first day of school chalkboard

it’s back-to-school time again! this time of year brings so much nostalgia for me. while N doesn’t start kindergarten until after labor day, i realize that many are starting this week and next, so i wanted to share this simple little idea with you all for that sweet first day of school photo op.

my first day of kindergarten back in the day, age 4.5 (nope, my mom couldn't get me outta terry cloth clothing)

a couple weeks ago, the kind folks at decoart sent us a box of awesome free art supplies(!!!)

among other wonderful things (all of which i will share in the coming weeks with a giveaway at the end) were two bottles of chalkboard paint. score! we decided to create a first day of school sign. we found a really smooth, hard particle board (like the kind you’d see on standard clipboards) in our stash, and decided to paint it with the chalkboard paint. first we applied one layer horizontally to the board and let it dry for an hour.

then we applied another layer vertically to the board and let it sit for 24 hours. on the bottle, it says to dust lightly with chalk to condition the board, and then clean with water.


N and i thought it’d be fun to create a frame for the board out of pencils. i hot glued them around the edge of the board (breaking and sharpening where necessary to get the proper measurements.)

N wrote “kindergarten 2011” on the board to show the year of school she is heading into. (do not adjust your screens – it is not 5011 and we are not in the future. 2s and 5s can be confusing to a 4 year old. 😉 )

she practiced her first day of school pose that we’ll do in a couple of weeks. this is not only a fun chalkboard to play school with, it would also be a neat tradition to break out the same chalkboard each year for the quintessential first day of school photo.





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  • I love this idea. I have seen peoples pictures doing this. I am going to need to get started in a week or so. We also don’t go back until after labor day. Nice long summer!

  • I really thought that was a pic of your daughter at first. Boy, you guys look alike. Love the tradition you all are starting up for the first day of school. I write a newsletter and September, of course, has a back to school theme. I would love to share this with fellow moms.

  • Jen, I hope you and your fam had a wonderful holiday. As we move into the New Year I am looking for people to do a 2012 photo project with me. As an artsy mom I thought you might be interested. It was this video and quote that got me suckered in:

    “Our photo albums from those days are full of pictures of birthday cakes and holiday celebrations, vacation trips and family adventures, piano recitals and baseball games. But the memories I find myself sifting through the past to find, the ones that I would now give anything to relive, are the ones that no one ever thought to photograph, the ones that came and went as softly as a breeze on a summer afternoon.”

    As I look back at 2011 I actually have a really cute chalkboard “first day of 5K” photo too, but I slacked on the everyday moments. I noticed photography as one of your hobbies. I was wondering if you’d like to join me in this quest for capturing some of the ordinary day moments (not as a fellow blogger, but as a mom). If you are interested let me know and I will add you to the group Pinterest board. 🙂