Prep an office zone for all of the cool, creative stuff you’ll do there by decorating it with a chalkboard wall and a few drawn-on embellishments. They’ll serve as future inspiration for whatever else you dream up down the road.

Chevron desktop

Impart a chevron design to an unfinished wooden table with a stencil, a marker and wood stain. Outline the design inside the stencil with a white paint marker, then wipe or brush stain on the entire table—the marker resists the stain while the rest of the wood soaks it up, leaving the chevron pattern clear and crisp.

Chalk wrapped books

Give your desk reference works some real presence with chalkboard contact paper and chalked titles.

What You’ll Need

  • Chalkboard contact paper (ours is from Amazon)
  • Scissors
  • Books
  • Printed words in chosen font (we used American Typewriter)
  • Chalk marker
Book titles

Cut a piece of contact paper large enough to wrap around a closed book, adding 2 inches on all sides. Lay contact paper facedown on a flat surface.

Put book in the center of the contact paper and fold paper against the top and bottom edges of book to make creases. Remove the book and fold the paper down along these creases; keep folds smooth and even.

Place the closed book on the folded paper, 2 inches from the right side. Wrap the long side of the paper around the front cover of the book; crease along the edge of cover.

Remove the book, fold paper crisply, then open the book and slide the front cover into the created sleeve. Close the book and crease the other end of the paper against the back cover. Fold down. Remove creased cover and lay flat.

Outlined title on book spine

Type desired words into your word processing program and select an appropriate font and size. Print out to use as a guide.

Working inside the crease that covers the spine, use the chalk marker to write book names. Note: If you’re not sure-handed, you can use a sharp craft knife to cut out letters to make a template.

Chair and desk

Plop some pattern on a chair slipcover with hand-drawn strokes from a dot marker.

Chair slipcover detail

The wide, round tips are ideal for simple shapes like these.

Chalkboard wall

A smart choice for an office, a chalkboard wall increases your work space. To add lettering, use chalk markers with stencils or even draw them freehand using a printed font as a guide.

Chalk frame artwork

Plump up the presence of a smaller drawing or matted photo with a chalk-marker “frame.”

Chalk frame detail

Use hook and loop Command strips to attach matted artwork to the wall. Then, using a ruler and chalk marker, draw a series of concentric rectangles to create the illusion of a decorative frame. You can change the style of the “frame” to suit your mood—rococo one day, art nouveau the next.

Clocks on wall

Hang a series of clocks in a row to represent different time zones. Use chalkboard markers to write the names of favorite cities in those zones.

Clock blanks

Round wood blanks turn into clocks in nearly no time at all. Paint the wood face and edge with homemade chalkboard paint in the color of your choice (see how below), then add numbers around the face with chalk markers. Apply a quartz clock movement (sometimes called a clock mechanism) and battery to keep time.

Chalkboard office overall

Create chalkboard paint in any color you want with this easy process: For a small project, thoroughly mix ½ cup of flat-finish latex paint with 1 tablespoon of white unsanded powdered tile grout. Mix the paint in minutes, and then use it right away! If left too long, it can harden quickly.

Paint one section of a primed or painted surface at a time, using a foam brush or roller. Apply multiple coats to ensure full coverage. Let dry between coats.
Smooth the surface by lightly sanding it with fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe off all the dust.

Prepare chalkboard for use by rubbing it with chalk. Wipe away excess chalk dust with a slightly damp sponge.

© Caruth Studio