How to make a family planner – turn a cupboard door into a multi-tasking organiser

Transform a cupboard door into a DIY family planner complete with handy shelf and shopping list

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

room with black door shelves

(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

wooden table with sandpaper and chalkboard paint

(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

drilling a door

(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 the door

(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

door painted with black 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

cut the guttering

(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 paint the guttering

(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

guttering shelf

(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

hanging rail

(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

bulldog clip

(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

black door with shopping list

(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!

Stephanie Durrant
Deputy Editor Style at Home

Steph Durrant is the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home’s sister magazine, Style at Home. Steph is an experienced journalist with more than 12  years under her belt working across the UK’s leading craft and interiors magazines. She first joined the team back in 2016 writing for both homes brands, specialising in all things craft, upcycling and DIY.