Homework Uninterrupted: A DIY Homework Carrel

DIY homework carrel

Nothing bums a kid out like coming home after a hard day at school and having to crack open the books and start their homework. And if homework is done in a common area like the kitchen (where help with geometry and snacks are on hand), noise and other distractions can make it hard to focus. We tackle this scholastic conundrum in the latest episode of Smart Simple Solved by creating a Homework Carrel that makes the grade. It’s covered in chalkboard paint so there’s plenty of room to work out problems, and a bulletin board and other pockets store supplies. Watch the episode for more tips on how to create a great homework spot that doesn’t invade your eating space, and top marks if you make a carrel just like this — it’s easy!


Step 1

 Open GallerySpray a piece of foam core, scored into thirds, with several coats of chalkboard paint. Good idea to do this outside on newsprint, or in a well-ventilated area. Make sure you end up with a nice, even layer.


Step 2

 Open GalleryAll dry and back inside.

Step 3

 Open GalleryNow, start outfitting your carrel with pockets for pencils, rulers … the works.  This had a peel-off adhesive back, but you could stick anything like this on with a glue gun.

Step 4

 Open GalleryHere’s me putting adhesive Velcro tabs on the back of a small bulletin board, perfect for pinning up inspiration, vocabulary words, or practice schedules.

Step 5

 Open GalleryEverything in its place, arranged with enough space left to work out some math problems on the chalkboard surface.

Step 6

 Open GalleryAdd a few small containers for chalk, paper clips and other sundries, and you’re done!


  • Foam core
  • newspaper
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • small paper pockets
  • small bulletin board
  • Velcro adhesive tabs
  • chalk


  • glue gun
About Carley Knobloch 


I'm all about smart, simple solutions to managing life, work and family. I blog about the intersection of tech and living at CarleyK.com and delve into smart home technology ...

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