One of the great things about this DIY chalkboard wreath is that you can use it to celebrate any holiday or occasion you want. Here you see it with a Christmas message. Just erase the chalk message and add new greenery in February, and it becomes a Valentine’s Day decoration.
Ashleigh and Stephanie of the style and DIY blog Beckham + Belle created the DIY chalkboard wreath for the Holiday Style Challenge series here on The Home Depot Blog. We sent them a few Home Depot Christmas decorations, and the assignment to create a wreath of some sort, and Ashleigh and Stephanie got to work.
They show exactly how they made the chalkboard wreath, and then we see how great it looks in a holiday party they styled around it.
When Ashleigh and I first received our assignment of a DIY wreath, I giggled to myself… I started making my first wreath over four years ago… I never finished it, and to this day, my husband still teases me about it. It’s boxed up in our basement, still half-done. So, given the challenge to make a wreath, I knew Ashleigh and I had to come up with something unique, and we had to do it well, so I could make up for the lost cause resting in peace in my basement.
One of my favorite picture frames in my home is is a frame bordered with chalkboard. This little frame inspired the idea for our wreath… a DIY chalkboard wreath! Who doesn’t love a chalkboard?!
Of course this is a Holiday Challenge, but part of the beauty of a chalkboard wreath is that it’s adaptable, and could be used year-round for any holiday. We still wanted our wreath to feel like Christmas, so we made a detachable, somewhat “traditional” Christmas garland to wrap around our chalkboard frame and finished it up with of course, a big, festive bow.
It took us a little trial and error to figure out how to make the perfect wooden circles needed to make our vision come to life. And by vision I mean this unimpressive hand sketch you see below that I texted to Ashleigh as we were brainstorming with hundreds of miles between us.
I’m definitely no power tool wizard, and Ashleigh’s only a little bit more experienced, but we figured it out together, and we were so happy with our final cuts. Don’t be intimidated by cutting wooden circles or rings – we took care of the trial and error for you, so making this wreath should be a breeze! And if you frequent our blog, you know that Ashleigh and I are both time and cost conscious with our DIYs, because who doesn’t need more time and money?!
We chose to do our challenge at Ashleigh’s home in Charlotte (better chance of good weather than here in Ohio!). As soon as I flew in, we took stock of what was inside the mystery box of items The Home Depot sent us. Then we headed to the nearest Home Depot store to gather our supplies.
How to Make a DIY Chalkboard Wreath
For the base material of our wreath we opted for a pre-made 2 x 4 black chalkboard, which was a pleasant discovery in The Home Depot’s plywood aisle. Ashleigh and I are both fans of chalkboard paint and use it on the regular. But knowing we were going be investing some time in circle cutting trial and error, we liked the idea of cutting out a couple of steps with the pre-made chalkboard.
A sheet of plywood and chalkboard paint would of course do the trick just the same, but will require a little extra time for a couple coats of paint. For the “frame” of the chalkboard, or the wooden rings, we purchased a 4 x 8 sheet of birch plywood and Minwax Dark Walnut Stain.
There was no question that our holiday wreath needed some greenery, so we evaluated a couple different options. We both love boxwood wreaths, but those are pricey, even if you DIY them. Ashleigh had several Ligustrum plants in the gardens around her house. They plants are larger than a boxwood, but they have similarly waxy leaves. The branches are long and full, too, making them ideal for garland making. So we picked up a beautiful Ligustrum plant at The Home Depot, harvested some of the branches, and then planted it in the garden! Win, win.
We gathered up the balance of our supplies and started to tackle our cuts!
Our complete shopping list for our wreath is listed below (all available for purchase at your Home Depot store, or online, of course!).
Materials for the DIY Chalkboard Wreath
- 2 x 4 Chalkboard
- 4 x 8 plywood
- Sand paper
- Minwax Dark Walnut Stain
- 1 Ligustrum plant
- A wreath base with an inner diameter of approximately 24 in. (We used a round window trim from The Home Depot.)
- Liquid Nails
- Green floral wire
- Holiday ribbon of your choice
- Ryobi Fixed Base Router
- Jig saw, optional (We tried using a jig saw in our project, which worked just fine, but a router produced cleaner circular cuts.)
Tip: You can rent power tools, including jig saws and drills and a lot of other stuff, from The Home Depot’s tool and truck rental desk. It’s an inexpensive option if you don’t have a particular tool on hand. The Home Depot associate will show you how to use the tool, too!
Step 1 — Cut the Chalkboard into a Ring
We started off by tackling the chalkboard piece. We traced an outer circle approximately 24 in. in diameter.
Cutting the Ring with a Jig Saw
Using a jig saw (my first time!), we carefully cut out the circle. It’s not absolutely necessary to have a perfect cut since the edges will be covered with the wooden trim.
Next we traced an inner circle approximately 9 in. in diameter (we got very technical here and used a glass bowl).
To give us a little wiggle room with the jig saw, we first drilled a hole in the center of our circle. Then, again, cut the traced line with the jig saw.
We wanted to ensure we had very clean cuts on our wooden rings that would act as trim to our chalkboard.
Cutting the Rings with a Router
Our jig saw cuts were good, but not perfect, and again, we needed to strive for perfection. So in an effort to create smooth, “pretty” wooden rings, we did a couple trials of circle cutting using a router and a makeshift jig. The basic idea is to create a piece that is the length of the radius of your circle, affix one end to the center of your circle, and the other end to your router. Rotating the router around that point creates a circle.
Once we figured it out though, it was so easy and made beautiful cuts! There are lots of videos and tutorials out there on how to utilize a router to cut circles. If you plan to use a router, we recommend watching a couple of videos to get a good feel as to how to execute. (Ashleigh and I are both visual people!).
We cut out a long piece of wood with holes marking different measurements from the router bit (we used a spiral bit). These measurements will be the radius of your circle (half of the diameter/width of the circle). We drilled a hole into the 12½ in. mark that we made to cut a circle that would be slightly wider that our chalkboard circle (25 in. in diameter). With the router attached to the other end of the wooden piece, this will now pivot around the screw.
Once the outer circle was cut, we moved the screw to a 10½ in. mark (screwing into the same hole in the board you are cutting). This will result in a wooden ring that is approximately 25 in. in diameter and 2 in. thick.
We repeated the same to create the inner trim, this time using a 4¼ in. mark and a 5¾ in. mark (11½ in. diameter ring, slightly thinner at 1½ in. thick).
Your completed pieces will look something like what you see in the above photo. (Ignore white ring in background … more on that later!)
Step 2 — Sand and Stain the Rings
Next, we sanded the edges of the wooden cuts to ensure they were smooth.
Using a clean rag, we stained the wooden rings with two coats of Minwax, Dark Walnut.
Step 3 — Glue the Trim to the Chalkboard
Once the wood thoroughly dried, we used Liquid Nails to glue the trim to the chalkboard. Make sure to clamp the wood and chalkboard together while drying.
Step 4 — Make the Garland
While our glue dried, we made our live garland. We received a wreath form in our mystery box from The Home Depot. The form is the white ring in the photo above of the wood circles. It’s actually polyurethane trim that’s supposed to go around a round window. Clever repurposing, eh?
We spraypainted this black (so that the white wouldn’t show through) and, once dry, used this to support the garland. We cut branches off of the Ligustrum and attached them together into a long garland strand (the length of the circumference of the wreath), using floral wire.
We then wrapped the strand into a circle, securing them onto the wreath base using green floral wire. We used the Martha Stewart Plaid Ribbon provided in our mystery box to tie a big bow at the bottom of our wreath, again securing with the floral wire.
Instead of permanently securing the chalkboard to the garland wrapped wreath base, we attached it using Velcro. This allows the chalkboard wreath to be utilized for any season. Clever, right?!
Step 5 — Chalk in Your Holiday Message
After chalking “Merry Christmas” and setting the chalkboard into the garland base, our wreath was complete!
An Outdoor Holiday Party
With that mission accomplished, we set about decorating our outdoor space with our new wreath and some of the other fun stuff provided in the mystery box!
When the sun set, it got extra festive with the AppLights Icicle String Lights from our mystery box, which we could control with our iPhones.
These are amazing! So many different color options!!
Ashleigh lives outside of Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two children, Mara and Ryan. Ashleigh writes about DIY projects, food, and kids at Beckham + Belle. Ashleigh spends her days consulting for the healthcare industry and renovating older homes. Along with her blog partner, Stephanie, Ashleigh enjoys creating unique home decor items for Beckham + Belle’s Etsy shop.
Stephanie lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Joe and three children Beckham, Greyson, and McLaren. When she’s not working at her full-time job as a buyer, you can find Stephanie blogging at Beckham + Belle. On the blog, Stephanie shares her favorite recipes and DIYs that are primarily focused on home decor and projects for the little ones.
The Home Depot has everything you need to decorate for Christmas in our Holiday Decorations Department.