They are just what I’m looking for a project in my boys room. Just wanted to comment on the fabrics on your sofa – they are so cute and cheerful. What will you do with all the art that was up on the wall, relocate it? Please continue to share pictures. Love your happy home πŸ™‚

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Me too! That is something I want to be known for too- and to model it freely for my children.
    The chalkboard looks great! And I love that you let him add some pleasant words. Makes it even better!

  • Abigail C - Words are amazingly powerful things.

  • Amanda torres - I met a lady a few years ago who asked her kids when they were being undesirable to each other if they were being a bother or a blessing. I loved that!

  • Rebecca - I love your chalkboard! You are so very inspiring! I followed your Apartment Therapy tutorial and made one for our dining room. We absolutely love it, but are not sure how to clean it. Do you have any tips/suggestions on the best way to do that? Thanks!!

  • J. Williams - Thank you for sharing your great creation! And also for reminding us what a huge part our daily words play in our lives . . . our spouse, family and everyone we encounter. Wonderful reminder and inspiration to remember to watch what we same and to frame each sentence with words that will build up and not tear down.

    On a crafty note, how many coats of the blackboard paint do you use? And do you just “prime” it with chalk?

    Love the precious, pink words. I hope they are never erased because in years to come, those precious letters will bring tears to a moms eyes and heart, send your memory back to that day and time you all created together and that then-grown child penned those important words. Great, great, great blog today. Thank you for touching my heart. Time to go and pull out some of my grown children’s artwork and have a memory fest today! πŸ™‚

  • Alice H - Love it! I want to make a chalkboard sign too. I saw the banter between you and your sister of Instagram in regards to this sign. Too funny! Did you get your homemade jam yet? LOL!

    I have a hard time with my tongue not being a sharp knife. I try really hard. But sometimes I get so frustrated when I have to say “put up something” 1,017 times. I bet you do a much better job. Any advice? How do you keep your words being helpful in those situations? What do you do when your kids don’t obey you immediately or the 7th time? I think you are a great person and you use this blog in such a positive way. So you obviously are good with your words!!

    Have a grea weekend!

  • Amy Beachy - such a good reminder this morning. we had a hard day yesterday. this is the simple yet profound wisdom I needed….

  • Shannon Phillips - Yahoo! I am so happy that the chalkboard is back. I just love it and it is even more beautiful and true to your style now that it was before.
    Thank you for your encouragement about words spoken. Sometimes I hate the sound of my own voice when I am annoyed that I am asking for the thirteenth time for K to put his shoes on. I have been trying to focus on this and your reminder came at a perfect time.
    As someone who knows you in real life, I have to say that your words are always kind, always encouraging and full of grace. The tone of your voice when you speak to your children (even when you are correcting them) is kind, gentle and full of love. πŸ˜‰

  • Robyn Farmer - That last bit was very encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing that and reminding me how important my words are.

  • Tina B - This post came at the perfect time. There has been a lot of talk around my home of how we talk to each other,espically when the girls are upset with each other. Thank you.

  • Eva - I just LOVE that board.

    And I’d have a hard time erasing those words too.

  • Talia - i love this whole thing from the fabric around the nylon rope to the quote, to how big it is!

  • Ellie Born - Thank you for the thought on life giving words. “A gentle tongue is a tree of life.” Proverbs 15. This was a very tangible reminder to me this morning.

  • chantelle - LOVE the chalkboard! I really really want to make one! You have the best ideas! The words are perfect for a reminder of how we treat others! The new little words are the best! Ilove kids spelling, always from the heart. There is a Knight riding through my province right now (Saskatchewan) promoting kindess and manners on his journey……love it!

  • ashlee - Awesome diy but even more awesome words. I try so hard to speak softly to my kids and teach them to do the same. Too few people use their words responsibly. Thanks for this today.

  • Jessi - This is SO fun! I’m going to have to try it! Would you mind sharing the wallpaper source too? Thanks!

  • Bethany - Thanks for your very introspective thoughts today Ashley. I’ve been thinking lately about how my choice of words (and the tone I use) reflect my attitude. Such a great reminder to follow the example of those who use their words wisely.

  • Lisa M. - Love the chalkboard. It’s beautiful!
    You made me think about how my words come out when I speak to my son asking him to do something two, three or four times! It’s frustrating at times when you have to continually repeat yourself over and over. But I am constantly reminding myself that “he’s only six” and he gets distracted very easily πŸ™‚ Because of what you said, I will definitely be aware of my tone and words with him. I absolutely do not want to tear him down, I want to build him up with my words. Thank you for this post!

    p.s. Christmas Eve my son wrote “Happy Holidays” and “Ho Ho Ho” and drew Santa Claus on the window (with window Crayons:) by our tree for everyone to see Christmas morning. It’s still there. I just cannot bring myself to wash that window. I took pictures, but something about seeing it in person just makes me smile. I’m sure I will wash it soon (although, it’s been 7 months already:)!

  • Jenni - Completely in love with this post. So true.

  • katie kubler - random question. Where did you get those wood shelves from the first picture. I have been looking for some like that for a while now!

  • Ashley - Found your blog while looking for some crafty things. I am so not crafty, but I enjoyed looking through your things last night. You are incredible! As an adoptive mama, I wanted to encourage you in your wait for your Little One! I can’t wait to see you all as a family of seven!

  • Juice - Thank you so much for your encouragement. Just what I needed to hear today. Your application is with your children, but it is a reminder for me in all interactions. I need to speak pleasant words to my family, my neighbors, my coworkers and my clients.

  • Amy at Fig Milkshakes - I made you a meme!

    (I love it, by the way, I’m not making fun…)

  • Jess - Love it! I have always loved that wallpaper on your walls and it looks just as cute framing your chalkboard. I heard a sermon about our words being life giving or destructive a few weeks ago…so good…and so challenging. Thanks for another reminder, friend!

  • Lisa Box - “yue rosm”…LOVE IT! πŸ™‚

  • Aubrey - Ugh…convicted. But it’s so good to be reminded that our words have the power of life and death. God spoke and things were created…serious power. I want to speak and encourage life, especially in my kiddos.

  • amie - I love this post. I love everything about it. But I do have to say, standing nearer to the finish-line of parenting — that my husband and myself have worked very hard at “honeycombing it” (with each other and with our children). And there are days and/or phases where it certainly feels like we put in all these man-hours of sweet words for nought; and the same goes with manners. It’s like your darling little saplings wake up one day and are complete neandrethals…. They are never disrepectful or hateful or any of the things that parents need to truly do a 180 for….but it really can make a parent feel like all their years of hard work was for nothing. It’s these days that I remind myself to stay the course…..Pr 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. πŸ™‚ Just something to chew on! πŸ™‚

  • rachel - i love it! i’m a huge fan of chalkboards. i re-purposed a vintage mirror frame into a chalkboard. my littles love it. πŸ™‚

  • Tonya - Several (many) years ago I received a tape (see, years!) of a message entitled “Silver Boxes with Bows on Top”…basically reiterating that our words should be a gift to those around us, like pretty silver boxes with bows on top. I have never forgotten those words, but often forget to practice it :(. Thanks for the reminder,

  • Corrie Anne - Thanks.. I needed to read this today. I have 5 family members staying at my house this week, and I just needed to read this post!!!

  • tracy a - thanks friend! it is good to hear your words (on words). i have been thinking about this a lot lately too…and find, all to often, that my words come out with a note of frustration or even anger-particularly when they’ve already been said nicely and ignored a couple of times. praying we can speak with gentleness and humility, just like you said. πŸ™‚

  • Jenn - I love your sofa. Is it a daybed or true sofa?

  • Nori - I love the project and I love what you said about words… I’ve been thinking about that a lot in my work life…

  • AshleyAnn - Katie & Amy Beth – the shelves are just wood boards from our local mill. I sanded the top side and cut them to size. The brackets are from Lowes.

    Rebecca – I just use a wet cloth if I want to really clean it. Depending on how much chalk is on it, I might have to do a few passes with the cloth.

    J.Williams – Originally I used 2-3 coats. I did ‘prime’ it with chalk.

    Alice – I got my jam last night! I don’t have any great advice…I am still working on it!

    Jenn – It is neither πŸ™‚ I saw a similar daybed at Pottery Barn and asked my dad if he would build me one that would work as a couch. He’s awesome like that.

  • homestilo - The re do looks fantastic and I just want to throw myself into that sofa and pillows (much like your little boy has done). So happy to have found your blog today- it has really put a smile on my face.

  • Debbie H. - Hey Ashley! My husband and I went out this weekend and bought supplies to make this chalkboard…I went to the Apartment Therapy site for the instructions. I decided to make mine 3’x6′. My questions is….how did you secure the hard board to the frame? We bought trim material that is already notched out but with this size I am not sure how to secure it all! especially in the middle!!! I can’t wait to hang it up in my house!!! πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth - ahhh…such a lovely post!! encouragement *&* craftiness ~ does life get any better?!
    the chalkboard of course is *awesome*!!
    the encouragement is timely & oh, so true!!
    i home school our kids & the 1st grade curriculum we use has the kids memorize this verse ~ they also use two real life activities to reinforce the concept. eating a spoonful of honey & the child gets two bandaids which have “healing words” written on them.
    throughout the day, the child is to look for opportunities to use his bandaids on his siblings by using his healing words.

    my 3rd & 5th grader still remember this verse!! “Life & death are in the tongue”. i, too, want to be a mom, wife, & friend who uses my words for TRUTH, LIFE, & ENCOURAGEMENT. THANK YOU!!

  • AshleyAnn - Debbie – we added a few thin slats about every 2.5 feet across the back (running vertically) for added stability. We just slid the hardboard into the groves of the frame. It was tight fit, so then all we had to do was nail the frame together. Our ‘frame’ wasn’t trim, but was 1×4 boards we cut a groove down the middle.

  • Vanessa J - Hi,
    I would love to buy the “honeycomb” photo that you took above your sofa to frame and hang in my salon! It is great! Please let me know if that would be a possibility…Your blog makes me smile and I would love to be inspired each time I work, by looking at your happy photo! Love the “kind words” post! I try to remind myself daily to speak kindly to my children. I am amazed daily at what my children teach me!

  • Susannah - Hey Ashley! I was just wondering where you got your blue with flowers fabric that you used on the coach for the pillows and have used in other places as well. And the red with flowers fabric on the pillows? Susannah

  • AshleyAnn - Susannah – both are by Amy Butler. The red is discontinued though. I bought the blue online.

  • Erin - Dying to know what that wallpaper is called – I have been looking for it!!!! Help!!! :))))) thanks! Erin

  • Amiee - I just read this post today after stumbling across your site last week. You have beautiful children, a sweet spirit with a touch of real that exemplifies through your creativity and art.
    We have a chalkboard as well. Not as big but today I will write on it Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb giving sweetness to the soul and health to the bones”. It blesses us when we use our talents to bless others. And in this case to learn Gods word as well!
    Your DIY’s have inspired me and I can’t wait to try them! Hope to show you soon! Blessings to you and your precious family, Amiee

  • emily - This is the cutest thing I have ever seen! Can I ask about the wall paper? What is it called? I want to copy everything you do!!!

  • Jenna - Ashley, Can you share the name of your wallpaper that you used and where you found it? I love the design and would love to purchase some.


  • AshleyAnn - Jenna – it is by Orla Kiely