Thrifted Chalkboard Placemats

Thrift Store Transformation-Chalkboard Placemats :: An Oregon Cottage

Oh, guys, I have been so excited to share these chalkboard placemats with you! They are so cool and fun for all ages, and while they do make a great handmade gift, I’m totally keeping these for myself. They will look great with the thrifted chalkboard napkin rings, don’t you think?

I’ve actually been wanting to do a thrift store transformation on the cork placemats I see a lot of at thrift stores for awhile now, and after seeing this flash sale a month or so ago from

jane chalkboard placemats

As well as chalkboard placemats at Uncommon Goods ($35 for 4) and Crate and Barrel ($10 each, though they’re made of wood) and other places, I knew another chalkboard transformation was in my (and your!) future.

Thrift Store Cork Placemats-Before: An Oregon Cottage

Here is the set I found at our local Goodwill, $4.99 for a set of 4. Most of the time I find cork placemats for about .99 each, but these came in a box – and looked like they had never been used – so they were priced .99 higher. I know that dollar stores sometimes carry cork placemats as well, but you know how much I love rescuing something that is being thrown out, right? Plus the thrift stores I shop at all support good causes, so I just prefer to not buy new, if I can help it.

Painting Chalkboard Placemats- An Oregon Cottage

Oh my gosh, this is so easy you’re gonna love it!

Use the same black flat brush-on paint that we used on the chalkboard napkin rings, but this time apply it with a foam paint roller. If you don’t have one, you’ll want one for sure for this project – and any project you want a smooth finish with no brush lines. Simply cover the entire surface with an even coat of the black paint. Let dry and add one more coat.

Conditioning Chalkboard Placemats- An Oregon Cottage

Once your placemats are completely dry, condition the paint with chalk like all our other chalkboard projects. Rub the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk and then wipe with a rag. Ta-da! You’ve now made a chalkboard without any fancy chalkboard paint.

Thrifted Chalkboard Placemats | An Oregon Cottage

To give these as a gift (if you can part with them…), use a long ribbon to gather them together and tie a box of chalk into the bow. I decided to draw a place setting on the top placemat with a chalk marker, just to make sure the recipient could tell right away what they were, but it’s not necessary. And a $5 {and change} gift – mats, dollar store .33 chalk, and probably .50 worth of paint – that looks like a $20 to $40 gift? You know how much I love it!

I’m sure by now you can tell how much I like these (duh…), so much so that I’m planning a whole Thanksgiving table with a gold and chalkboard theme – which of course I will share with you!

In the meantime tell me, are you going to make these? And if you do, will you keep them or gift them?

Looking for more ideas? Then you’ll want to follow me on Pinterest and check out my Handmade Gifts board as well as my Thrift Store Transformations board!


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  1. So fun!!! I hit up Goodwill this weekend looking for something specific, and wouldn’t you know it, I ACTUALLY found it!!! I got an old piano bench, with storage in the seat, for $12 buckaroos. I’m gonna upholster the top, paint the legs, and give it as a Christmas present. Wahoo! Gotta love the junk stores.

  2. Super cute !

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