10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks
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 :)
This is the best tutorial ever!! Thank you so much!! I found you through facebook and now I am sharing it on my facebook page :)
I wrote a blog post on how the chalk pens ruined and are permanent on homemade chalkboards. I also learned the if you wet the normal chalk you use, it will write darker and much more bolder. It looks like it’s not working well at all when you do this but wait a minute and see the magic happen. It dries and as it does the chalk gets more bold and looks so good! I usually just wet a paper towel and lay the chalk in it for a minute to dampen the chalk. Your other points are great.
I think I’m a couple of days late. I decided not to do a chalk design on my big chalkboard in the living room, because I’m just not very good at it! I hung a picture in from of it instead, but NOW maybe I’ll do a separate Easter chalkboard using your tips. I always love your chalkboard designs! Thanks so much, Kelly!
Jeanette @ Creating a Life
You always have the best chalkboards! The stencil tip is brilliant!
I wish I had read this before I re-did my chalkboard the other day! I will definitely use this next month! Thanks for the helpful tips!
Thanks for the tips! I need these!
House on the Way
What a great list of Chalkboard drawing tips! You are so dang talented!
Oh thank you for sharing these with us! Ive wondered for a while now and you are awesome! :)
Great tips. Thank you for sharing!
Great tips! Little Bit from http://www.DecorateWithaLittleBit.com
Fantastic tips Kelly!! Sketching it all out is a big help!
I love your tips, Kelly! Going to have to keep them in mind for when I finally update my chalkboard!
Great tips and tricks, Kelly. I am saving this to my files so I can find it when I need it- Thanks- your chalkboards are amazing- xo Diana
Great tips … I really needed these! I pinned it!
Wow, you are an artist….Pinned this post for future use…thanks
So glad you shared these tips! Always love your chalkboards and your dos and don’ts are super helpful. Now where can I put one in my house?…
Thank you for the super tips! I love your chalkboard art and look forward to seeing what you do each month! I appreciate the websites for different fonts as I think that really makes the chalkboard stand out! Have a great day:)
I love all your tips Kelly! I am a horrible artist when it comes to drawing, I can picture it but it takes me a lonnnng time to get it just right. I will definitely apply your tricks to my next chalkboard art! IF, I can get the kids to stop doodling on it first ;)
I love your post today. Chalk board art is all the rage. I have chalkboards that I have made out of old windows. I just wasn’t sure how to make the writing look cool. Thanks for the tips and tricks. I will do it today and send you a picture. Have a great Tuesday.
Thanks Kelly! I love your chalkboards. I painted an entry closet door as a chalkboard for a wall calendar. Once I got my Iphone-I didn’t know what to do with the chalkboard UNTIL I found your blog. These are great tips especially with the q-tip because I hate having to smudge the words with my finger. I have this thing against the chalk feeling. Also thanks for tip on the level-I would have been lazy and free-handed it.
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