DIY chalkboard purse from The Idea Room

How to make a chalkboard activity purse out of an old board book!I’m always pleased to feature “other Amys” here. Most Amys I’ve met have something special to bring to the table, and Amy from The Idea Room is no exception. She has put together a lovely DIY chalkboard purse tutorial for you today, and it’s perfect for young ones. Although I might like to carry a chalkboard purse sometimes. So that at times when I had to wait (over an hour this past Tuesday at the DMV) I would have something to do. Amy and her blog are wonderful, so I know you’ll enjoy her project. Here she is.
My name is Amy and you can normally find me blogging over at The Idea Room. I am so excited to be sharing a project here at Mod Podge Rocks . . . I love Amy and her product of choice . . . Mod Podge. I had a hard time coming up with a project that I have not seen Amy already feature here. But in the end came up with a fun way to make a chalkboard purse.

chalkboardpurseinside1The fun thing about this is that you can carry this book to church, doctors appointments and restaurants. Great for keeping the little ones entertained quietly while waiting. There is also a secret little storage area inside that can hold their chalk and a small rag to erase their drawings.

How to make a chalkboard activity purse out of an old board book!You will need an old board book that you don’t care to part with. I found mine at the thrift store for 25 cents. Make sure the book is thick enough with a few extra pages to fit a piece of chalk. {If you want to add a pocket, if it is not thick enough you will not be able to shut the book}.

chalkboardpurse9Flip to the back of the book and save the last three pages. DO NOT CUT THESE PAGES OUT. Then take a craft knife or a sharp razor blade and cut out the middle section of several pages of your book. Check to see that it is deep enough for some chalk to fit inside.

chalkboardpurse10Be sure to save a couple of pages at the front of the book to be your chalkboard pages. DO NOT CUT THE MIDDLE OUT OF THESE EITHER!

After your book pages are cut out and you have left some uncut at the front and end of the book, turn to the second to last page of the book (or the middle page of the last three).  Grab a purse handle (I bought mine at JoAnn’s) and two lengths of ribbon. The length will vary depending on the height of your book; I used 20 inches for each ribbon. Feed the ribbon through the bottom slots of the handle and lay one end of the ribbon down behind the middle page so that it is between the last and the middle page.

chalkboardpurse11Run the end of the ribbon up around the bottom of the page to the front of the middle page. Bring the other end of the ribbon from the top of the page down so that it meets the other ribbon. Pull the ribbons tight so that the handle is snug against the top of the book. Staple the ribbon to the middle page in several spots. This will hold the handle firmly in place.

chalkboardpurse12Take a smaller length of ribbon {I used brown and white polka dot ribbon) about 7 inches in length. Staple the end of it on the same page but coming out of the middle of the side. This will be the ribbon used to keep the book closed. Leave it hanging out.

Turn the top of the three pages so that it covers the stapled ribbons. Glue together the three pages. You will also want to cut a piece of scrapbook paper and glue it to the top of the three pages. This will be the bottom of your storage pocket. Then hold together with clamps or by setting a heavy object on them while it dries completely.

chalkboardpurse13Next, glue together all your cut out pages around the edges. Cut scrapbook paper to go around all the sides of the storage pocket and use Mod Podge on the front and back to add the paper to the top of the first cut page. Place a heavy object on it so that it stays and dries flat. Leave for several hours.

chalkboardpurse6Now you will need some chalkboard paint. I found a DIY Chalkboard Paint recipe that you can make yourself. Click the link to see the Chalkboard Paint Recipe or use some store bought chalkboard paint.

chalkboardpurse5Paint every page that you saved except for the front cover. Let dry thoroughly. I needed two coats to cover the book pages completely. Before you can draw on the chalkboard you will need to run the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface of your chalkboard pages and then erase. This preps the paint so that it can be drawn on with the chalk.

chalkboardpurse3After the paint has dried, you can cover the front and back of your chalkboard purse. I used Mod Podge on both the front and back to hold it and seal it all together.

chalkboardpurse14Finally, take your ribbon you left hanging out of the end of the book and lay it to the top front of the book. Measure how long it need to be to shut nicely. I added a strip of brown ribbon to the front of the book. Then I glued a cut piece of magnet {I used a take out refrigerator magnet} onto the end of the hanging ribbon and one to the front of the book so it could attach and keep the purse shut. Add a piece of chipboard or cardboard and decorate to hide the magnet.

chalkboardpurse15I hope you like this project and that you will stop by and visit me over at The Idea Room. Thanks Amy for sharing your readers with me today!

How to make a chalkboard activity purse out of an old board book!


  1. Two Dollars says

    LOVE!! This is on my to do list. When I first saw the picture I didn’t think I would like to make it, but this looks like a lot of fun! :) Let’s think, the two girl birthdays I have coming up will be good for this. Hopefully I can find some purses with good handles at Goodwill to save a few bucks :)

  2. Lori m says

    Adorable and I know three sweet little girls that would love this, thank you for sharing.

    Lori m

  3. Leah the Orange says

    OOOH! fun! i can totally see this working for other materials, too, like white boards! thanks for sharing, and Missus Podge, i’m SO pleased that you didn’t put an unnecessary apostrophe in “Amys”! much, much luff to you, my dear! xo

  4. Anonymous says

    Cool post…can you tell me where Overlay.TV showed up on that list? We were trying, but also trying not to be spammy…

  5. Jakki L says

    Ok, I love this idea, however, I just ran into a problem. I painted my pages with acrylic paint (like shown in the picture) mixed with the same grout shown in the picture. The paint is now dry and if I take chalk to it the is paint comes off the pages. Did I do something wrong? Or what does one do to fix this problem?
    Thanks so much for the help! So far, it is looking wonderful except for the paint mishap. :)

  6. says

    Hi Jakki! I’m guessing it’s the surface of your book. Did it have a smooth finish on it? It’s hard to tell you what the issue is because many board books are made from different materials/have different coatings. Your option (in my humble opinion) is to sand down the chalkboard paint and repaint. I’d try one page and then see if that works. You may also want to try a store-bought chalkboard paint. Send me a DM and I will help you out with that. 😀

  7. says

    Awesome tutorial. what a great book to keep busy minds active. A great learning tool too. “See mommy, I wrote my name”. Love this book idea. Do you sell them?

  8. Doublej2 says

    oh my heck!!!! i must make this asap!!! thank you so much for this brilliant idea, this will keep my kids busy while we go look for houses this weekend! AWESOME!!!!!