Transform a cupboard door into a DIY family planner


Learn how to make a family organiser and get the most from that unused space inside an understairs cupboard. It’s the perfect place to store essentials, write shopping lists and create a family planner for the week ahead.

All you need is some chalkboard paint and a few upcycled offcuts to fashion this easy DIY and decorating idea.  Here’s how!

How to make a door family planner

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

This fun chalkboard door family organiser can be used anywhere. Teenagers could create one on their bedroom door to help them plan homework and revision. Alternatively, get to grips with your work tasks in a home office space. The possibilities are endless!

What you’ll need

DIY tools and paint for family door organiser

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Sandpaper
  • Old gutter and guttering clips
  • Old copper pipe and pipe clips or wooden doweling
  • Hand saw
  • Spray paint
  • Screw and screwdriver

1. Prepare the space

Removing door hinges with electric drill

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

If the door is reasonably lightweight, then remove it from the frame using a screwdriver or electric drill. This will make it easier to work with. Alternatively, paint the door in position. Simply cover the floor to avoid drips.

2. Sand the door

Sanding a white painted door with sandpaper

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Give the door a good sanding before you paint. This will provide a key for the paint to stick to. Remove any dusty residue with a cloth.

3. Paint the door

Painting a door with chalkboard paint

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Apply two to three thin coats of chalkboard paint to the door using a brush or roller. Allow each layer to dry thoroughly between coats.

4. Cut the guttering

Hand saw cutting black plastic guttering on bench

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Create a shelf using an old piece of guttering. Measure the width of the door and subtract a few centimetres from each side. Use a hand saw to cut the guttering to size. Sand down any rough edges until smooth.

5. Spray paint the guttering

Spray painting black plastic guttering in copper

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Spray paint the guttering in a colour of your choice. Build up multiple fine coats to avoid drips. Paint any other useful pots or buckets to hang from your family organiser.

6. Attach the shelf

Attaching copper painted guttering to door

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Screw the gutter clips into the thickest part of the door. Place the guttering inside the clips to create your shelf. Ideal for stashing rolls of tape or a rubber for the chalkboard.

7. Make a hanging rail

Shining copper piping with wire wool

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Cut a piece of copper piping to the same width as the shelf. Buff the surface with wire wool to make the copper really bright and shiny. Seal with a coat of clear spray varnish.

Screw pipe fixings into the thick part of the door panelling. Add a roll of paper and hanging pots to hold pens and sticks of chalk.

8. Add a bulldog clip

Copper pipe hanging rail with brown paper attached to black painted door

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Use a hot glue gun to attach a bulldog clip to the door. Use this to hold the end of the paper roll in place, ready for writing shopping lists etc.

9. Draw a planner

Chalkboard weekly planner on door

Image credit: ManoMano/My Thrifty Life

Use a whiteboard pen and a ruler to draw a grid. This can be days of the week or a monthly planner. Use normal chalk to add activities and events. These can then be rubbed off using a damp cloth at the end of each week.

ManoMano has teamed up with My Thrifty Life to create this simple yet savvy idea.

You’re now ready to get organised and no extra space has been sacrificed. Winner!

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