How to Make a Reusable First-Day-of-School Sign

Commemorate important milestones in your child's life with these easy-to-make chalkboard back-to-school signs.

Two Kids Holding Signs

First Day of School Sign Cover2

Mark each year of a new school year with a reusable first day of school sign.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

A first-day-of-school sign with your kids' photo is a great idea whether you're just looking to post them on social media or years from now you want to make it easy to remember who was in which grade in what year. Instead of making a new sign each year, make this reusable sign now and you'll have it for years to come. It'll be one less thing to do during the next busy back-to-school season.

Wood Board, Paint, Pens and Ruler

First Day of School Sign Supplies

Only a few supplies are need to make a reusable sign for the first day of school.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Tools and Materials

  • wood plaque
  • chalkboard paint
  • paint pens
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • chalk


Painting Onto Board

Paint the Board with Chalkboard Paint First Day of School Sign

Paint two coats of chalkboard paint onto the wood board.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Cover the wood plaque with chalkboard paint. You will need at least two coats of paint. Let it dry thoroughly.


Black Wood Plaque and Paper

Make a Template for First Day of School Sign

Make a template before you paint it onto your board.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

You can freehand your design. However, it’s easier to plan it out beforehand to avoid mistakes. Use a piece of paper roughly the same size as the wood plaque. Draw a grid with the pencil on the wood board and the paper to help you line up the words and design.


Black Wood Plaque and Pink Paint Pen

Paint on a Design On Your First Day of School Sign

Use a paint pen to add designs to your sign.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

When you have your design planned out, transfer it to the board. This is where the grid comes in handy. Use the paint pens to create your design.


Black Sign with Pink Writing

Embellish First Day of School Sign

Add more embellishments to your sign.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

After you get the main area filled, embellish with more designs. Try adding swirls and other freehand doodles. Gently erase the grid lines with a pencil when you are done.

Say "Cheese"

Two Kids Holding Signs

Remember the First Day of School Cover1

The first day of school is swiftly approaching, remember each year with this easy to make sign.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Use chalk or a liquid chalk pen to add the current grade on the bottom half of the sign. Next year, wipe off the old grade and add the new. If you have several kids and don’t have the time to make individual signs, keep the name area blank and use chalk to add the different names between shots. However you decided to personalize it, a reusable first day of school sign is the perfect way to get school started on the right foot.

Next Up

DIY Reusable Back to School Photo Frame

Send your kids back to school in style year after year with this colorful and customizable first day of school photo prop.

25 Back-to-School Organizing Essentials We Love

School will be back in session soon, and we're sharing 25 of our favorite products to help keep your home and life organized so your kids can focus on schoolwork.

Have a Beach Day at Home With This DIY Moldable Sand

If your kids love building sandcastles at the beach, this shapeable sand will keep them entertained for hours. Find out how to make it.

12 Real-Life Mom Tricks to Survive Holiday Travel With Kids

You've made your list and checked it twice. Now, comes the hardest part: crossing the state or country with kids during the busiest time of the year. Set yourself up for success with these travel-smart buys.

5 Paper Towel Roll Crafts for Kids

Recycling has never been so creative and simple. New worlds can be explored, creatures created and races won simply with the help of a paper towel roll.

Kid-Friendly Craft Project: Salad Spinner Art

Get crafty with paint and a salad spinner and make colorful works of art with your little ones. Spin art is perhaps the most fun, well-contained type of mess that you can make — even toddlers can easily participate. Consider this activity on a rainy day or during arts and crafts at an outdoor summer camp.

Break a Leg! DIY Doorway Puppet Theater

Give your kids a taste of the spotlight without leaving home.

How to Make Paper Pinwheels

Use old book pages, flash cards, scrapbook paper or even sheet music to make these sweet pinwheels that can bring a festive, playful touch to parties and holidays. They're a snap to make so you can whip up an entire bouquet of them to display in flowerpots, baskets, buckets or pitchers.  

How to Make Shell Tiaras for a Mermaid

Every mermaid deserves a crown. Learn how to craft this inexpensive headpiece for an underwater-themed party or for an accompaniment to a Halloween costume.

How to Grow Glittering Crystal Geodes in Eggshells

Part craft project and part science experiment, this hands-on crystal-growing activity will fascinate your kids.