Introduction: Your Chore Barista

About: Someday, I would like to create something that is so commonly used, it's not even considered genius.

COFFEE!!!!!, Kids, Chores.

Really! in that order the day will go sooooo much smoother.

To a day with a full agenda and things to be done, Your Chore Barista is at your service, fully automated by the drop of a bean.

With a little inspiration from the Price is Right, PLINKO is the greatest, jaw dropping, awe inspiring, cheer inducing and heart wrenching game as the little plastic disk wins a bit of cash. With the irregular shape of your common coffee bean, a flat side and a half rounded side, there is little hope for an easy win.

Here with Chore Barista, grunts ,errrs, and "COME ON!, REALLY"?!!!! are common terms at the Ol' coffee pot.

With no cash to win - just feed the dog, feed the cat, do dishes, recycle and pick up poo. There seems to be little hope for escape, but the small free space gives them a day off until the next day's bean drop.

Follow this build and have a few laughs with your morning cup.


-Coffee, Beans and Grounds

-Picture frame


-Chalk spray paint


-Paint primer (not pictured)

-Hot glue gun

-Toothpicks (not pictured)

-1/4" wooden dowel

Pencil sharpener (not pictured)

-Clear silicone adhesive

-Snips/cutters (not pictured)

-Punch, or a sharp pencil will work

-Small photos or stickers of your choice

-Router or saw to cut groove in frame (not pictured)

Step 1: The Slate and Frame


Walking into your favorite coffee shop you may often see a list of the barista's coffee creations written on a chalk board. It is often whimsical, colorful and written in five or six creative fonts.

A scrap piece of cardboard, and a can of Rust-Oleum Chalked paint will create the base of our Plinko board. This paint is found almost anywhere spray paint is sold and often has a few different colors, I like slate black.

Cut your card board to the size of your frame and slowly cover the area in sweeping motions. The cardboard will soak up the first layer, a good base will take three coats, apox 15 min apart for dry time.


Remove the glass.

I had a can of matte primer laying around to cover the old frame, this helped contrast the slate and gives it that great 1960's old grade school feel. You can almost smell the chalk dust in the air now.

Two easy coats and this is done.

Step 2: Bean Drop Slot

Flip your frame face down and find the side you want to be the the top. I used a router to groove out 3/8" gap, this serves as the bean drop entry slot once all assembled. A drill could be used to put holes in the top or saw out the gap you like best. The photo above shows slots but these were all taken out for an end to end slot in the final build as shown later.

Step 3: Plinko Peg Prep

Take about 40 standard round toothpicks pour coffee and fresh grounds on them and let soak for about an hour while working on your slate prep in the next step. This will give a little bit of a subdued tan contrast to the slate instead of glaring pale pegs as seen in before after photo above. These will later be snipped in half and used as pegs.

I used a 1/4" dowel to make the bottom slots for the bean catch and gave these small sections the same stain soaking in the coffee wash. I used a pencil sharpener to round off the tops so no bean would land flat undecided on its fate into the chore, these are cut at 2.25" lengths.

Step 4: Chalk and Peg Template

Place your frame over the slate to size it up, this will determine the edge lines for your text.

I chose "Your Chore Barista" because it will sit next to the coffee maker where often the kids wake up early and make us coffee; if we are still in bed on the weekends :).


The Plinko board will consist of about 70 holes give or take the gaps for the pegs. To help with some what even peg placement I made a hole punch template. This template can be lined up and moved as you punch holes with a spike punch, or a sharp pencil would do fine. Line up the previous punched holes with the templates top holes and work your way down the slate. I used the "five" pattern like the face of a set of dice, this gives a pretty good peg pattern for randomness. Now you can see why real slate is not used as a chalkboard, because drilling these would be a chore.

Slot Placement

The 1/4" dowels were spaced apart at 1.25", creating the vertical slot where the bean will land, these were hot glued onto the slate leaving a gap for the frame surround.

Chore Photos

Glue in with hot glue.

The photo prize slot consist of the following:

-Dish soap: means you do the dishes that day

-Dog: feed the dog

-Poo emoji: pick up dog duce in the yard/ clean cat litter box

-Cat: feed the cat

-Recycle symbol: garbage /recycle duty

-Free Day: slackers

Step 5: Glass and Peg Installation

The glass that came with your frame usually sits on the inside held in by small tabs or slots.

I took the glass and glued it on the on the outside of the frame creating the gap for our pegs where the bean bounces around to the bottom.

This was glued on using a silicone adhesive at the corners, but hot glue would work as well.

Once the glass is secured to the front, flip the frame face down and place your slate facing the glass. (Check your frame slot/ gap make sure it is at the top). Glue the cardboard surround to the frame using your hot glue. Take the clean/ dried toothpicks and place them in the holes pushing them all the way through till they bottom out on the inner glass face.

Once the tooth pick peg is bottomed out hot glue it in place and wait for them to cool. Do this one row at a time so you can snip off the extra length without others getting in the way. The extra toothpick that is snipped off will be flipped around sharp tip in first, bottomed out on the glass again and glued in. It will take about 40 toothpicks with 80 holes. Snip off any extra for a flat back, I didn't do any fancy finish work on the back since it will not be seen.

Step 6: GET TO WORK!!

A final touch of whole bean art on the surround held on with hot glue and its GAME ON!

Set your Chore Barista up for endless fun next to a fresh bowl of aromatic beans and listen to the colorful sounds our children create.

Coffee Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Coffee Speed Challenge