Sunday, January 20, 2013

How I built our Message Center

 I wanted to share with you how I built our Message Center:

Note: due to the thin material.  I only glued this project.  No nails or brad nails were used. I would also recommend reading through this before you cut your wood. 


1/4 in. smooth finish plywood  (you will need enough of this to cut a 30 3/4in. x 22 1/2 in. for the back and also enough for the strips for the borders and cubbies.)  I bought a full sheet of plywood, but not all of the plywood was used for this project.

Sheet metal   cut to Measure 14 x 23 1/2 inches ( I found my sheet
                       metal at Lowes in the heating and air cond. section. I 
                       purchased a small sheet that was 16x 26 in.)
Tin snips
Chalkboard Paint
White Paint
Wood Glue
Liquid Nails Construction adhesive 
Extra small screws  2 x 1/4 purchased at Lowes
Miter Saw
Table Saw
Label Holders (I purchased mine online from JoAnn fabrics.  They are made by K&Company.  They come 5 to a package.)

Extra items for Accent:
Small magnets ( I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby)
8x10 wood photo frame (I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby)
Welding glue to secure magnets
wood numbers

Cut List:
Back Board:   Cut one measuring 30 3/4 in. long by 22 1/2 in. wide
Strips for Borders:  Cut at 1 1/2 in. wide.  Cut at least 12 feet to work with (I ripped mine on the table saw)
Strips for Cubbies: Cut at 2 in. wide. Cut at least 13 feet to work with (I ripped mine on the table saw)
1 Wide strip for top plate of bottom cubby: Cut measuring 4 x 14 in. (This may need to be cut down once it is cut to fit in its place.)

Sheet metal cut: 14 x 23 1/2 inches

Materials to start with

Cut all of  your Wood according to cut list above.  Paint all wood white.  I painted all of mine first before I assembled it.  You can do it after if you would like.

Measure and cut your sheet metal with tin snips: 14 x 23 1/2 inches.

Here is a picture of the wood strips used for the borders and cubbies painted:

Paint your sheet metal with  Chalkboard paint.  I did 3 coats of Chalkboard paint.  

Here I am just laying it out, looking at the borders.

Cut and fit your borders.  I cut mine on 45 degree angles.

Glue and clamp down your borders with Wood glue:

Once your borders are glued,  Using the Construction adhesive, glue your chalkboard metal sheet down.  Place it up against the borders in the upper left hand corner.
Once your chalkboard portion is glued down and dry.  You can start building the cubbies.  

I cut my sides of the cubbies to fit the board.  Take your strips that are cut 2 inches wide. Cut two long sides. Mine measure 27 3/4 inches long. One side of the cubbies will go from the top of the border next to the chalkboard down to the bottom border. The other side will go from the top of the border along the long edge all the way to the bottom of the board border. Mine measured  27 3/4 inches.    Do not glue these down yet.  Build your cubbies first and then glue the whole set of cubbies down at once. I just laid my sides down and glued and clamped the cross boards together using this place as my guide.

Next you will cut some bottom plates for each of your cubbies. From your strips that are 2 inches wide, cut four boards measuring 5 1/8 inches each. Glue these bottom plates in for each of your cubbies with wood glue and clamp for them to dry. Where ever you want your cubbies to be is up to you.  I just roughly spaced mine out. The top cubby is for numbers. It is 7 and 3/4 in long. The middle cubby is  longer for scissors, it is 11 1/4 inches long. The other cubby is a shorter one for keys. It is 8 inches long.

Glue on the bottom plates

Here is a picture of each of the plates gluing and clamped.  Remember I still have not glued this to the back board yet.  Only the cross boards are gluing at this point. 

Here are the cubbies once they have dried.

Now you can glue these down in their place... Where you built them at. Next to the chalkboard and edge of the  right border.

Once the cubbies have dried in their place, you can glue the front of each of your cubbies in place...

From your strips that are 2 inches wide, You are going to cut 3 boards. Mine measured roughly 5 1/8 inches across, but I recommend you Measure and mark each board to make sure you get a good fit. Do not glue these into place yet.  

Before you glue the front of the cubby plates in place, put your label holders on first.  I used a 1/16 drill bit and centered my label holder in place.  Drilled the holes and anchored them with the extra small screws. 

These are the label holders:

Now you can glue them in place

Here they are glued in place.  You can also put your hooks in at this point.  I cut two boards from my 2 inch strips measuring 5 1/8 inch long. Placed them on top of each other because of the length of the screws for the hooks, I needed extra thickness for the screws to go through so they wouldn't go through the back of the big board.  

Next you need to cut and glue down your longer  bottom cubby that  is underneath your chalkboard. From your 2 inch strip again, cut a side edge board that is 4 1/8 inches long, glue it in place on the left edge.  Cut another one that is 13 3/4 inches long, glue and place it along the bottom edge and to the existing cubbies to the right to connect the two sets of cubbies.

Once those are dry, Take your board you cut 4 x 14 inches.  Measure and mark and cut it to fit that final space.  Mine ended up being 4 x 13 3/4 inches long. Glue it inside your side and bottom sides and to the existing cubbies to the right to connect the two sets of cubbies.  Drill and place your label holder to this top plate also.

Some more shots of the cubbies:

At this point, you have glued your borders down, your chalkboard down and built and glued all of your cubbies!  Now from this point, it up to you how you want to accent your board.  This is what I did with mine!  

 I wanted my calendar to be framed, so I bought an unfinished wood frame and painted it white. Any color would look great on the frame!   I glued heavy hold magnets to the back with welder glue. 

Due to the weight of the frame, I glued 6 magnets on the back of it.

 I found my calendar at . 

I cut some vinyl to say today's date and placed it.  For my numbers for the daily date change, I had mine cut for me from a man that cuts numbers for me. But I have seen numbers similar to these at Michaels or you could find some online.  Each of the numbers have magnets glued to the back so they can be changed out each day.  If you do not have or want the wood numbers, you can always change the date with chalk each day!

I cut some vinyl to say Goals and a letter for each day of the week.  So I can write down things I need to do that day or even plan out meals for the week there. Really it is up to you the way you want your layout to be or how you want to customize it from this point.  

If you would like to see more photos and ideas about this Message Center, you can see them here or by clicking on the photo below:

With Much Love & Gratitude,

Pin It


  1. very nice!! I like the tape spot the best:) Once again, amazing job!

  2. Just found your blog and it's amazing...I'm excited to have found it! You are super talented! I really want to build one of those locker sets and cubby organizers.

  3. Great project! Thanks for sharing ALL of the details!!! You are awesome :-)

  4. Extraordinary Article it its truly enlightening and creative update us as often as possible with new upgrades. its was truly important. much obliged.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10