PB Rustic Chalkboard Wall Organizer Copy Cat

I love a challenge. If you hold an object up to me and ask me how it can be transformed, I can usually name a few different things. So, when the Elmer’s #Look4Less Challenge was introduced, I jumped at the opportunity!

For this challenge I chose to recreate Pottery Barn’s Sliding Chalkboard Wall Organizer. I loved the idea of a sliding board and a bulletin board in the back. But, I especially loved the rustic wood look.

However, I wasn’t crazy about the price. (Obviously that didn’t stop the item from selling out!) So, if you want one for yourself, I’ll save you $100 and show you how to make your own!

My version cost approximately $30 (cost estimate based on materials used. If I used a 1/2 can of spray paint I calculated half the cost.) Personally, I spent about $10 out of pocket on this project because I had a lot of the supplies already. Plus, Elmer’s was kind enough to sent me some of the materials to make the project (shown as links below.)

Be sure to read the end of this post to learn how you can win your own Elmer’s materials!

In addition to the new art supplies, I bought an old drawer to use for the structure of my organization unit. I paid — are you ready for this — two dollars at our local Habitat ReStore! Seriously, only $2 for the main component of my wall organizer unit.

Here is a list of the rest of the supplies I used:

  • Krylon chalkboard spray paint
  • Drawer
  • Damp rag
  • Painter’s drop cloth
  • Batting
  • Wooden ruler
  • 1 Knob
  • Washers
  • Rustoleum brown spray primer
  • Behr glazing liquid
  • Valspar mocha glaze
  • Acrylic or latex paint (dark brown tester sample)
  • Acrylic or latex paint (light tan tester sample)
  • Wood putty
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Handsaw
  • Brad nails
  • Finish Nail
  • Construction glue
  • Clamps
  • Pencil
  • Trim molding
  • 1″ x 1″ wood strips (or square dowels)
  • Duct tape

Prepping the drawer:

Remove any hardware from the drawer. Use a handsaw to trim off the sides of the face of the drawer. You want the sides to be flush with the sides of the drawer. The top and bottom of the face can extend beyond the drawer.

Orient the drawer so the face is now the bottom of the wall organizational unit. The rear panel of the drawer is now the top of the unit.

Add decorative trim molding to the top as shown:

  1. Cut decorative trim molding to the width of the top of the unit/drawer. (Check with your local Habitat Restore for inexpensive trim.)
  2. Choose a finish nail that is long enough to go through the molding and into the drawer. Drill a few pilot holes into the molding (to avoid splitting the wood when you hammer a nail into it.)
  3. Run a bead of construction glue on the top of the drawer. Lay the molding on top of the glue.
  4. Use finish nails to hammer through the pilot holes and attach the molding to the drawer.

Wipe off the drawer/unit with a wet rag.


Faux painting the unit:

If you are dealing with a mixture of wood finishes (some paint, some stain), you will want to prime and paint your unit. I decided to give mine a faux rustic wood treatment (because I love that rustic wood look!) Here are the basic steps:

  1. Use wood putty to fill any holes or cracks. After the putty has dried, sand it smooth. Wipe off any dust from the wood using a damp rag.
  2. Prime the entire box (minus the back) with Rustoleum brown primer.
  3. Mix 1 part glaze to 2 parts light tan paint.
  4. Brush the mixture onto the unit using a tattered paint brush. Keep the strokes in long lines to mimic wood grain.
  5. Let that layer dry. Mix 1 part glaze to 2 parts dark brown paint.
  6. Brush it on the unit using the same technique as step 4.
  7. Finish up by brushing a coat of Vaspar Mocha glaze over the entire unit.


Creating the bulletin board:

After the glaze has dried, cut a piece of Elmer’s White Foam Board the dimensions of the inside of the drawer/unit.

Cut a piece of batting the same size as the foam board.

Cut a piece of painters’ drop cloth 2-3″ wider (on all sides) than the foam board.

Layer the drop cloth, then the batting and top it with the foam board.

Wrap the edges of the drop cloth around the foam board and secure it with duct tape.

Add a few Elmer’s CraftBond Glue Spots Pop-up Medium to the back side of the foam board and press the board into the back of the unit. Instant bulletin board!


Adding a graphic letter to the bulletin board:

Print out a large letter, number or symbol. Cut out around the shape using an x-acto knife.

Position the cut out onto the bulletin board and trace around the edges lightly with pencil.Use an Elmer’s Painters gold paint marker to color inside the pencil tracing.


Creating the sliding chalkboard:

Cut the Elmer’s Black Foam Board the height of the interior of the drawer/unit and about 1/3 the width.

Spray the black foam board with the chalk paint. Add 1-2 more light coats per the directions on the can.

Measure the interior width at the top and bottom of the organizational unit. Cut two 1″ x 1″ strips of wood (or square dowels) for the top and 2 strips for the bottom. Drill a hole in each end of the strips.

Measure out 1″ from the bulletin board, on the bottom of the unit. Mark this location. Repeat for the top . Run a bead of construction glue onto the bottom of the wood strip and then adhere it to the bottom of the unit at the 1″ measurement mark.

Hammer brad nails into the predrilled holes. Repeat for the top of the cubby. (Two 1″ square strips are shown, but only install the back ones at this time.)

If the chalkboard paint has dried, rub a piece of chalk all over the board to season it. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth.

Drill a hole into the chalkboard where you want the handle. Feed the handle through. Add washers to the backside of the chalkboard if you need to take up some of the slack on the screw.

Insert the chalkboard into the wall unit and rest it against the first strip. Add the second strip in front of the chalkboard and attach it the same way you did above.

Be sure that the wood strips are not too snug against the chalkboard. The board should have enough freedom to slide back and forth freely.


Finishing touches:

If you want to give your ruler some age, rub a walnut stain onto the wood. Let it dry. Glue the wooden ruler to the front of the wood strip on the bottom using construction glue.

Clamp the ruler in place and let it dry overnight.

Add your pushpins and a message to the chalkboard and enjoy your efforts! You just saved yourself $100!!! Woot!

If you want instructions for hanging the unit, check out this post on hanging objects on the wall (the right way) the first time.

I’m pretty pleased with my Pottery Barn copy cat. Not to be mean or anything, but I like mine better because of the ruler,

the decorative crown molding,

and most of all for the price!!!

Do you like my Pottery Barn knock off? Or does it still look like an old discarded drawer to you?



Disclaimer: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias #CBias. I was paid a small fee and sent some Elmer’s products. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in this post are solely mine.

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  1. LOVE It!!! awesome job! I have totally copied PB before and have been very pleased with the outcome!

  2. That turned out great, and the chalkboard component is exactly what I need so I stop misplacing the 1,204 pieces of paper I have! I love Habitat Restore, too – so many great finds :)

  3. That is super cute….even cuter than the original if I must say!!

  4. Love it! Good job, girl! :)

  5. Tweeted your giveaway from @VerdantWorkshop

  6. Hollie Nunn says:

    Wow! This inspire me to try and make one myself. Great Job!

  7. Super cute! What a great use for an old drawer!

  8. Melissa Buell says:

    This is one of the coolest projects I’ve seen on your site! I love PB items but the prices always make me cringe. I am definitely going to try to make this project!! :)

  9. I love this project!! Great job making a great copy cat! :) Love the giveaway too of course!

  10. I follow your blog! :)

  11. Looks great!! What photo program do you use? I love how you have smaller pictures inside of pictures!! So cool!

  12. Congratulations! You have been given The Versatile Blogger Award over at http://www.feralturtle.com You can read more about this at

  13. Looks great Brittany! I did a knock-off of the same pinboard, but I just built the frame out of 2x stock and used the table saw to put a channel in it for the chalkboard to slide in. (You can see it here: http://diydiva.net/2011/08/build-a-pottery-barn-inspired-pinboard/)

    I love the use of rulers in yours!

  14. Sooo inspiring as always! Love it!
    I know that drawer!! 😉

  15. Your version is nicer and alot more budget friendly than PB’s.

  16. PB always seems so over priced. I think yours is fabulous!

  17. dragongirl says:

    I love what you did (as usual, cuz you have great ideas and talent)! I’m a follower of you via Feedburner. Thanks for this giveaway.

  18. dragongirl says:

    I also want to enter this contest since it’d be super to have those supplies on hand. I’m dreaming already about what I’d make. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to you and yours!! *smiles*

  19. dragongirl says:

    I also did a shout out about your project on my Facebook. I bet a few of my crafty friends will come by to see.

  20. I like yours better because of the ruler, too! Great work.

  21. I follow through GFC.

  22. Looks awesome! You are one handy girl – I’m not sure I would trust myself with the drill and saw like that. Love your project :-)

  23. Caitlyn@SeniorYearToCollegeYears says:

    Such a neat thing!! Wish I had the skills with a hammer, saw and anything handy to make stuff like this!

  24. Such a neat thing!! Wish I had the skills with a hammer, saw and anything handy to make stuff like this!
    Great job!

  25. love it! Stumbled upon your blog….and now it’s on the ‘reading list’ — dig it <3

  26. Well, I think you really ARE a pretty handy girl. Great job! And I agree with your statement about X-Acto knives…and shoes.

  27. Love your site and great ideas..gonna follow you!

  28. Obožavam tvoje ideje i spretne ruke.
    Lijep pozdrav

  29. I’m so inspired by your project! I would love to do one of these for my house. Great job!

  30. So cute!

  31. PHG, can’t wait to do this project! I actually already have some drawers that I purchased at the Habitat Restore a while back. I knew when I sww them they had potential. Would love to win the Elmer’s prize pack! Thanks for sharing this!

  32. LOVE this project, I am going to give it a try!

  33. And I follow you via FeedBurner!

  34. Carole Stucker says:


  35. Good grief this is GORG! Ok, maybe not gorgeous but awesome, darling, cute, and everything like that! And, I swear, (alot!) your tutorials are simply the best. Girl, if you don’t start writing some books . . . well, you just should! (in your spare time, of course :P)

  36. Wow, Brittany! Great job! I do love a great knock-off. I wonder if I could make my own with some of these Elmers supplies… :)

  37. Wow, that turned out great! And I wouldn’t have guessed you used foam boards either. Great ideas!

  38. You never cease to amaze me with your talent. I like your copycat better than the original.

  39. I’m a subscriber via feedburner

  40. I like this project! I have some old drawers left over from my kitchen remodel – I may have to copycat your copycat!!!!

  41. Wow. Just wow. This is truly amazing. Not sure I could even come close to how crafty you are.

  42. I am now following you in Google Reader. Can’t wait to go through your entire site to get ideas.

  43. Your project is awesome.

  44. I love the handy chalk board and organizing unit! I made something similar to this out of an old wooden coke crate, But I must admit, yours is MUCH nice looking!.
    I found chalk paint in different colors so I have some chalky areas in red, blue and purple, however it was in a yard sale and have not since seen any for sale.
    Great blog – you are indeed handy girl!

  45. Look at you girlfriend! Moving photos & everything! I’m impressed! Not to mention your awesome knock-off! Great job!!!!

  46. you can not tell at all that it is not the real deal amazing!!!! @beeacutie2

  47. follow you in googl reader so excited! @beeacutie2

  48. I love this! IT would be perfect to make for my organization wall!

  49. I’m a new follower via GFC.


  1. […] the winners of the Elmer’s giveaway pack are: Shannon and Sunni! Congratulations girls, check your emails to claim your […]

  2. […] FINALLY, 1 lucky winner will win the Pottery Barn knock off sliding chalkboard organizer: […]

  3. […] as well. Oftentimes when I transform something I found on the side of the road (or bought from the Habitat ReStore, thrift stores or Craig’s List), I’ve felt a little guilty that you may not be lucky […]

  4. […] from Pretty Handy Girl created this amazing knock off from an old drawer and a bunch of other random supplies.  I am […]

  5. […] This is a great Pottery Barn knockoff that would be perfect for keeping family messages organized. It has a chalkboard for writing messages as well as burlap for pinning up notes, recipes or anything else you need to keep handy. The original piece from Pottery Barn (which is no longer available) was over $100 but you can make this yourself for around $10, depending on what you have on hand for the project. DIY Instructions – Prettyhandygirl […]

  6. […] LINK: PB Rustic Chalkboard Wall Organizer Copy Cat […]

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