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Make a Back-To-School Ruler Chalkboard with Fabric Apple!

apple chalkboard

Hello Tatertots and Jello junkies (I admit it– you can too)!

My name is Gillian Greding and I am OVER THE MOON to be visiting here from Seasons Gredings.

My blog’s tagline is– Festive to Fault– so I knew I wanted to share with you a fun seasonal project that is perfect for September.

kids playing school

My kids just went back to school this week, so I thought nothing could be more festive than a ruler chalkboard with a fun apple accent.

A charming accessory for your kitchen to show what’s for dinner, a teacher gift, or even a fab prop for playing school… this chalkboard is a terrific way to ring in the apple season!

back to school chalkboard

Here’s what I did–

chalkboard supplies




2 yardsticks


1/2 yd cotton knit fabric

green felt

chalkboard paint


Trace a 6 inch circle onto cardboard and then another smaller circle in the middle. Sizes are not all that important here– just close is good enough!

chalkboard template

Cut out the circle and don’t worry– unless you are a total stud– the cardboard will be choppy and not perfect. I like to say that kind of thing often to make me feel better about my sloppy work.

apple template

Now for the fabric– fold it in half or quarters (whatever your scissors will cut through) and start cutting about 1/2 inch strips of fabric. Don’t measure! Just cut!

chalkboard fabric

Take a strip of the fabric and lay it on the cardboard like shown below.

cotton knit

Now, while holding the strip of fabric down, wrap another strip TIGHTLY around the cardboard. The edges will start to fray– that’s ok!

cotton apple

Wrap until you get to the end of a strip of fabric and then pick up another strip and keep wrapping until you get to the end of the circle. When you get to the end, go back in the other direction and repeat until you have about 3 layers of strips down.

apple directions

When you are done, it will look something like this:

apple wrap

Tie the first strip ends loosely together.

chalkboard apple

Cut the outside rim of fabric– cutting all the way around.

cut apple fabric

apple circle

Carefully slide the fabric from the cardboard. You’ll have to twist and turn up the cardboard a little to do so– don’t be too gentle!

apple fabric

Once the cardboard is gone, tightly pull the first strip ends together making a fabric pompom.

pull fabric

Trim the pompom until it looks pretty even. It will never be perfect, so don’t fret over this!

cut fabric

Ta-da! A fun fabric ball– soon to be apple!

fabric apple

Using a glue gun, adhere a stick to the deep center of the ball.

apple stem

Cut a leaf out of felt.

apple leaf

Glue the leaf to the top of the apple, by the stem, and you’ve got a darling apple. Trim the long ends.

apple leaf

Okay, so now for the easy part!

Measure the frame and rulers and see what length you’ll need to cut.

ruler cuts

Cut the rulers to the correct lengths.

cut ruler

Glue the rulers to the frame.

hot glue ruler


ruler frame

Now paint the backside of the frame. That’s right– I don’t use another piece of wood or anything else. I paint straight on the frame backing. How easy is that?!?!?!


ruler chalkboard

Now add a fun bow with a dot of hot glue.

bow on chalkboard

And glue the apple in the bottom corner and it’s done!

chalkboard with apple

My little girl, Scarlet, saw this chalkboard and begged to use it to play school with her little brother and sister.

What fun they had and what fun I had taking pictures of their playtime!

kids playing school

playing school

playing school

Thank you Tatertots and Jello for such a fun visit and thank you for letting me be festive to a fault!

Thanks Gillian!! I love that ruler chalkboard.

Be sure to check out Seasons Gredings for great ideas like:

First Day of School Printable and Idea

Paper Chain Countdown and Pattern

Seasonal Baskets

Party in a Box Idea

Head over to Seasons Gredings — and give Gillian a big TT&J hello!!


PS — It’s Friday!!

Time for the Weekend Wrap Up Party.

It’s my favorite day of the week.


Because I get to feature YOU!

I hope you can stop by.

The party starts at 6 pm MST.


  1. This is too adorable! How did you get your kids to be so patient in a photoshoot! Kudos to you!

  2. Great project! Easy enough for even myself and the kids will love it. Thanks for sharing

  3. that is absolutely adorable! and looks simple and most importantly, those little ones seem to love it! i love the little outfits the kiddos have to, they look so so precious and goes perfectly w/ theme.

  4. Gillian is a rock star! my wife will love this project!

  5. I LOVE this project and I have had a recent obsession with ruler frames! Now I can make my own! LOVE Gillian and so excited to see her posting on my all-time favorite craft blog!

  6. I can’t believe how lovely you are to let me guest post on your blog today. It’s been an honor. THANK YOU, Jen.

  7. I love this! I am going to make this for my aunt who is a teacher for a christmas present! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

  8. Adorable!

  9. Julie Chipembere says:

    This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” ideas. It is so clever and cute!! I’m glad there are people in the world like you to help people like me. I loved the apple tutorial, I had no idea what was going on at first and then an “aha” moment! Lol

  10. Wait!! Can you write with chalk on chalkboard paint?? I have no idea.
    The apple is to die for!! The whole thing is so clever! Love it.

  11. Such a darling craft and easy to follow tutorial. Your instructions & photography are fabulous! Ps-I love your blog!

  12. What a fantastic idea!! Such a great idea for a fun teacher gift too. Cute and creative!!

  13. So cute, Gillian! And your kids are adorable playing school!

  14. This is so CUTE! I love the bow on the frame. I tried making one of those fabric pompom yesterday, but it ended in defeat. :( Good to know that they don’t need to be perfect! Your’s is adorable.

  15. This is TOO cute!! I love the staging. Great idea!

  16. This is all so cute!!! I LOVE your blog & LOVE Tatertots & Jello so this is a great friendship!!! Your kids cannot look any cuter & the frame is so great! But my favorite thing is your step by step pictures & instructions. That is very helpful & makes me feel like I can actually do & make these fun things. Thx so much for sharing!!!

  17. That was a pretty adorable photo shoot. They looked like they were having fun.