diy back to school photo prop and magnetic chalkboard


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Heyyyyy!!!!  It’s almost back to school time, and mothers and fathers everywhere will be grabbing their cameras and taking pictures of their wild things like it’s their job.  I may or may not have just told the hubs I can’t wait for the kids to start school this morning.  Don’t judge.   It’s starting to feel like I spend the entire day breaking up fights and feeding kids.  I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I might throw a tiny party in my head on the first day of school.  I’m super excited to use this easy diy back to school photo prop too!

Anyhow, on to the actual post

Using props for BTS is all the rage anymore, I figured i would share this quick tutorial for a DIY back to school prop.  Only I like it when I can use things for more than one purpose, so I decided to make mine dual purpose!  Yep, I’m cool like that. If you want the directions emailed right to your inbox, click here, and i’ll hook you up!  This is a super simple project (because that’s how I like ’em) and took me all of an hour to make (that includes the time it took me to get paint out for my kids since they refused to be left out.)

easy diy back to school photo

prop AND magnetic chalkboard

This easy DIY back to school photo prop is perfect for those of us who wait until the last minute. It's also awesome since you can use it on the fridge after you're done using it as a prop.

*for your convenience, there may be affiliate links throughout this post, so you can easily find the things i am showing you.  by using these links, your pricing stays the same, but i earn a small commission.  you can see my full disclosure here



  •  unpainted chalkboard— I thought long and hard about this one.  I considered using a frame from a secondhand store, but i figured that would take more time that I wasn’t prepared to dish out.
  • chalk pens (these are KEY to getting that awesome writing on your chalkboards!!)
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • paintbrush– i chose not to use a foam brush because i also chose to be lazy and not tape my chalkboard
  • acrylic paint
  • glue gun– if you don’t have one, GET ONE!  You know that chick on My Big Fat Greek Wedding that sprays Windex on everything??  That’s me with my glue gun…I use it for everything!
  • heavy duty magnets


    1.  Choose an unfinished chalkboard that will be small enough to fit on your refrigerator and in your child’s hands.  I chose to use an unfinished chalkboard rather than a thrift store frame (see above), etc because it just isn’t realistic for me.  I know that I don’t have a ton of time for projects (as much as I love doing them) so I try to consider time when deciding what projects will be a good match for me!

    2.  I wanted mine to appear worn and sort of white washed.  I wasn’t going for perfection.  So, I watered down some paint, just enough to make it the thickness of half and half or something like that–  it’s not an exact science, so as long as you get it close to that you will be good!  You can obviously use any color of acrylic paint you like.  If you’re worried about getting paint on your chalkboard you can tape off the chalkboard.  Again, I wasn’t going for perfection, and I also didn’t want to spend the time taping so I skipped that step.  I did use a smaller brush though so I could control what I was painting.

    it's almost time for the kids to go back to school. this is the sweetest little photo prop AND you can use it all year long!! (We all know i would forget to take it out every year, if not!)
    3.  Once the paint has dried, use the sandpaper to distress the edges of your chalkboard.  Again, this isn’t an exact science, you’re just giving it a worn sort of feel.

    4.  Turn the chalkboard over and hot glue magnets to each of the corners. Although my chalkboard wasn’t super heavy, it did end up requiring 8 magnets to stay on the refrigerator.

    5.  Add a chalk marker holder.  I was lucky that there was already rope stapled to the back of my chalkboard, I was able to cut it and tied the marker lid to it.  If it hadn’t been there, I would have used a staple gun or the glue gun to add rope to the back of the chalkboard.

    it's almost time for the kids to go back to school. this is the sweetest little photo prop AND you can use it all year long!! (We all know i would forget to take it out every year, if not!)That’s it!!  Make sure you get started asap so you’re not trying to cram it in the night before school starts!!  But, hey, if that happens, I’m sure you’re not alone.  In fact, I can promise you’re not since I’m usually right there with you!

How many of you are “wait till the last minute” kind of peeps ??


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diy back to school photo prop and magnetic chalkboard — 11 Comments

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  3. ha! i’m sad i didn’t start when my oldest was going to kindergarten! he’s headed to 7th grade, and i just made it this year!

  4. Cherish back-to-school moments with a photograph on the first day. Craft easy-to-make props for your kids to hold before they’re off for another exciting year. Click through for banner, hand sign and frame ideas.

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