Primary Schoolhouse Utility Decor {PB Kids Knock-Off}

For years Pottery Barn Kids carried these adorable Schoolhouse Utility Boards perfect for a mudroom or a playroom to engage kids in art.  While they no longer sell them you can still make them and add some personality and fun to your playroom, homeschool classroom, bedroom or any other place in your home to add some fun kid elements to a space.  Plus the little houses are adorable and functional!


pottery barn schoolhouse decor

Look close….can you tell the difference?


(image source Pottery Barn Kids)

Nope, we didn’t think so either.  These bad boys used to sell for $169 a piece each, so that would be a grand total of $676 for the four we made.  We had 4 of them for just under $75.  That is an awesome bargain.


Here’s where we started. We printed off the picture of the one from PB and tried to measure them to scale. If you don’t own a quilting ruler, go get one, they are so useful for more than fabric.


Knowing the size wood it comes in is helpful, it made it much easier to figure out the dimensions to make the most of what we needed to get.

We started with 7 sheets of 1/4″  2′ x 4′  MDF boards. Home Depot or Lowes will usually cut everything for you.  Two of the 2′ x 4′ boards were cut into 3″ x 4′ tall slats , one 2′ x 4′ sheet was for the house tops and the 4 remaining were for each house base. Each school house was 48″ high.

We made a pattern, traced them out and started cutting. All you need is a jigsaw, a drill, some nails, paint, adhesive and sandpaper to put these together.  Don’t be afraid to make yourself a template out of craft paper or newspaper.  Fold it in half and then cut your pattern so it is symmetrical on both sides.


We made the top portion of the house roofs 11″ high. The frames were cut at 3″ x  35″ tall  and 3″ by 24″ wide. We used some 1″ x 2″ trim moulding for the chalk tray at the bottom. It’s easier to be exact with the roof line by layering the top piece, gluing it to the main house and then cutting it exactly. Less cuts, nicer finish.


Each house was then either inlaid with dry erase board (you can use dry erase board paint too), cork board, or painted with chalkboard paint. We also found a roll of white craft paper to hang from a dowel that was held on by little corbels we made that attached to the base. You could also buy corbels if you would rather.  You can also find white craft paper rolls at IKEA for cheap.  A little Liquid Nails holds everything in place and spray adhesive worked great for the cork!  To hang the boards attach screw in metal d rings or circles. All these things can be found at your local craft and hardware store but I linked to Amazon (affiliate) so you can purchase easily there too.


Think outside the playroom.  You can also use one to display artwork, birthday invitations, school syllabuses, sports schedules or organize jewelry!


Kids will love these adorable little school houses with paper, dry erase or chalkboard for an instant drawing surface.



These were pretty fun to make and actually pretty easy but more importantly our kids love em’! Plus our grand total was just over $75. That’s total….for 4!

pottery barn schoolhouse decor

For more knock off projects click below to be taken directly to the post….

Shipping Crate to Toy Boxpbk knockoff flashcardsttery Barn Kids Cottage Loft Bed KNOCK-OFF

Originally guest posted in January of 2011 by the Crafty Sisters.

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  1. Love them! I actually like yours better! -Karen

  2. Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. OMG, They are so cute! Wonderful job you too.

  4. These are super cute!! I love them.

  5. pk @ Room Remix says:

    Such a cute idea, and you guys rocked it! Super fun.

  6. says:

    ya'll never cease to amaze me! Your kiddos are very lucky!

  7. from the Bluebird says:

    Those are so close to Pottery Barns its amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I like yours better than PB too!

  9. OMG!! These are awesome! I am tempted to make them for my kids' playroom. They look awesome!

  10. This is ADORABLE & AMAZING.

  11. Wow!! They turned out great! And all for $75! That's awesome!

  12. what?? you guys made this look WAY too easy..what you need to say in the post is how creative and talented and AMAZING both of you are, and for us "REAL" folks out here to just watch and try to learn a little from you both!

  13. Dearest Home says:

    Wow! These are amazing!! What a great idea!!

  14. Alisha @ SnugasaBugBaby says:

    WOW…great job! They look SO SO good. Truly can't tell the difference!

  15. Tammy @ she wears flowers says:

    I love these. They have been on my list of things to make forever and now I can just use your tutorial! You did a great job!! Thanks!

  16. Cozy Home Scenes says:

    Honestly I thought the picture that was yours was the Pottery Barn version until I saw you labeled the real ones. Amazing they can charge so much for something so simple to make, isn't it?

  17. OMG! i remember seeing these in the first ever pottery barn catalogue i looked through. Ever since, I've dreamt about having a playroom for my son just so i could have these. I can't believe how well you replicated them! You really can't tell the difference! I'm your newest follower!

  18. This is great! I featured it today on Today's Top 20! I'd love for you to stop by!


  19. I run an in-home daycare and am trying to find ideas for a decorating over haul. This would be awesome! How did you do the dry erase in-lay?

    Found you at Tidy Moms

  20. These are amazing, I prefer yours to the PB ones!

  21. Rachel {} says:

    this is so pretty… what a great idea with the cork!!! Please check out the party I host every Friday… we would love to have your projects linked up!

  22. OMG!! I have been eyeing these forever, you guys did an awesome job!!! I was wondering can you guys post a pfd for the top part ?? I love this!! it looks so easy, thanks for sharing!! also where did you guys get the dry erase part?? thanks again, thinking of making these for christmas presents!

  23. Those Utility Boards look amazing. You inspired me to make one of my own for my daughter. I showed to her your blog pics and she loved it. That is easy make, and give me some pleasure time while making. I always prefer to copy some nice industrial design furniture than buying, and of course for my home only. Sometimes while I am in process of building, I alter something and give it my personal stamp and sometimes give it additional functionality.


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