DIY Chalkboard

cabinet-doorI’ve been wanting to update my kitchen cabinet doors, but since I change my mind a lot I figured painting was too much of a commitment (not to mention a lot of work). After removing a few of the doors to open up the space (read about that project here), I decided to turn some of the remaining doors into chalkboards. This creates a convenient space to make lists, jot down notes before I forget them, or display temporary artwork.

You can purchase chalkboard paint at hardware stores, but again, painting requires a decent amount of effort and commitment. A much easier, cheaper method is black contact paper! You can purchase contact paper marketed specifically as “chalkboard contact paper,” but I’ll let you in on a secret–it’s exactly the same stuff as plain black contact paper, which you can purchase at most home improvement stores (I bought mine for $6.99 at Fred Meyer).

Simply measure the area of your cabinet door, cut the paper to fit, and stick it on. My door required two pieces, but you can barely see the seam. A few things to keep in mind while putting up large pieces of contact paper:

  1. Clean the surface before you use it (contact paper likes a smooth, non-greasy surface)
  2. Peel off a bit of the contact paper backing at a time and smooth out bubbles as you go
  3. Contact paper is fairly easy to remove and re-position, so remain calm if it’s crooked–just peel off and try again

My supplies for chalkboard labels

I also love the look of chalkboard labels on jars and cans, so I purchased a paper punch from the craft store. The one I bought is called “flourish square” from Martha Stewart Crafts and is super easy to use. Regular chalk works perfectly well on black contact paper, but for more precise lettering or for writing in smaller spaces (like the labels) I recommend a liquid chalk marker. These can also be purchased at most craft stores.

Below are some ideas to get your crafty juices flowing. If you make something, I’d love to hear about it!


Here’s a cabinet door in my kitchen–lots of space for shopping lists, recipes, and doodling.


A pretty idea for a fridge sticker–just trace a design on the paper before cutting it out.


More fridge stickers–according to her blog, the bottom sheet is for the author’s kids to scribble on. Neat!


For a framed version, simply take the glass out of a picture frame and cover the cardboard insert with contact paper.


For a DIY version of this clock from ThinkGeek, just trace around your clock on the paper, stick it on the clock face, and make your own numbers!


These straws and cups were made with strips of black contact paper. Writable cup labels would be a cute idea for keeping tracking of guests’ cups at a party.


Jars labeled with black contact paper.


A cute way to let people know what’s behind the door!