DIY Chalkboard Notebook

With back-to-school time just around the corner, it’s a perfect time for this DIY project.  When I was young, we would cover our notebooks with brown paper bags or parchment paper cut to the size of our book cover.  Then we could draw and doodle on them, usually with hearts and the initials of an admired classmate.  Since then there have been numerous projects for spiffing up notebooks with colorful scrapbook papers, wrapping paper,  and fabrics.

But by far my favorite is to turn that notebook cover into a chalkboard, because that allows you the ability to change what you draw on it over and over again.   This is a fun way not only to personalize a school notebook, but also a journal, project planner, address book, or any other notebook or tablet you may use.


Cover Your Notebook with Chalkboard Paper

Covering a notebook with chalk board paper is simple:

  1. Measure the front and back covers of your notebook.  If it has a spine or spiral that you don’t want to cover, don’t include that part in your measurement.  (Note that we’re creating a separate front and back cover, and not trying to make a “wrap-around” book cover.)
  2. Using either chalkboard paper roll or sheets, cut to the dimensions you measured.  (You can also cut so that you have an extra 1/3 inch on the top, bottom, and opening side of the notebook.  This will allow you to be a little less precise because you will wrap the extra paper over onto the inside of the notebook.  It will make the paper stay more securely in place, but will look a bit less “finished” when you open the cover.)
  3. Remove the adhesive backing and carefully apply the cut paper to the front cover of your notebook.  Don’t worry, you can remove and reapply it until it’s positioned just right.
  4. Once that’s in place, turn the notebook over and apply to the back cover.

That’s all there is to it.  Your notebook is ready for drawing and decorating.

HINT:  Since you’ll be carrying the notebook around, you won’t want to use regular chalk which will smudge and blur.  Instead, use some colorful liquid chalk markers that won’t rub off until you’re ready to wipe off with a wet cloth and start over.


Cover Your Notebook with Chalkboard Paint

Below is a popular YouTube video showing how you can use chalkboard paint for some beautiful notebook cover creations.  This one uses brush on paint, which gives you lots of flexibility.  Others suggest using chalkboard spray paint, which is quicker, but can be a lot messier and less precise.