Instead of making new resolutions to be a better housekeeper, I thought I’d help my kids make some goals of their own. Okay, okay, I’m forcing them to be better about doing chores. Let’s be honest here, most kids don’t just volunteer to improve themselves, or to help out around the house. I know there are so many chore charts out there to help in this department, but Keith and I decided to get crafty and create our own framed chalkboard chore chart.
Now we can teach our kids some better life skills, and help keep everyone accountable, all with some style in our home. I figure if we have to have a chore chart, then it might as well look good. The chalkboard part is optional, as you don’t really need to write on it. I just like the way black chalkboard paint looks as a background for this beautifully framed chart.
Here’s what you need:
- 2’x3′ piece of 3/4″ plywood (5/8″ plywood would work as well)
- 3/4″x3″x10′ of #2 pine
- 6′ of 5/16″ dowel
- 1 pint black chalkboard paint
- 1 pint stain – color of your choice
- drill with 5/16″ drill bit
- wood glue
- (16) 1 1/4″ wood screws
Cut the 3″ #2 pine into 4 pieces, with one matching each side of the 2’x3′ plywood. You will end up with (2) 2′ long pieces and (2) 3′ long pieces.
For each of the 4 newly cut pieces of #2 pine, miter the ends to a 45° angle.
This printable template will serve as the frame for the chore chart, using the #2 pine. Each template has two sketches that need to be cut out and taped together. Tape the top of 1B to the bottom of 1A, and the top of 2B to the bottom of 2A.
Tape the 2A+B to the 2′ piece of #2 pine and trace it. Now flip the template and trace it on the second 2′ piece of pine. Do the same thing with the 1A+B template, on the 3′ pieces of pine. Essentially you will use the template to mirror the same thing on two pieces of wood. This will create the the frame of the chore chart.
Use a jigsaw to cut around the traced lines, on the #2 pine. Repeat with all frame pieces. Then stain, the fronts and sides, following the instructions on the can. (You can wait until after attaching the frame to the plywood, to stain – which is what we did. You will just need to be careful not to get stain on the chalkboard back.)
Set the frame pieces aside, as now it’s time to drill the holes for the dowel pieces. How many holes you want to have is really up to you. We have 45 pegs – 5 rows of 9. I have 4 kids, and I wanted an extra row for rewards, hence the 5 rows. Then I wanted 6 columns for each child, for 6 days of the week. Sunday is a rest day for us, so I didn’t create a column for that day. You will notice there are 9 columns though. The reason for this is because I had the first 3 columns, closer together, for holding the many chore options. Here is how to create this look:
Using a tape measure and a straight edge, measure 5″ down from the top of the plywood. Draw a straight, light line all the way across. Move down 3.5″ and draw another line. Repeat this step 3 more times, so you have 5 lines, 3.5″ apart from each other. Now it’s time to do the columns. Measure 6″ in from the left side, and make a mark on each of the five rows. Then make another mark 7.5″ in from the side, and again at 9″ from the left. Be sure to do this step for every row.
For the remaining 6 columns, measure in 13.5″ from the left (on the pencil lines you have already created), then create a mark every 3 inches after that, until you have a total of 9 dots across. Repeat for every row, so you end up with 45 marks. Drill at every mark, with the 5/16″ drill bit. Be careful not to go all the way through the plywood. To ensure you won’t go all the way through, I recommend drilling through a piece of 1″ thick scrap wood, before the plywood.
Use the chopsaw to cut the dowel into 45 pieces, about 2″ long each.
You can leave the edges straight, or use a sander to round the tip of each dowel. Take caution not to get your hand too close to the sander.
Apply a bit of wood glue to one end of each piece of dowel, then stick them into the drilled holes. You may need to use a hammer to gently tap them into the holes. Wipe away any extra glue, and allow to dry.
Paint the plywood, with dowels sticking out, with the chalkboard paint. You may need 3-4 coats, for the chalkboard to actually work. Dry.
Now that the plywood/back of chore chart is dry, lay out the frame pieces, over the top. Once in place, clamp them to the plywood. Turn everything over on it’s front, and attach the frame pieces to the plywood with the 1 1/4″ wood screws. Use 4 screws per side. Sand all sides of the chore chart.
You will notice the edges of the chart have some stained wood showing, and bare plywood showing. Go ahead and stain the seen edges of plywood with the same stain you used on the #2 pine. If you don’t like this look, you can purchase extra #2 pine, and cut it into small trim pieces to go all the way around the plywood. Then stain to match.
Your chore chart is ready for some chores! I just typed up some common chores, and even created duplicates for ones that each child needs to complete. For example, I typed up “homework” and “clean room”, four times. I printed, cut and laminated each chore. Then I used a needle and thread to poke through the top of each chore, created a loop, and tied it off, so each chore could be hung on the dowels. I keep all chores in the 3 columns on the left. From the remaining set of pegs, each child has a row, and each column represents a day of the week. For every chore completed each day, they place the chore on that day’s peg. Tally them up at the end of each week, and keep track using the remaining row at the bottom, if you’d like.