Reclaimed Barn Window Household Organizer

About a year and a half ago, we tore down our blue barn.


Part of this tear down was salvaging one of the windows to make a reclaimed chalkboard for our wedding, to eventually be used in our home.

After our wedding day though, where we used it as a thank you to everyone:

Copyright Alexandra Roberts Photography

Months went by, the chalkboard got forgotten – and left outside. Eventually I decided I needed to get it put up in the house. When I went on the search for it, I found it in the barn. Unfortunately one of the windows was completely broken. *sad trumpet noise*.

I decided to make a cork board out of the other side, it was just a matter of finding the cork. About two days later a coworker was getting rid of two sheets of cork and upon asking, told me I could have it. Score! Cost to me – $0.00.

Now, looking back I would likely do it a little different so I’ll give you my way and then tell you what I would do different. It’s still holding up, but would be stronger if I did this differently. If you’re interested in how I made the chalkboard part, see the tutorial here.

What you’ll need:

  • Cork
  • Thick cardboard, a shipping box should work
  • Spray adhesive & any related safety items like a mask
  • Staple gun
  • Shorter Nails
  • Hammer
  • Twine for hanging

Reclaimed Barn Window Corkboard

1.) If you need to remove any broken glass, put on gloves and take it out.

2.) Cork doesn’t have any stretch to it, you need to cut this very precicely. It took a lot of trial and error for me to get it *just* right without over cutting it. I only had a very small lip on my window this could fit into so I had to be super super careful. You’ll need at least two sheets of cork. Cut each piece first. Use the cork to template out your cardboard. Cut this piece and set aside.

My way: I used three sheets and sort of rough cut them after measuring and kept trimming.

Redo: I would use two sheets, and thoroughly template it out exactly before cutting.

3.) Glue your pieces of cork together.

My way: I had hot glue, so I hot glued them together. It works fine but it leave some room in between them. I would have preferred them to be bonded better.

Redo: Spray adhesive. You’ll need to follow directions, wear a mask and spray in a well ventilated area. This would create a much stronger bond, even if it takes a little longer to cure.

4.) Adhere cork and cardboard backing. I used a priority box I had sitting around.

My way: I adhered my cork to the frame with glue, and then cut out the backing and glued that on. I would 100% do this different. My board works fine but it just isn’t as solid as it should be.

Redo: Ignore the hot glue all together for this project.

  • Before installing any cork into your frame, spray adhesive your already cut piece of cardboard to the back of the cork and let set up according to your spray directions.
  • Set into the frame and thoroughly staple gun into your frame, doing opposite directions like the following example. Use more or less as you need for your frame.

5.) Hanging. Things from here out are pretty smooth. The biggest thing to remember is that your chalkboard is much heavier than your cork side. If you hang it from only one nail up top it is going to buck up the cork side and weigh down the chalkboard side. I had no option, as my studs were too far apart.

Technically you could nail this board right into the studs if you wanted it hung permanently, but I did not. You can see this weight issue with my first style of wrapping (for starters). Another issue to avoid – don’t leave any slack in the top string unless you’ve accounting for it by measuring. Leaving a little slack in the top didn’t hang at the right height, or provide enough stability.

First, put your nails in around your frame to secure the twine. This is going to be entirely dependent on your frame. Mine was extraordinarily heavy due to the wood frame and the chalkboard window.

  • Each red dot is a nail.
  • The yellow is how I wrapped my twine. I wrapped my twine about three times in this pattern.
  • At each nail I wrapped around the nail head and under the previous piece of twine.
  • I also tied a piece of twine onto the bottom nail by knotting it over and leaving two tails hanging on either side.

To secure the bottom to the wall was, in the words of the great Run DMC, “It’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time it’s tricky.” Or secure a frame to a wall. Same dif.  Without knocking your frame off the top nail and having it fall into your head you have to:

  • Carefully put your hands between the wall and the window – bracing for impact at any moment if it falls.
  • Wrap the twine from the bottom nail secured to the window, to the bottom nail in the wall.
  • Knot it

If, at this point, your window is still a little crooked gently adjust by the top string. Once it’s all plumb and level you get this:

I had a couple holes in the side of my frame, so I utilized them to hang a hook and my keys. I did this on the cork side so not to weight down the heavier chalkboard side further.

Instead of using tacks, I grabbed some boutonniere pins I had around the house. I used some bright chalk and started using that baby immediately.

And yes, I wrote Grocery “Grocerie” because I had brain cramp apparently. I only noticed it after I took this photo. It still says “Grocerie”.

You might recognize that this was hung where our old chalkboard wall used to be. When we painted the common room, we painted over the old chalkboard wall to make way for a cleaner line and something more removable.

So what do I have hanging? Those are sets of free wallpaper samples from Anthropologie. I have a craft in store for those that I will be divulged at a later date.

Here’s to a little bit rustic and zero dollars.

-Heather