If you’re looking for small playroom ideas on a budget, this DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom is a fun way to turn that small space under the stairs into a play area.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

Materials Used in this Project

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Fabric Baskets
Round Baskets
Tension Rod
Chalkboard Paint
Brad Nail Gun
2 Gallon Storage bags (for Puzzles)
MDF Trim (for book ledge)

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom (under the stairs!)

This project has been a long time coming. I’m glad to finally be sitting down to tell you about it! I knew this little nook under the stairs had the potential to be a built-in playroom. But, I just wasn’t motivated enough to do something with it. It was easier to close the door and hide the grandkid toys until the next time they came to visit.


DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

Books, dolls, puzzles, dress-up clothes, etc….. Talk about a messy playroom! It looked even worse behind the door. As you can see, I had a couple of storage boxes in there but the toys rarely made it inside. I finally found some motivation after the holidays and decided it was time to declutter this playroom. I dreamed of a cute, organized playroom. I also wanted the kids to have a chalkboard wall playroom, so that was at the top of my to-do list.

I’m so happy with the way it turned out!


DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs
Storage for puzzles, book ledge, and chalkboard wall
DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs
And a Dress-up station!

I still want to add some more things. I may have some room to hang a full-length mirror on the wall to the right of the dress-up clothes. And I’m not sure what to put above the clothes on that slanted wall. Any ideas?

Let’s chat about the specific projects!

1. Chalkboard Half Wall

I knew that no matter what, I wanted a chalkboard wall somewhere. If you have been searching for chalkboard wall ideas for a playroom I think you will like the idea of painting one or two walls halfway up, with 2 coats of Chalkboard Paint. Little kids can’t reach too high anyway, so why not use the upper space for storage for the playroom?

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

When painting, I didn’t worry too much about having a straight line at the top because I knew I was going to put a piece of trim there to make a book ledge. I don’t know if this is the best Chalkboard Paint, but it worked well. This was my first time using chalkboard paint.

After the paint was all dry I “seasoned” it by coloring the entire thing with white chalk and erasing evenly. If you don’t season it, there will always be a faint image of whatever you first write on the board.  This DIY chalkboard wall was the easiest part of the project and the kids love it!

2. Book Ledge

The book ledge was pretty easy. I used 1×4 MDF trim. I drilled it into the studs. Be sure to use a level here. I used my miter saw for the corners, but if you don’t have one, don’t fret! You can cut the first piece the full length of the wall and lay it flat all the way to the end, then measure and cut the second one to butt against it in the corner.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

Once the 1×4 was on, I added a piece of 1×2 MDF trim and attached it from the bottom with my Brad Nail Gun. It’s starting to look like a modern playroom at this point!

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

To make the ledge complete, I added a second piece of 1×2 trim and nailed it to the 1×2 I’d just put on (sorry no pic, see the arrow at the bottom). After that was on, I filled in any screw and nail holes, sanded, and painted the trim white.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

3. Wallpaper

Now it’s time to wallpaper (sigh…). At first I thought it was one of my best ideas for a playroom. And although I loved the turnout, it took me the longest. I really liked the wallpaper pattern but given the angle on the wall I had a lot of waste and ended having to order more wallpaper, twice!.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

This is the sticky back Wallpaper. If you’ve never put up wallpaper, don’t shy away from it. It’s not too bad. You just have to be patient and take your time. I have a tutorial on How to hang wallpaper without ruining your walls. Be sure to check it out.

Chalboard Wall under the stairs wallpaper

4. Storage Shelves

After spending countless hours on the wallpaper, I decided to buy the Shelves already finished. You can easily cut these out yourself using 1/2″ plywood if you prefer. These came with brackets and hardware which was convenient.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

In case you haven’t noticed, these are NOT corner shelves. I simply bought 2 different sizes (3ft and 2ft) so that they would be equal in length from the corner. I made sure the brackets hit the studs, so they’re super sturdy and they look so sleek on this kids modern playroom.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

The main purpose of the shelves was to store puzzles. Rather than keeping them in their original boxes, I put them in 2 Gallon Storage bags. I cut up the cardboard so the kids would still have the photo and I made sure I wrote on how many pieces, if the cover didn’t show it, for later clean-ups!

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

I wanted to mix it up with the storage boxes so I got some Fabric Baskets and some Round Baskets. All of them have puzzles in them! Our plan is for the kids to “check out” the piuzzles one at a time and clean one up before pulling out another. We’ll see how well this plan works 🙂 Either way, I think baskets are a stylish way to organize a playroom. Not to mention you can make this space into a storage playroom and hide whatever you need up high and out of reach.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

5. The Dress Up Station

Last but not least is the dress-up station! I used a Tension Rod, so no holes in the walls. This space can be changed into anything else later on once the kids are not into dressing up anymore. Right now this is the most popular part of the room!

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

The large basket holds miscellaneous dress-up items like purses, scarves, hats, etc. And a stuffed animal or two. Eventually, I think this space will make a fun reading nook.

DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

Not bad for a basement playroom under the stairs, eh? Are you ready to tackle the playroom in your house now? I hope these ideas for a playroom have inspired you to declutter and organize the most fun room in the house! Your kids/ grandkids will think you are the best and they will remember it for years to come!


DIY Chalkboard Wall Playroom under the stairs

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Janice| Sawdust Sisters

Novice woodworker and serial Popcorn eater, Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials that motivate others to "dare to try". Originally from Puerto Rico, Janice is fluent in Spanish and dreams of owning a beach house on the island someday! Janice currently lives in Utah with her husband and children, where she works as a university professor.

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