Chore Charts {diy}

chore charts

How I love and dislike having my kids do chores!  I love when chores get done happily and quickly and how it helps me around the house, helps me feel like I’m teaching my kids to work, and actually helps my kids feel good about themselves, if all goes smoothly.

Chore Charts

And then I dislike having my kids do chores.  I dislike the struggle, and I don’t like enforcing them when when no one feels motivated and reminding them until I am blue in the face to get them done, and I don’t like the time investment it takes me sometimes to make sure they do them right.

Chore Charts

HOWEVER, I will stick with it, because it’s good for all of us.  They will eventually be able to do a bit better job on some of them, and I really don’t mind helping them learn beside me as I show them how to do it properly.  That’s time well spent if we keep it positive!  That’s the trick, isn’t it?  To stay positive and help them along and help them be cheerful while they do their tasks. 

What you’ll need:
Chore Chart supplies

-magnetic sheets (found in 8”x12” sheets at home depot by the gutter materials)

-one” circle labels and printer

-mod podge and brush

-magnets.  You’ll see here the magnet strip, but I changed to the button magnets because they had a stronger hold

-wooden circles from Hobby Lobby (you’ll get about 30 large circles per package, for about $2.99 a package—use a coupon to get an even better deal!).  *I think if I had known, I would order some better quality ones off of Etsy!

-spray paint if desired

-frames (these are from Target, on sale for $3.29)

-print-offs of charts.  You can print off the generic ones I made HERE, HERE, and HERE.  They are all slightly different so you can use what you like.  If wanting the same font, I used Lobster Two font. I did not design the wood grain background, that was from Design House Digital but it seems the links aren’t working below.

DIY instructions:

I don’t have a whole lot of pictures for the steps since it’s pretty self-explanatory.  I painted my wood chips and put my labels with the printed chores on them, then mod podged over the tops.  I made sure the paint was very dry before doing this.


I cut my metal sheets with scissors and just about killed my hands, but I survived, ha ha!  I mod podged the charts onto the boards, making sure to let it dry between coats, and framed them.


To hang them, I bought some of the nail-less hanging sticky tabs, which I made sure to follow the instructions to a T, so they wouldn’t fall and break!

chore charts

And now, each night before bed, I choose which chores I will have them do.  I rotate some of them and find it will be helpful to keep a paper for my reference which days and which child should do certain chores.  But they actually have done pretty well with these and LOVE to move them to the DONE section.  In fact, they choose which one they’ll be doing next and put it on the line, so it’s almost done. 

A few words on my materials and methods to take note of:

-I left my second batch of chore magnets unpainted and liked them better.  Basically I chose a yellow so close in color that you can hardly tell the difference on the boards!  So skip this step unless you want a fun color behind the labels.


-I used Avery circle removable labels and had a heck of a time figuring out how to print them.  Good luck ;).  I mod podged over the tops so the labels were no longer removable and cute little kid fingerprints wouldn’t ruin them, either.


-I created my chore charts as 8×10 in picmonkey and used a background from Design House Digital which is no longer in business it appears when I checked just now in 6/2014.  The background on my charts was from there.  I sent my charts to be printed at Costco, making sure to not allow autocorrect for color!

-when I bought the wooden circles a couple years ago, they were $2.33 and the circles were thicker than the package I bought recently.  We have had one chore magnet break in half, which is a bummer but the kids are more careful with them now.


-I mod-podged the backs of the magnets because they were leaving black marks on the chore charts.  I also mod-podged over the tops of the charts as mentioned, after watching THIS YouTube video for good tips.  And it worked!  No bubbles. 


-I do have a problem with the magnets sticking to the boards sometimes, which is frustrating and I’m sure it’s what caused the wood to break on one of the chores.  Especially if they haven’t been moved for a while.  I didn’t mod podge the backs of the magnets until after I noticed the black markings, but they stuck before that as well.  I’m not sure what you can do to stop that apart from skipping the mod podge step, but I was too worried about fingerprints ruining the charts.  I wonder if brushing the surface lightly with baby powder or something would help???  I made sure to dry thoroughly before coats, and made sure to dry overnight before using the boards with the magnets.  If anyone has tips for how to stop the magnets from sticking so strongly because of the decoupage, I’d love to hear it!  UPDATE:  I sprayed mine with clear spray paint and it solved the problem beautifully.

-This, like all other chore systems I do, will likely get old.  I plan to counter that by offering different reward systems rather than changing the whole chore system.  So weekly I’m thinking each chore will earn something different, like a jelly-bean, or a nickel, for example.

-I’ve made all sorts of chore magnets, and they actually like to have such a variety.  And I can choose the ones that need to be done!

-Obviously Poppy doesn’t read yet, but she just chooses a chore, runs to us and asks us what it is, then runs and puts it back.  The rule is they STAY on the boards so they don’t get lost!  You could use pictures instead of words, which I have done in the past, but decided I wanted this to last a while so I’d use words.  And really, what picture would I come up with for scooping the dog poo?  Just kidding.

-And finally, but definitely the most important, I found my inspiration for these charts on pinterest, HERE!

Here is our very long list of chores!
-clean room, make bed
-get dressed, brush teeth, comb hair
-practice piano
-read 20 minutes
-read scriptures and pray
-water flowers
-feed hermit crabs
-feed dog
-clean up after dog
-piano lesson
-empty garbage
-help with laundry
-take dirty clothes downstairs
-vacuum front room and family room
-pull weeds
-pick up trash in yard
-sweep kitchen
-straighten family room
-mow lawn
-take dog for walk
-dust bedroom
-dust family room and front room
-straighten front room
-vacuum stairs
-wash mirrors
-wash windows
-wash walls
-wash baseboards
-help make dinner
-set table for dinner
-help clear table after dinner
-empty dishwasher
-vacuum couch
-write thank you notes
-wipe down bathroom
-clean out van
-wash cupboards
-wipe down microwave
-take out/bring in garbage can
-shovel snow
-rake leaves
-sport practice
-load dishes
-pick up toys
-surprise chore!

Hope you are all having a great week!  This is our last week of summer.  :( 
I’m sad but we’ll be having a fun week, so that will be good!


  1. says

    Try spraying with varnish after you modpodge. I use that for tole painting to keep wood pieces from sticking and then lightly sand with brown paper bag to smooth the surface. That might work for you.

  2. says

    These are great! For the stickiness problem, spray with a couple coats of acrylic sealer. Mod Podge makes some, but any brand would work.

  3. says

    What about contact paper over the board instead of modgepodge? You’ll get a bit of a “frosted haze” but it won’t be as sticky. You could even just use cutout pieces of contact paper to make the charts and attach the childs name plate.

  4. says

    Microsoft Word has templates for the Avery labels which should make it much easier to print on them. Great charts!

  5. says

    Perhaps using a fabric covered cookie sheet would work better? Of course, it would not be so easy to clean, but it would not be sticky either.

  6. says

    Love this! It’s so cute. I just bought some from Target because I was desperate but the magnets are lame, etc.. Maybe I’ll find some time to do it right!

  7. says

    Implementing this idea!

    Acrylic sealer or varnish will both work to prevent the stickiness. I learned this from making photo coasters. Our drinks kept sticking to the modged podged coasters! I did a few coats of varnish, and now all is well.

  8. says

    These are awesome. I’ve just got to find somewhere here in Australia to get the magnetic sheets. It’s tough to find supplies here. Thank you for sharing

  9. says

    Ha ha! “Scoop dog pooh” on he fridgie just doesn’t sound very appetizing when helping ourselves to brownies in the kitchen. I disguise our dogs fertilization with the nic name “Doggie Diamonds”. Cleaner way to make a picture out of it too lol. Great idea though. My children are grown and out of the house but I have tons of notebooks filled with my daily chores lists going back 12 years. This is an epic way to save on paper.

  10. says

    I love this idea! I just came over from Pinterest.

    As far as the magnets go, I order mine from Ebay and they’re super strong and tiny – but you can get them in different sizes. They come in bulk and you can get them at great prices! Not sure what they’re called specifically but they’re silver and won’t leave black marks or smudges. I just did a search on Ebay for “tiny strong magnets” and found some – and “strong magnets” and found some that look to be the size you used. Hope that helps someone out!


  11. says

    Love it great idea I have 5 kids always need good ideas we are a very bizzy family all my kids play sports and one does dance so hard to all be home at once with this choir list no one can say I don’t know what choir is was to do

  12. says

    You probably already answered this, but I was trying to find the form for the actual chore chart to mod podge. Would you mind posting a link to the form? Thanks in advance.

    • says

      I am really confused on using picmonkey or digital house designs. Did you upload a photo before making these charts? I have never used these program and I am finding it hard to navigate. I am clearly not tech savvy at all :)

  13. says

    Hi! I love this idea~thank you for creating and sharing! When I first looked at this, I thought you used recycled milk caps for the discs. I have physical disabilities so if I am able to get to this project, I may try it with recycled milk caps rather than buying something new, and I prefer the contact paper idea to the paint. What a great idea! Love it.
    Btw, I think it’s funny that you have comments/replies from 2 Marni(e)’s! I have only met one other in my lifetime and I am 40 ;) Thanks again for sharing!
    ~Marni R

  14. says

    To combat the magnets sticking to the chore chart, how about covering it with clear contact paper? It might help with fingerprints too. Just an idea. Not proven. :)

  15. says

    Try some thin felt fabric glued to the back of the magnet to stop it from sticking and it would be gentle on the paper too. The magnet should still attach through the felt, and it helps it to slide. I think that felt spots are available in an adhesive form.
    I have seen similar on the bottom of chess pieces.

  16. says

    For the magnets, try thin felt spots (available as stick-on, I think) on the base of the magnets to stop them from sticking and also to help them slide along. I have seen them on the base of chess pieces and they can be bought from chess supply stores.

  17. says

    What a creative idea you’ve got here. I really love it. It is fun way of reminding the kids about their chores. Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome idea.

  18. says

    Love these chore charts (found you through pinterest, of course!). I am working on mine now. I think I am going to take the paper part to a teacher supply store and have them laminate it rather than mod podge over it…hoping that will help with the sticking :) Thanks for sharing!!

  19. says

    Are the metal sheets cut to fit each frame? It looks like all 4 are attached to the net so sheet. Just want to be clear before I make these.

    Thank you

  20. says

    Did you resize the chart print-out? How did you get the paper to fit the frames? The regular size paper is 8.5″ x 11″ and the picture frames are 8 x 10.