Keeping It Together: Chalkboard Chip Calendar

It’s Wednesday confession time! That’s right, it’s the point in the week where I shuffle my feet, hang my head in shame, and admit that I haven’t finished writing a post giving you an updated on my January themes. Because I know that all of you are on the edge of your seats wondering if I did, in fact, manage to put a budget together.

But then I show you something awesome and you forgive me…


Who says our relationship is dysfunctional?

Actually, I’m not sure that you really want to read the 1500 boring words I wrote about Getting My Shit Together (which was my January Theme, and yes, is a big enough task that it requires capitalization… like World Peace, or Parallel Parking) but I will give a very brief update on how things went later this week. One of the projects on that list, however, we can talk about right now: devising a calendar system so I can manage my house (ie don’t run out of fuel oil so that the house actually has heat.)

While I have all manner of apps on my phone and iPad for calendars, lists, alerts, reminders, and in general heckling me to put the paintbrush down and manage my life, if there’s one thing the six-foot tall chalkboard that holds my current project list taught me, it’s that having a big ol’ visual reminder right in front of my face is what really works for me. So, I loved the idea of having something like paint chips on hooks that you could take down, write on, put back up, and rearrange, more than your typical lean-awkwardly-over-the-desk-and-write-directly-on-to-the-calendar scenario.

I thought about using chalkboard paint on wood chips, which would have been a budget-friendly option… but I kind of hate chalkboard paint for heavy-use applications. I really love writing on my tall chalkboard from BillyBoards however, and I thought I may be able to cut down a larger board to suit.

As it turns out BillyBoards sells packages of small-sized chalkboard, so I bought a couple of packs of 4×6 mini-boards…


I played around with a few examples of how I might use them, and in the end settled on cutting them in half so that I ended up with a bunch of 2×6 slices of chalkboard. (It was super easy to cut through on the miter saw… I stacked them four high and cut through all of them at once.)


Then I drilled a hole through the slices, so that I could hang them from some some rusty old brad nails.

And instead of using plywood, I thought it would be more appropriate to go rummage around in my rubble pile for a nice old piece of barn wood to use as the backdrop. I found a 12″ wide board that was 8 feet long, cut it in half, and tacked it together with some scrap wood and screws.


I’m not in to being super accurate with my measurements these days, so I just eyeballed the placement of my “days” on the calendar, and tapped a good number of nails in to hold them.


And just like that? Calendar. Done.


It literally took less than an hour to put this thing together, start to finish. Since I bought the chalkboard (and had to pay shipping) total cost was something like $50.

The best thing is that I’ve got almost two months worth of chalkboard days, so I can pre-plan for next month and just stack the chips on top of each other.


The two very important things you should take away from this project are 1.) Yes, I draw hearts around any day of the week that a Bruce Willis movie comes out (Valentines, what?) and, 2.) the donkeys are coming home Friday!

15 Responses

  1. This…is…awesome!

    I am trying, in vain, to get my 15 year old son organized, and it is not working out very well. “Very well” being a relative term meaning “I am dragging him kicking and screaming (more like sassing me) along on my organized ride. One would not think it very hard…all the kid has to do is do as he is told.

    Anyhoo, this might actually work. It has just enough “cool” to it that he might like it, and I am all for it if he can remember when his tests are.

    1. lol…what is it about 15 year olds? That’s when mine started uhmmmm…acting up. I survived and, miracle, so did he (now 23 – not acting up – whew!). Hang in there and turn a blind eye to what he might write on the chips – hope it’s in his room!! 🙂

  2. Love it! I have been trying to think of an idea for a calendar for the kitchen and I think something like this would work awesome.
    And your Bruce Willis comment cracked me up. I love me some Willis and I’m super excited about seeing the new Die Hard for Valentine’s Day!

  3. This is probably my very most favorite project you have done! And I have really enjoyed all that you have done! But this ROCKS!

  4. Yeah – the donkeys are coming home! There is a special place in this universe for people who rescue animals! and the calendar is pretty cool too!

  5. Great project. I’ve also got the zillion-and-one-apps for organizing my life thing, but am equally incapable of actually using them.

    That’s amazing about the donkeys arriving on Friday – funny how life works, eh? You fall in love with mini donkeys, randomly buy a property that includes a perfect potential donkey barn, decide one day you will acquire donkeys for said donkey barn…and next thing you know two of them fall into your lap, needing a home =)

    1. Ha. Yes, one of the things that drives me nuts about Sunday-start calendars is that it visually breaks up the weekend… in my life the weekend is one cohesive time period in which I work on a big house project so I like to see those days on the same line.

  6. This is brilliant. Really. Great idea — especially the taking it down to avoid writing at an awkward angle part (and sorry; I don’t have the patience to hyphenate all that).

  7. So cute! I will probably shamelessly steal the idea for my bedroom, BUT you have nothing to worry about though, ’cause anybody who will see it, I’ll have already told them about your fantastic blog.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.