You can use a menu board to jot down your menu for the evening, but it can also just be a great place to communicate between family members.

Create a chalkboard to match your decor by adding a thin plywood panel to the back of a pre-made picture frame that matches or coordinates with your decor. Chalkboard paint finishes this project nicely, making it a perfect menu board for your kitchen or message center for an office or family room.


16-by-20-inch picture frame

1/8-inch luan plywood

Chalkboard paint

Needle nose pliers

Utility knife

220-grit sandpaper

Tack cloth

Paint brushes

Tip: Luan plywood is thin and can be cut with a utility knife. Hold a straight edge on the cutting line and score the wood until you have completely cut through. Do not try to break the plywood after only a few cuts — it will splinter and the surface will not be smooth.


1. Use pliers to bend the metal tabs on the back of the frame out of the way. Remove the glass and backing from the frame.

2. Cut a 16-by-20-inch piece of luan plywood. Sand edges until smooth.

3. Apply chalkboard paint in the direction of the grain. Let dry for four hours and apply a second coat.

4. Install chalkboard in frame, securing it by bending metal tabs back in position.

This chalkboard can be made in other sizes. Purchase a premade frame in the desired size, and cut the plywood to the same measurement as the glass or backing.

Shari Hiller and Matt Fox host the PBS TV series “Around the House with Matt and Shari.”

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