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10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks

You all know by now that I love playing around on my chalkboard. Well I thought I would share some of my tricks I have learned along the way. So here are my Top 10 Chalkboard Tips and Tricks.

10 Chalkboard tips and tricks

 

1. Sketch out your design first. I like to draw out on a piece of scratch paper what I have in mind for the chalkboard, 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.

Text, letter

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 have started 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.

A close up of a logo

3. Regular old crayola chalk works the best. I get mine from the dollar store, no fancy chalk paint pens for me. I like the old school look and blendability of plain jane chalk.

A close up of Chalk and Pen

4. Dafont.com is da-bomb. Have you used dafont.com? It is awesome, there are zillions of free fonts you can download. For my chalkboards I don’t actually download them, they have this handy dandy feature where you can preview your text. I just type in whatever I’m going to write and they show me what it would look like, then I just do 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.

Text

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 a google search “champagne glass clip art images” to help me get the right look for these glasses.

Chalk and Drawing

6. Water is your friend! You will mess up at least a few times even with all your careful planning. I like 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.

A cloth wiping a board

7. Q-tips are your very best friend! When I’m all done I like to go back thru and touch up/clean up any spots that are a little smudged or have a lot of detailing with a wet q-tip. I keep a stack of them plus a cup of water next to me for easy clean up. I practically went thru a whole package with my Christmas Chalkboard.

10 chalkboard tips and tricks

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.

A close up of a piece of paper

9. Mix and match your fonts. I like to use at least 2 fonts to add interest to my design but I try to cap it at 3 or 4. Mix it up! I usually stick to one script font, one that’s more bold and blocky, and one that is super simple. Or I break all the rules and use only one font like I did in my Spring Chalkboard.

Text 

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 are like me, you are going to erase it and start over in a week or two anyways. :)

So there you go, now you know everything I know – go forth and chalkboard!

ten chalkboard tips and tricks

 ….and send me some pics if you do, I’d love to see what you are up to :)

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79 Comments

  1. Hi, Kelly! So happy to have come across this post. I LOVE chalkboards and could really use these tips! Question for you: What if I want to finalize a chalkboard and avoid risking it getting smudged or messed up? Do you have tips or suggestions on making something permanent? Would you spray hair spray, use chalk marker at that point, or something else? Thanks!

    1. I’ve used hairspray before but it won’t make it totally smear proof. I’ve never used a chalk marker but I know those definitely stay put better. Good luck!

  2. Great advise!!! Thanks!!!! I have ordered chalkboard stickers for my mason jars that I will use in my wedding! Was wondering if u had ever used a sharpie on chalkbord, I’m using silver and maybe a yellow?

  3. Thanks for the tips! This was very helpful, especially the part about having fun! I am just starting mine today, so we will see how it goes :)

  4. thought I was the only one who had to measure and plan :) the illusion is that everyone free hands and eyeballs it. Nice to know I’m not alone with my natural tendency of off-center-ness :)

  5. hi there,
    love your drawings!

    what that font called in picture 9 (‘somehting in the air this morning…’)??

  6. Great ideas!! I am the worst at measuring. I would rather clean 20 toilets. But then I really hate doing my work over because I thought eye balling was good enough. My eye balling skills must be off an inch or two. Love da font. Forgot all about that site!

  7. Pingback: Fall Chalkboard |
  8. I been doing chalk boards for years and have found if you keep the board wet as you draw it is sharper and brighter with white or color. Some times I dip my chalk in water for a brighter colorful look. thanks for the tips.

  9. Thank you! Thank you! You have inspired me to “upgrade” my kitchen menu. Great tips.

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