It’s here! It’s finally here!! This DIY chore board tutorial has been coming for a long time, and I can’t believe it’s taken so long to actually sit down and write it out. Ugh… What can I say – #momlife, right? Anywho… For those who have been asking for a tutorial on this, I apologize for the wait!
A little while back I wrote a piece on raising helpful and successful children. In that article, I talk about the reasons why we have removed the word “chore” from our family vocabulary and what we choose to do instead. Since then, I have had so many amazing people asking all sorts of questions on that topic (to which I’m happy to answer), but particularly about how I made our handy DIY Family Contribution board.
Why We Use It
This board has been a lifesaver for our family and a great tool for helping our little ones learn the concept of contributing to a family. It helps me plan our day out and focus my efforts on a few manageable contributions at a time. Versus the alternative of running around my house like a madwoman attempting to clean things only to get distracted and start cleaning other things… Sound familiar? I hope I’m not the only one. This little system also allows our girls the opportunity to gain a sense of significance and belonging and that GREATLY decreases the power struggles and tantrums that used to take over our home. **If you want to learn more about that concept, hop on over HERE to check out the best free parenting webinar. (It’s the best hour you’ll ever spend, I promise.)
As far as the board goes, it’s pretty simple and can be done in a single afternoon. So without further adieu, let’s get started on the tutorial!
First, you’ll need a few supplies:
A large frame
You will want one big enough to put names and columns for each member of your household. The frame we used was an old 16 x 20-inch cork board my husband had laying around, but you can use any type of frame you’d like; a dry erase board, thrift shop frame, an extra frame you’ve got around your house, etc. A large cookie sheet or baking sheet would work well too, especially if you want an easy magnetic surface.
A piece of sheet metal that will fit your frame
This item is only necessary if you don’t have a ready-made magnetic area on your board. The one we used came from an old project, but we originally picked it up at Home Depot for about $10 bucks. Then we cut it to size for this particular board.
Vinyl, paint, or permanent markers
This is to mark your columns and label each section for a member of your family. I prefer the clean look I get with vinyl and my Cricut machine, but you easily use a Sharpie or paint pen and get a similar effect.
These can be as big as you want your family contribution tiles to be. Ours is 1.5 inches in diameter. I wanted them big enough for my kids to handle them well and fit in the space we have at the bottom of our board. So keep that in mind as you plan out your pieces.
Paint and paintbrushes
I found acrylic paint works best, but you can also use a can of spray paint. Just be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
I prefer to use the round magnets because that is the shape of our disks, but use whatever works best for you. If you opt to go without the magnetic surface, you could use Velcro instead. These flexible magnets from Michael’s Craft are a perfect size.
Hot glue gun or super glue
3M Command Picture Hanging Kit
Family Contribution tiles printable
You can access this for free HERE. Please keep in mind that this printable is for personal use only. Any reproduction or sale of this printable is strictly prohibited. *Also, the cute hand-designed graphics are compliments of Susan Fitch from Susan Fitch Designs.*
On to the assembly!
Paint your tiles and/or frame. Typically, I like the distressed look on my frames so they coordinate with our home decor. As for the tiles, I wanted them to be set apart from the frame. I painted them white with a dry wash of gray acrylic paint lightly on the edges to create a “border”. All this is strictly personal preference so get creative and make it fun!
Set these aside to dry.
Print and cut out your printable design. The “print and cut” feature on my Cricut Explore did all the heavy lifting here, but cutting them out by hand works just as well.
Adhere your sheet metal to your frame. Like I mentioned before, our board is an old corkboard so I had to slide the sheet metal between the frame and the corkboard to pop it into place. This wasn’t difficult, but it will be much easier if you’re using a picture frame or something that you can either glue the metal into place or put between the picture frame and the backing to secure it.
Design and cut your vinyl or mark with a pencil the way you want your chart to look. We went pretty simple with a column for each member of the family and a section at the bottom to hold the collection of tiles. Make sure you include a spot for you and/or your spouse or partner! This is an important part of teaching by example as you ALL participate in your family’s contributions.
Place the vinyl design on your board or mark out your chart with a more permanent solution.
Use Modge Podge and paint your tiles with a light layer. After that, place your printable images in the center of each one. Once your first wash is dry, apply another coat to seal your design and protect your paint. I’ve learned that this has been great for the durability of our tiles! Especially since our youngest loves to throw them if she gets the chance.
Glue magnets on the backs of your tiles, add your hanger (if there isn’t one already), attach your 3M Command strips and you’re all set!
what do I do with it?
With your board all fancy and such, you get the chance to teach your kiddos all about what it means to contribute to your family in meaningful ways. I would highly suggest having a little family meeting to discuss the parameters and expectations for your family contributions within your home. If you need any additional advice or suggestions on making this board work for you, please check out THIS article. It has loads of content, extra free printables, and links to our favorite free parenting webinar for which this concept is based on.
And that’s that! I hope this tutorial works out for you and your family. We have truly enjoyed the mindset and attitude change that happened when we made the switch to “family contributions”. It is a concept and skill set that I hope our kids will cherish (or at least appreciate) as they get older.
Do you do any sort of chores or family contributions in your household? How do you share the workload?
*This article contains some affiliate links, however, I wouldn’t ever share something with you that I didn’t absolutely love.*