I used to love playing around on my chalkboard when my kids were younger. It was a fun and creative way to keep important reminders organized. Although we don’t personally use a chalkboard anymore, I still think it’s a great option for families trying to keep their schedule front and center. Plus, it’s a crafty outlet to add seasonal touches and sweet messages.
After years of using a family chalkboard, I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks I learned along the way. Read on to find my Top 10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks.
1. Sketch out your design first. I used to draw my designs on a piece of scratch paper first. It’s a lot easier to switch around on paper than it is to keep drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing on your chalkboard. Here is the rough sketch I used for my New Years Eve Board.
2. Use a level and measuring tape to space out where your words will go. I, being an extremely lazy DIY-er, would much rather eyeball it, but I can’t tell you how many times I had to start over because something wasn’t centered (I have major symmetrical issues) or I ran out of room. You also don’t want your words running down hill, so a level is key.
3. Regular old Crayola chalk works the best. I used to get mine from the Dollar Store because I liked the old school look and blendability of plain jane chalk. However, it does seem like chalkboard markers and pens have come a long way since I was using them—and I know a lot of people prefer them over regular chalk. They can help you achieve a more streamlined, sharp look. Plus, they come in so many pretty colors so I can see why people love them. These particular chalkboard markers have really great reviews and these vintage color markers would be perfect for holiday designs.
4. Dafont.com is da-bomb. Have you used dafont.com? It’s awesome! There are zillions of free fonts you can download. For my chalkboards, I never actually downloaded them, they have this handy dandy feature where you can preview your text. I just typed in whatever I was going to write and they showed me what it would look like. Then I just did my best to replicate it drawing by hand. Here I’ll show you – this is the screen shot of the font I used for my Easter Chalkboard.
5. Google Clip art images. Want to add a cute picture to your chalkboard? Just Google whatever you are looking for to get some inspiration! For my New Years Eve Chalkboard I did searched “champagne glass clip art images” to help me get the right look for these glasses.
6. Water is your friend! You will mess up at least a few times even with all your careful planning. I liked to keep a damp rag close by to help me “erase” any mistakes. You will be using so much chalk that simply using an eraser is not going to cut it. DON’T use paper towel—you will get little fuzzies stuck everywhere, not cool.
7. Q-tips are your very best friend! When I was finished with my designs, I liked to go back through and touch up/clean any spots that were a little smudged or had a lot of detailing with a wet q-tip. I kept a stack of them plus a cup of water next to me for easy clean up. I practically went through a whole package with my Christmas Chalkboard.
8. Make yourself a stencil. Using a design with repetition? Give yourself a break and make a stencil. See the “egg” bunting above? I drew one egg on my chalkboard, traced it on a piece of vellum, cut it out and used it over and over again. I did the same thing for the little chicks and bunnies for my Easter Chalkboard.
9. Mix and match your fonts. I liked to use at least two fonts to add interest to my design, but I tried to cap it at three or four. Mix it up! I usually stuck to one script font, one that’s more bold and blocky, and one that is super simple. Or I broke all the rules and used only one font like I did in my Spring Chalkboard.
10. Have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to do chalkboard art. It’s supposed to be fun—don’t stress over whether it’s perfect or not. After all, if you’re like me, you are going to erase it and start over in a week or two anyways. :)
So there you go, now you’re equipped with some handy tips—go forth and chalkboard!
….and send me some pics if you do, I’d love to see what you are up to :)