Monday, October 1, 2012

Homework Station Tutorial

Homework ruins my life.  I'm totally serious.  Everything about homework drives me totally bonkers.  With only two school-aged children, I am feeling like I am drowning in important papers.   Important papers always get lost.  Just like with shoes, backpacks, and lunch boxes, there is a scramble to find EVERYTHING. Hopefully, with tons of guidance, I can teach my children how to keep up with their VIP (very important papers) with this fun homework station.

I purchased clipboards in 2 packs for less than $3 each at my local supercenter.  I taped off this one with painter's tape to make a herringbone pattern.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Slate and Old White.  First, I painted with Old White.

I did two coats, then I pulled the tape off.  I retaped where I could fill in the unpainted parts with Slate.  This herringbone clipboard is my favorite for sure!!!

The thing about painting a design is that you shouldn't put the pressure of perfect on it.  Close up, they are not perfect.  There are nicks, worn places, and that's going to happen with wear.  The same is true of painting burlap.  I wanted to stencil an initial so that Peyton and Carter would have their own specific clipboard for their homework and things that have to be turned in.

I created this initial by choosing a chunky font and making it fill up most of a page on a word processing document.  I cut the letter out, and then used a permanent marker to trace the outline of the letter onto the burlap.  I filled it in with Slate paint with a small, rounded sponge brush made for stenciling (it came with a cheap stenciling kit in the craft section of my supercenter).

After the paint dried, I did fill in some of the hard to paint areas with permanent marker.  The key to feeling satisfied with it is that you have to accept that it won't be perfect closeup.  I used a hot glue gun to attach it to the clipboard.  To cut out around the clip, glue underneath it first, then trim around the metal pieces.

The two chalkboards are painted with Slate with no wax.  They serve as giant Post-It Notes for reminders.  I blogged about the distressed "F" initial project a few weeks ago, and I am glad that I could work it into this project.  Check out the pattern that I created with the clipboards because that adds to the appeal of the overall design.  The initials create a diagonal line.  The chalkboards do, too.  The patterned clipboards form a cross.

No need to write me that I should make the spacing more even.  I'm working on it! Keep in mind, the clipboard will move because of the big round hole that you hang it on tends to make gravity pull it off-center, so getting it perfect might be futile (unless you are totally anal-retentive and get out the Velcro).

Besides homework and messages, you can clip birthday party invitations, pictures, report cards, reading logs, etc.  I am really thrilled at how much of a visual impact this makes since it is the room that you immediately see walking in the front door.

Did you see the desk and filing cabinet that I finished with chalk paint?

Read about the  filing cabinet makeover here and the table repurposed into a desk here.
I have a few more things to paint and hang before I arrange the room before the full reveal.

This room will become the hub for all homework and my office.  This is the room where I blog! It has been one of my least favorite rooms because of the clutter.  That is quickly changing! What have you been working on? Go share it at my friend Claire's blog, The Rustic Pig.  She is having a linky party, and her projects are AMAZING!

Linking up: Homestories A2Z, Tatertots & Jello, Too Much Time On My Hands, The 36th AVENUE,


  1. I only have one with homework, and I'm already drowning in papers and workbooks! I really like the system you've come up with (and it doesn't hurt that it looks great!). I can't wait to share with my readers (with a link back, of course). Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Hi Beja!!! I'm so glad to meet you!!! I'm in Fort fun to meet another local blogger!!! I'd love to have you share your fun homework station tutorial at my party that opens tomorrow at 7am!!! Excited to follow your blog, too! XO, Aimee


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