(Easy) DIY Chalkboard Art

Have you had a chance to admire some of the photos of the hot new craze of Chalkboard Art?  

Sheila's Birthday invite-003

If not, in your free time (after you have read this post!), you should jump over to Pinterest for some incredible inspiration to turn the ordinary items and occasions in your life into something fabulous!

People have turned everything from wine bottles to refrigerators into works of art just by adding a little chalkboard paint.  And while I stand in awe of these glorious creations wanting to be able to create something so magnificent myself, I stand limited by the fact that I am simply horrible at freehand drawing!  

If this sounds familiar, then to the rescue comes:

(Easy) DIY Chalkboard Art!

There are only 4 steps, that absolutely anyone can do:

1.  Create a sign on your computer

2.  Print out the design

3.  Trace the design 

4.  Fill In the design

1.  Create A Sign

With all of the free fonts and clip art available online, as well as inexpensive graphic arts software, and inspiration from Pinterest, creating a sign is really a simple project.  You simply think of what you want to say, say it with some fabulous fonts, and add some embellishments.

My two favorite graphics software are:


My Memories Suite and The Print Shop 3.  

Both of these software have incredible capabilities to manipulate graphics and text allowing you, the creator, to design something that will bring great satisfaction to you and others!  You can click the link to see prices and features, but I can vouch that they are both easy to use and highly functional.

Though these are my favorites, there are loads of other software as well, even free ones that come available as apps like:  PicMonkey and Canva.

While most computers come loaded with a variety of fonts, there are numerous sites where you can find more decorative fonts for free.  Dafont.com is one of my favorites and two free fonts that I love for Chalkboard Art are:  Chalk hand Lettering and Janda Celebration Script.  (Be careful though, looking at fonts can become very addictive!)

There are also fonts for decorative designs.  A couple of my favorites are:  Bergamot Ornaments, KG Flavor and Frames, and Nymphette.  

kgflavorandframes specimen

Just have fun creating your design.  If it makes you happy, then you have done a great job!

2.  Print Out The Design

If the place that you will put your design is small, then you simply size it properly on your computer screen and print using regular printing paper.  Here I found some great chalkboard easels at Michael’s that were very inexpensive.  I created some Alphabet Signs and used them at a registration table for a black tie event.  I simply printed the design on regular paper.  

If you want to use your design on something larger, there are several apps available to do this and still use your home printer.  Rasterbator, Posterazor, and Block Posters are a few. 

Here I used Block Poster to expand a design that I wanted to use.  At Home Depot, I purchased a piece of 2’ x 4’ chalkboard and had them cut the board to the size that I desired of 2’ x 3’.  I put that size into Block Poster and the app adjusted the print out.  It came in several sheets and I simply cut and paste to make my large printed sign.

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*Note:  If your printer has a “Coloring Book” option, I recommend using that to save on ink.  As you can see to the right, this sign used a lot of black ink (still cheaper than sending to a printer, and a whole lot quicker!).  

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The photo on the left used “Coloring Book” option.  The photo on the right did not.  You can see the difference in the amount of ink used while still having a distinct design.

3.  Trace The Design


Once your design is printed and put together, the next step is trace it onto your chalkboard.  I use Saral Transfer Paper (available on Amazon).  I love this transfer paper because it comes in several colors (blue, red, black and yellow) so the transfer color can be used for different colored backgrounds.  For a black chalkboard, white transfer paper is perfect.  I also like it because it comes in rolls rather than sheets, which does not matter if you are doing a small project, but for a larger one, it will save time.  You can also purchase individual transfer sheets at arts and crafts stores. 

To trace the design, tape down the transfer paper with the chalk side facing toward your project.  Then tape the design over the transfer paper and trace.  When I am finished, I take a peek while the design is still taped down to see if I made all the marks.  


4.  Fill In The Design

The final step is to fill in the design.  You can use regular chalk or chalk pens like I have used here.  Chalk has a more realistic look and is much cheaper.  Chalk pens rub off less easily and have different types of points if you desire more detailed work.  I suggest trying them both to discover what you like best.  


Though it can be time consuming depending on the size, it is very simple work.  For the alphabet signs I made, it took about 25 minutes to complete them all and about 1 hour for the large sign.  (But hey, crafting is not about time, but the output!  Stay tuned for my very important "Crafting Rules" coming soon in a post!)

A couple of notes on this 4th step.  1.  Be conscientious of the direction you are working.  You don’t want to put your hand into work you have already filled and smudge it!  2.  If you do mess up, take a wet paper towel or q-tip and simply erase the mistake, and do over.


That is it - job completed!  I do hope you will try this to spice up an event or item in your home.  Think about using this idea for:  

*Place settings - you could purchase pre made signs and design them according to your event

*Special Gifts - you could take an inexpensive charger from the Dollar Store, paint the middle with chalkboard paint and fill in with a design for someone you love.

*Billboard Sign - to welcome someone to a big event

*Wall Mural - a great way to add decoration to a room

Here are my finished designs:

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As always, I love hearing when you have created something from a spark I was able to provide to you.  Just shoot me a photo, or if you have any questions, let me know.

Have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving 

I am truly thankful for all of you! - M

© margaret young