Sunday, May 15, 2022

From the archives: Chalkboard Easels

Recently, someone left a comment to let me know about a broken link to a tutorial in a guest post. The tutorial was for my chalkboard/dry-erase board easels we'd made for Emily's school party in 2011, and it had been featured on a site called Whip Up. Apparently Whip Up no longer exists, so there was no way to access that tutorial. 

Fortunately, I still had the original email I'd sent to Whip Up containing the tutorial (instructions and photos!) so I'm bringing it home to ikatbag. Here you go:

Hello everyone! My oldest daughter Emily is having a birthday party in September and one of the crafts are these cardboard easels made from pizza boxes. Long ago, I made largish tabletop easels, inspired by Maya's original easels. My girls loved them - we taped paper to them and they went wild with their paint brushes. For the party, I thought mini-easels would be the perfect size for the guests to make and decorate. 

This being a school-themed party, we're making them two-in-one: chalkboard on one side, and dry-erase board on the other. We're also throwing in a homemade eraser and some dry-erase markers and chalk that store inside the easel when it's closed. 

Because I couldn't find 14 small pizza boxes, I had to cut and assemble my own boxes. Obviously, you don't have to make yours from scratch - it should be easy enough to save one pizza box from a meal!

You will need:
  • One small pizza box (ours was a 10")
  • Extra piece of corrugated cardboard the same size as the top of the pizza box
  • One milk (or juice) jug cap
  • One small piece of foam (we used high-density)
  • Chalkboard contact paper 
  • Dry-erase contact paper 
  • The usual suspects: craft knife, scissors, hot glue gun

Note: You can buy chalkboard contact paper and dry-erase contact paper online (try amazon) and at some craft stores. An alternative is to use chalkboard paint and regular clear contact paper over white card stock.

Step 1
Glue down the center flaps of the pizza box so the four shallow walls of the board are upright. 

Step 2
Cut a piece of corrugated cardboard the same size as the top of the pizza box. 

Hot-glue this to the front flap (the one that tucks into the front of the box) 

This is the finished bare easel, with its flap tucked into the base: 

Step 3
Cut a piece of dry-erase contact paper to size, peel and stick it onto one side of the open easel. 

Repeat for the chalkboard contact paper, sticking that to the opposite side of the open easel. 

The easel is completed! 

Step 4
Cut a piece of foam so that it is bigger than the milk jug cap. This piece will fit nicely inside the cap, but it will be too tall.

You can trim yours to the right height, and to a more aesthetically pleasing shape if you like.

Step 5
Hot glue the foam piece to the inside of the cap, 

squeezing it in so that it expands and fits snugly inside the cap. 

This works really well with the dry-erase side of the easel 

but we found that we had to dampen it a little to get the chalkboard absolutely clean.

Add chalk, dry-erase markers and play school! 

Or write silly messages to no one in particular. 

When you're done playing, store everything inside the easel, 

fold and shut the lid, 

and put it away for another day. 


  1. I thought I might share this with my DIL who homeschools. Your photo links aren't working for me.

  2. I am not seeing the images, either in Safari or Chrome.

  3. Many thanks LiEr! This looks fun... and doable. (I waited, and the links work - I thought it was my expensive, yet evasive, internet... 😱)

  4. Hi LiEr! Having gorged on your awesome blog this spring, I think of you now and then, and hope you and yours are enjoying the summer! (I don't know how to keep this from sounding like "why haven't you posted?!??", which isn't what I mean at all. Attempts to fix it have resulted only in creepiness. :-P )

  5. I miss you! Thinking of you with much love and thanks. Happy new school year!


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