« Arts & Crafts

DIY You've Got To Try: Fugly Frame to Functional Chalkboard

by Lucy Black

Let's get crafty!  Time to turn a fugly old bathroom picture frame into a functional chalkboard.


1 old picture frame (Thrift stores usually have a ton for super cheap)

A few used magazines

Mod Podge

Clear acrylic sealer


Hot glue gun or stapler (to seal the back upon completion)

Materials assemble!  Now.. onto the fun part - creating.  First thing I did with my frame was paint it white and let it dry (the original color was ... dirty?  lol).  You can of course paint your frame whatever color suites your fancy.

Once you've got that done, it's onto cutting and glueing.  I had a massive stack of Rolling Stone magazines, so I went through and cut out any pages that had very colorful prints, then cut those pages into strips (approximately 2 inches long and 3/4-1 inch wide).  It's not rocket science and the strips do NOT have to be perfect.  Just make sure they're long enough to cover the face of the frame and still have room to wrap and glue to the back.

Grab your best-est arts and crafts friend in the whole world... Mod Podge!

Pour some Mod Podge into a bowl/dish so you can dip your brush or sponge applicator (either one will work).  Apply Mod Podge to the frame and then lay a magazine strip over it.  Repeat over and over and over making sure to overlap each strip of magazine just a bit to avoid any bare spots.  Leave the corners for last (we'll get to that in a sec).

Once you've covered all the edges of your picture frame, it's onto the corners.  Take a strip of magazine and hold it up to the corner.  Use a pen or marker to mark the diagonal line where the frame comes together.

Then just glue down your fitted magazine strip.  Repeat until the entire corner is covered.  As you can see, I had a bit of a gap right at the edge that I had to go back and cover with one more teeny tiny strip.

Once you finish all the corners, give all the magazine strips on the frame another coat (or two) of Mod Podge over the whole thing, just to make sure it's glued down and not going anywhere.  After it dries, spray the outer frame (not the glass) with the acrylic sealer of your choice.  

Now, onto making this work of art into something functional for home or work - a chalkboard!  Tape the edges around the glass on the frame with painters tape to protect all those beautiful edges you just created.  Then it's onto coating the fugly old picture with chalkboard paint.  I recommend Rust-Oleum brand.  This is the hardest part of the project since it requires waiting and time.  Each coat takes about a day to fully seal.  I applied 3 coats of chalkboard paint total.

But it was worth the wait!  Now I've got a super cute chalkboard to use.  I bring this particular chalkboard to some of our events and it stops people in their tracks.  Great conversation starter!

What about the back?  I just glued (because I didn't have my stapler yet) thick black card stock paper to cover up the messy edges, like so.

Hope you find as much joy in the this project as I did (and still do every time I use it)!  Happy crafting to you!  

Come pin with me!