DIY Chalkboard Sign
Hi! I’m Jamie from Here Let Me and I’m excited today to be guest posting here on Hazel + Gold Designs. If you haven’t jumped on “board” (get it?) with the chalkboard sign craze yet, you’re missing out. A DIY chalkboard sign is a sure fire way to dress up any part of your home or a fun and fancy way to embellish a party. As a self-titled chalk painting connoisseur, it’s no wonder my love for slathering things in chalky residue carries over to a love of creating DIY chalkboard signs. As a DIY/home blogger, I wouldn’t be doing my creative bone justice if I didn’t share with you my tips and tricks for creating your very own DIY chalkboard sign. I’m Jamie Stauffer. I write Here, Let Me, a home and DIY blog. I started blogging to follow my efforts in home renovating and DIY decor. A few months ago, we sold our children’s childhood home, moved out of the country to the most family-friendly neighborhood available, and promptly began tearing out walls and floors. I’m a complete amateur at home renovations, but chalk painting and chalkboard sign making are things I know like the back of my hand.
I took my first stab at a DIY chalkboard sign when my oldest child started preschool. I interviewed my then 3-year-old, asking her all of her favorites. Then, once her answers were locked in, I put chalk pen to
paper chalkboard and made a cute little sign for her to stand next to on her first day of school. I have made a new sign for her (as well as for my son) every year. Between the months of August and May, I use the chalkboards to decorate our home, make them into menu boards, or as a party welcome sign. So, without further ado, let’s break down the steps to creating your own DIY chalkboard sign.
1| Materials Needed
For this project, you will want to invest in Chalkboard markers. If you consider yourself a rebel at heart, then by all means, only use old-school chalk. For me, life is too short for that kind of torture, so I use chalkboard markers for all of my DIY chalkboard signs. Here is a rundown of all of the materials needed for your own chalkboard sign (and for your convenience, I installed a link on most so you can find them online in a snap):
- Chalkboard Ink Markers
- Crayola Chalk sticks
- A ruler, yardstick, or one of these handy Cricut rulers that fit my chalkboard perfectly
- A Magic Eraser or damp cleaning rag
- Scrap paper
When I made the chalkboard above, for an engagement shower, I planned what the board would look like based off of the shower invitation. I thought I had taken a picture of the invitation, but my phone photo album proves otherwise. I knew from the invitation that I needed to use green, white, gold, and pink. I could also incorporate an ivy and berries detailing, just like on the invitation. On the chalkboards I decorated for the first day of school, I knew all of the information I needed to include like: school name, grade, teacher’s name, favorite things, and height and weight.
On my seasonal themed chalkboards, I search for ideas on Pinterest and incorporated a mashup of my favorite details from several pins onto one board. Point is, know what you’re going to do before you start. Have pictures of your ideas easily accessible to look at as you complete your DIY chalkboard.
3| Prep work
Now that you know how you’ll DIY your chalkboard sign, you’ll need to prep the markers and the chalkboard. If you’re starting with a new board, grab your Crayola Chalk stick (and have a friend or neighbor cover your ears). Cover the entire chalkboard in the dusty chalk by laying the chalk stick on its side and pressing the chalk firmly into the board.Wave the chalk stick from one side to another until the whole board has been covered with chalk. Since I have used my boards countless times, they have already been seasoned and I can skip this step each time I go to use them. Now that your board is covered in chalk, use your hand or a dry cloth to wipe it all off. Its ok if some chalk is left behind. To prep the markers, give them a good shake. By now, my kids were begging for my attention so I handed them the bag of markers and had them do the shaking for me. Lastly, press the marker tip into a piece of scrap paper (the tip will go inside the marker shell) and wait for the ink to begin to fill the brush tip.
This will take a minute or two. Try to be patient.
4| Hold on for Dear Life and Create!
So, let’s get real for a second. If you need mood music to create your DIY chalkboard sign masterpiece, I highly recommend Aerosmith’s Livin’ On the Edge. I’m almost certain Steven Tyler was singing about DIY chalkboard signs in that song. No? Well, either way, this is where things get risky. Risky especially if you have atrocious handwriting. I’ve been told before that I have nice handwriting, so I felt optimistic about this project (however each sign will always take me over an hour to complete). I struggle with a little bit of perfectionism when it comes to making chalkboard signs, so I do a whole lot of erasing and starting over. Trust me on this, if you want your sign to look good, you will too. Keep your damp rag or magic eraser handy. Step back from time to time to evaluate your progress. Are your letters straight? If not, wipe off the one that got away and try it again. Use your ruler and old-school chalk to create guidelines for yourself as a little extra help. You can see my ruler lines around the word “future” in the picture up above. You know what? Even with those lines, I still erased the first half of the word and wrote it again. It’s my chalkboard. I can if I want. Keep practicing and make your work something to be proud of.
If you need help with letters, google different fonts. It’s easy to find one that is eye-catching. For one of my DIY chalkboards, I wanted the look of handwritten cursive and I found this image online.
After I created my cheat lines with my ruler I studied the way the lines of the letters on the mug and did my best to recreate them on the chalkboard. Until I got it just right, after a few tries, I used my damp rag to erase and try again. It’s important to take one letter at a time. Don’t worry about trying to spell out “Mrs” in one fell swoop. Instead, get the M just right, then the R, then the S (or whatever letters you use). You can connect them later. Another friendly tip is to keep Tupperware or Pyrex lids close by. They come in incredibly handy for making flowers, berries, or good ole Mr. Sun.
5| Finishing Touches
To make my DIY chalkboards stand out, I like to use lots of detail. I try to use three different fonts; each one very different from the other. I’ll use tall skinny letters, flowy cursives, block letters, etc. I’m not super artsy when it comes to drawing so, I find easy ways to add the finishing touches. Things I know I can manage are hearts, scrolls, garlands, or leaves, or even easier, tracing the letters in complementing colors. Those are the images I stick with. If you’re super artsy, go big or go home! There are so many different ideas for quotes, fonts, and colors online. Find one you like and practice, practice, practice. If you can master this you can master anything. Including chalk painting furniture, which is another DIY project I’d love to teach you all about.
Have you made a chalkboard sign before? Was it for your home? A party? The first day of school? If not, have I inspired you to do so? Let me know if you have questions!
If you like this project, please Pin this image to Pinterest!
Another project on Hazel + Gold Designs that you may like: