DIY chalkboard calendar and command center

A few years ago I made this calendar and command center and installed it in a busy hallway in our house. We still use it every month, except for a long period in 2020 when there wasn’t anything to write on the calendar! And it was incredibly easy to make.

We bought an old window frame at an amazing warehouse of old house parts in Front Royal, Virginia. If you’re in the DC area, I highly recommend taking a day trip out there! Their website is incredibly useful, too, because they’ve catalogued every item in their inventory and included the dimensions and price on their site.

Although there’s not much paint on the window, I figured that some of it might be lead paint. I slathered on many coats of polyurethane with the intention of locking in any lead paint so it wouldn’t flake off in our house. (This probably wasn’t the safest plan, but we thought it was reasonable given the ages of our kids and the intended use of this piece.) We took an old piece of plywood, added several coats of chalkboard paint, and nailed it to the back of the frame. Easy peasy!

My mom used a white paint pen to draw squares for the days of the week and wrote the days of the week (with her schoolteacher handwriting!) at the top of each column. Every month or so we use colored chalk to write the calendar dates in each square and add our planned activities. I often make notes at the top of the calendar — for example, our girls wear dress uniforms on certain days and gym uniforms on other days, and I wrote each girl’s uniform schedule at the top of the calendar. We usually print out the school lunch calendar and tape it to the calendar frame. The basket holds colored chalk, magazines and catalogs.

Don’t let the photos fool you — this is often a chaotic, messy part of our house. But having everything written down in one place is essential for me, and it helps the kids anticipate our weekend plans. I expect that I’ll use this for many years to come!

If you’d rather buy a calendar and skip the DIY, Lindsay Letters has some beautiful ones!

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