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Category Archives: School Room Closet

My New Chalkboard Wall & A Thrifty Thursday Tip

I shared last week that we were moving the school room downstairs.  This is how the old school room looked.

It was nothing special.  I had inherited a couple desks from my grandmother which the two school-aged boys used, then slapped a couple maps on the wall.  The reason for the change is two-fold.  Reason one is that the school room was upstairs and everything else is downstairs.  It made it tricky for me to multi-task during our school day.  The second reason is that son number three is starting Kindergarten this year and needs a space of his own.  We didn’t have room for another behemoth desk and I wanted something a little more uniform.  On our way back from visiting family in California this summer we stopped at the IKEA in Sacramento (Oh, how I wish we had one here in Idaho!), and found four very inexpensive and simple table desks for our new room.  I found a new home for our old desks (just next door so I can still visit them), and put the new one’s downstairs.

I have so many ideas for the school room (see my inspiration post here), and this week my hubby helped me create my very own chalkboard wall!  I’m so excited about how it turned out!  We have textured walls which aren’t really conducive to chalkboard paint, so I did some digging around online to see what other’s have done to remedy the situation.  Thanks to Weathered Treasure, I found a solution.

We started by measuring and marking our space for the chalkboard wall.  Then we used Joint Compound and slathered the walls with it.  We laid it on pretty thick, then used a large spackling tool to get it as smooth as possible.

We let this set for a good 24 hours, then sanded out the rough spots with a 150-grit sanding block.  It left a layer of dust on the wall, so I used a wet sponge to clean this up and let it dry once more.  Then we added black chalkboard paint.  We bought pre-made chalkboard paint, but if you want to know how to make your own, check out the above “Weathered Treasure” link.  Next, my handy honey added molding around the edges and a 4-inch board to the bottom for a little shelf.  Here is the final result.  We have one more step on the chalkboard wall to complete.  Before using the chalkboard, instructions say to rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the board, then wipe off with a barely-wet cloth or sponge.  I just need to get some chalk!

Here is the our school room at this point with the IKEA desks and the chalkboard wall.

It’s still rather plain.  I have a few more projects in mind, but I’m very happy with our start.

On another note, this week’s thrifty tip comes as a result of a mini-gardening crisis.  My garden is doing quite well at this point, except for my zucchini.  I’ve noticed the leaves looking very sad and realized upon closer inspection that it was covered with aphids.

I called my friend from Kate’s Kitchen Garden for some help.  She gave me thrifty recipe for a natural bug-killer using soap, water and vegetable oil.  She has posted the recipe on her blog here.  Let’s just hope my zucchini isn’t too far gone!

Cool School Rooms

We are in the process of moving our school room from the upstairs loft area to our downstairs “left-over furniture room”.  That’s our name for the family room (Or is it living room? We have one of those houses with a family room and living room, and I can never remember which is which).  I liked our little loft school room, but everything I do during the day is downstairs — laundry, breakfast/lunch/dinner prep and clean-up — so to make multi-tasking easier, the kids are coming downstairs too.  In addition, there is more space downstairs and the “left-over furniture room” wasn’t much but a place to stash our left-over furniture (hence the name). 🙂  In the spirit of organizing and decorating a homeschool room, I am posting some pictures I am using for inspiration (none of which I will actually come close to, but it’s fun dreaming).


I love the framed chalkboard wall here from  I definitely have plans to do something similar, minus the feminine colors (I have 3 boys).


Another good use of chalkboard paint from Lady Lullabuy used to label supply cubbies.


I love, love, love this wall of maps from Land of Nod.  If I can get ahold of some old maps, I am doing this!


Another idea I love for a school room is the cork-board picture rail running through this room from Martha Stewart.


I have a staircase wall in the room.  It doesn’t rise quite so sharply, but what a clever use of that space from Design Sponge, with book shelves.


Another feature I’d love to include is a cozy little reading corner, similar to this one from Sunshine on the Inside.


Lastly, I love the bit of inspiration for teacher and students with this wall verse from Contented Sparrow.  What a lovely way to remember why we do what we do each day.