Chalkboard Cubby Shelf

Bring order and organization to your back to schools routine by creating a chalkboard shelf, inspired by Pottery Barn Kids Family Calendar. You can make this chalkboard shelf with basic, off the shelf materials, the most basic of power tools, with these simple step by step instructions. This free do it yourself furniture plan features diagrams, a cut list and shopping list - everything you need to help you make your own Pottery Barn furniture for a fraction of the retail cost.

So cute . . . !

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

12 feet of 1x6 whitewood boards
30" of 1x4 whitewood boards
3 hooks
1 - chalkboard 31 1/2" x 18 1/4" (Make your own from hardboard and chalkboard paint)
Heavy duty picture hanging kit
Either pocket hole screws or nails as noted below.

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List

2 - 1x6 @ 29" (Sides)
1 - 1x4 @ 30" (Bottom)
3 - 1x6 @ 30" (Shelves)
2 - 1x6 @ 6 1/2" (Cubby Dividers)
1 - chalkboard @ 31 1/2" x 18 1/4" (make your own with a piece of hardboard and chalkboard paint)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

This is definitely the hardest step - getting the sides cut to match. Carefully measure and transfer the pattern to your 1x6 sides and cut out with a jigsaw. Sand edges until even and matching.

TIP: Clamp two ends together and sand as one to remove all rough edges and differences between sides.

Step 2

Attach two sides together with the bottom as shown above either with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws or 2" finish nails and wood glue from outsides.

Step 3

Now the shelves, same joinery technique. The middle shelf needs to sit 10 3/4" up from the bottom of the sides. Fit the cubby dividers in (next step) to guide you in placing middle shelf.

Step 4

Add the cubby dividers with 2" finish nails and wood glue from top and bottom. You may wish to finish the wood frame at this step before adding the chalkboard.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Robin E. (not verified)

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 10:55

This is soooo going on my list for when the weather cools (110+°F temps are too hot for even power tools), only I'm going to make the chalkboard from a piece of sheet metal and chalkboard paint. Then it'll take over the space I use for my ugly magnetic chalkboard. It's where the kids' art projects are displayed, instead of the fridge, so magnetic is necessary.

Thanks for the plans. This is fabulous.


Sun, 07/31/2011 - 10:35

I'm definitely making this for an upcoming wedding present!

Geoff H (not verified)

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:14

Fun to make. My friend and I decided to do Cork board instead of messy chalk. You could even to white board.

r0semary (not verified)

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 09:21

on the great craft paper holder!
loved it!
how bout taking the serrated edging from your discarded waxpaper or aluminum foil boxes and attaching them to the backside of the bottom rail?


Sat, 01/21/2012 - 15:11

I made one similar to this and placed chicken wire in the top and made it look shabby chic. I then attached clothes pins to the chicken wire to put art work or other things up with.


Sun, 04/29/2012 - 11:59

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Fri, 12/13/2013 - 09:00

I went out today to buy all of the lumber and when it came time to cut it I noticed that I needed more than just 1- 1x6x12. If you look at the cut list and add up the lengths for the 1x6's you get (29 + 29 + 30 + 30 + 30 + 6.5 + 6.5) = 161 inches (which is 13.5 feet). So you would need to buy another shorter board. FYI.