{DIY message center with chalkboard blue}

 Happy New Year! It’s Michelle from Chalkboardblue and  I’m excited to be sharing with you a new Message Center I just designed and built for our home.  I wanted to build a Message Center with a Calendar that I could keep track of our schedules.  This is what I came up with–I wanted to share it with you, and show you how you can build your own!
 The Message Center measures roughly 30x 22 inches.  It can be hung on the wall or on a door.
*Note, I took pictures of it leaning up against a black background.  The Message Center system itself is all of the white board that is shown here with white edges and has all of the featured items displayed here…
It has a Magnetic Chalkboard to the left that is made with sheet metal and painted with Chalkboard paint. It has built in cubbies on the right and lower portion to hold office supplies and whatever else you might need to store. Keys, Scissors, tape etc.
I framed my calendar with a wood 8 x10 frame. I used Washi tape to mark off certain items like vacations etc.  With the whole background of the Chalkboard portion being metal, in order to hold the frame onto the metal Chalkboard background, I glued some magnets to the back of the wood frame.
 Here is a shot of the frame with some magnets glued on the back of it. 
The Frame can be removed to change out the calendar or you may not want the wood frame at all.  Here is a shot with the frame removed.  I found a notepad with a magnet like the yellow one in the photo that can be used for listing items or misc. notes…
I wanted a place to have the date for each day displayed.  I put vinyl on that says: Today’s Date:  The numbers are wooden numbers.  I have seen numbers like these at Michaels or you may be able to search and find them online.  I had mine cut from a man that cuts wood for me periodically.  

The fun part about the numbers is they have magnets on them so they can be changed out each day. I have the extra numbers stored in one of the cubbies.

Here is another shot of the numbers changed to a different date:

Here is a magnet on the back of one of the numbers:

If you do not have or like the idea of the wood numbers, the date can be changed daily with Chalk!

The lower half I put vinyl on says Goals.  This can be used to mark or write out with chalk your daily “To do’s” or plan out your menu for the week.  Write out your goals you want to reach that week or with a magnet like this yellow one here, you can place it on what day of the week it is that day…


Items listed of what you might need to do that week: This lower cubby can be for Misc. items, mail, etc.  I found some cute blue clothespins and pinned a picture of my kids to the front of the cubby…

With Menus:

Here is the cubby where I store the numbers to be changed.  It can be used for whatever you may need:
The next cubby can hold chalk, scissors, whatever…


This final one can be for keys.  I have washi tape here for now…

Now another fun thing you can do with this system is, each month you can change out the calendar and also accent it for the Holiday or season that month.  With Valentines coming, I thought I would show you how I  accented it …

On my calendar, I used some red accented washi tape to denote Valentines:
changed my numbers to wooden numbers painted red and glittered…

Found a cute red glittery heart and to mark the day of the week a red magnet…

If you would like to see how I made these wooden knob magnets, you can here at my blog: or visit www.Chalkboardblue.com for other project ideas.
I have included the instructions below of how I built my system.  If you build one, I hope you enjoy your Message system…  I am going to put ours on our pantry door in our kitchen!


How I built the Messge System:

Note: due to the thin material.  I only glued this project.  No nails or brad nails were used. I would also recommend reading through this before you cut your wood. 

1/4 in. smooth finish plywood  (you will need enough of this to cut a 30 3/4in. x 22 1/2 in. for the back and also enough for the strips for the borders and cubbies.)  I bought a full sheet of plywood, but not all of the plywood was used for this project.

Sheet metal : cut to Measure 14 x 23 1/2 inches ( I found my sheet

                       metal at Lowes in the heating and air cond. section. I 

                       purchased a small sheet that was 16x 26 in.)

Tin snips

Chalkboard Paint

White Paint

Wood Glue

Liquid Nails Construction adhesive 

Extra small screws  2 x 1/4 purchased at Lowes



Miter Saw

Table Saw

Label Holders (I purchased mine online from JoAnn fabrics.  They are made by K&Company.  They come 5 to a package.)

Extra items for Accent:

Small magnets ( I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby)

8×10 wood photo frame (I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby)

Welding glue to secure magnets

wood numbers


Cut List:

Back Board:   Cut one measuring 30 3/4 in. long by 22 1/2 in. wide

Strips for Borders:  Cut at 1 1/2 in. wide.  Cut at least 12 feet to work with (I ripped mine on the table saw)

Strips for Cubbies: Cut at 2 in. wide. Cut at least 13 feet to work with (I ripped mine on the table saw)

1 Wide strip for top plate of bottom cubby: Cut measuring 4 x 14 in. (This may need to be cut down once it is cut to fit in its place.)

Sheet metal cut: 14 x 23 1/2 inches

Materials to start with:
Cut all of  your Wood according to cut list above.  Paint all wood white.  I painted all of mine first before I assembled it.  You can do it after if you would like.

Measure and cut your sheet metal with tin snips: 14 x 23 1/2 inches.
Here is a picture of the wood strips used for the borders and cubbies painted:
Paint your sheet metal with  Chalkboard paint.  I did 3 coats of Chalkboard paint.  
Here I am just laying it out, looking at the borders.



Cut and fit your borders.  I cut mine on 45 degree angles.

 Glue and clamp down your borders with Wood glue:

Once your borders are glued,  Using the Construction adhesive, glue your chalkboard metal sheet down.  Place it up against the borders in the upper left hand corner.
Once your chalkboard portion is glued down and dry.  You can start building the cubbies.  

I cut my sides of the cubbies to fit the board.  Take your strips that are cut 2 inches wide. Cut two long sides. Mine measure 27 3/4 inches long. One side of the cubbies will go from the top of the border next to the chalkboard down to the bottom border. The other side will go from the top of the border along the long edge all the way to the bottom of the board border. Mine measured  27 3/4 inches.    Do not glue these down yet.  Build your cubbies first and then glue the whole set of cubbies down at once. I just laid my sides down and glued and clamped the cross boards together using this place as my guide.
Next you will cut some bottom plates for each of your cubbies. From your strips that are 2 inches wide, cut four boards measuring 5 1/8 inches each. Glue these bottom plates in for each of your cubbies with wood glue and clamp for them to dry. Where ever you want your cubbies to be is up to you.  I just roughly spaced mine out. The top cubby is for numbers. It is 7 and 3/4 in long. The middle cubby is  longer for scissors, it is 11 1/4 inches long. The other cubby is a shorter one for keys. It is 8 inches long.

Glue on the bottom plates

Here is a picture of each of the plates gluing and clamped.  Remember I still have not glued this to the back board yet.  Only the cross boards are gluing at this point. 

Here are the cubbies once they have dried.

Now you can glue these down in their place… Where you built them at. Next to the chalkboard and edge of the  right border.

Once the cubbies have dried in their place, you can glue the front of each of your cubbies in place…

From your strips that are 2 inches wide, You are going to cut 3 boards. Mine measured roughly 5 1/8 inches across, but I recommend you Measure and mark each board to make sure you get a good fit. Do not glue these into place yet.  


Before you glue the front of the cubby plates in place, put your label holders on first.  I used a 1/16 drill bit and centered my label holder in place.  Drilled the holes and anchored them with the extra small screws. 

These are the label holders:

Now you can glue them in place.

Here they are glued in place.  You can also put your hooks in at this point.  I cut two boards from my 2 inch strips measuring 5 1/8 inch long. Placed them on top of each other because of the length of the screws for the hooks, I needed extra thickness for the screws to go through so they wouldn’t go through the back of the big board.  
Next you need to cut and glue down your longer  bottom cubby that  is underneath your chalkboard. From your 2 inch strip again, cut a side edge board that is 4 1/8 inches long, glue it in place on the left edge.  Cut another one that is 13 3/4 inches long, glue and place it along the bottom edge and to the existing cubbies to the right to connect the two sets of cubbies.

Once those are dry, Take your board you cut 4 x 14 inches.  Measure and mark and cut it to fit that final space.  Mine ended up being 4 x 13 3/4 inches long. Glue it inside your side and bottom sides and to the existing cubbies to the right to connect the two sets of cubbies.  Drill and place your label holder to this top plate also.

At this point, you have glued your borders down, your chalkboard down and built and glued all of your cubbies!  Now from this point, it up to you how you want to accent your board.  This is what I did with mine!  


 I wanted my calendar to be framed, so I bought an unfinished wood frame and painted it white. Any color would look great on the frame!   I glued heavy hold magnets to the back with welder glue. 


I cut some vinyl to say today’s date and placed it.  For my numbers for the daily date change, I had mine cut for me from a man that cuts numbers for me. But I have seen numbers similar to these at Michaels or you could find some online.  Each of the numbers have magnets glued to the back so they can be changed out each day.  If you do not have or want the wood numbers, you can always change the date with chalk each day!

 I cut some vinyl to say Goals and a letter for each day of the week.  So I can write down things I need to do that day or even plan out meals for the week there. Really it is up to you the way you want your layout to be or how you want to customize it from this point! 

With Much Love & Gratitude,


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  1. That is so cute! I want to learn how to make stuff like that! Who teaches women how to construct?!

  2. Wouldn’t it be easier to purchase a large shadow box? Just take the backing off and add what you did. I haven’t done it, but I just may give it a try. You are so very talented!

  3. This is great! I could need something like this next to my desk – gonna have to think about the sizes and arrangement that would fit here. And if only it would be easier to get chalkboard-paint here in Germany…

  4. I love this so much,
    I decided to make it on google sketch up and I have made it available to download off of the google 3D warehouse. I would love it if you would take a look:) I also linked this page in the description of the model in case anyone wished to see where i got the idea:)

    1. https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=u6cc0e22f-59f3-4cee-8303-f13d0b26e181

      (here is the link)

      1. Hi, Katie! You will need talk to Michelle, at chalkboardblue.com It’s actually her work–she was doing a guest post for me! Thank you!!

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