It has been a little while since any chalkboard art has been done round here so I thought I had better do some! There is no time like Christmas to create fun chalkboard messages. With the holidays quickly approaching, I have been working on a couple winter inspired pieces. In this post I will share some tips on how you can create your own artwork at home. I am not sure if any of you have luckily discovered Lolly Jane? It is a fabulous blog done by two lovely ladies lots of reces, DIY projects and other fun posts. They were kind enough to let me do a guest post on their site with all of my chalkboard art tips I highly recommend you check in regularly with their site as they are always posting all sorts if good stuff!
Chalkboards are so popular now that you can purchase some beautiful and inexpensive ones at many home decor retailers. We are DIY people in our house to we made our own. To create your own homemade chalkboard you will need the following supplies:
- A picture frame of any size with a wooden backing
- Sandpaper or an electric sander if you are feeling especially brave with power tools
- Chalkboard Paint (I use a canned spray paint version to keep things easy!)
- Paint or spray paint in a color of your choice for the frame
- Chalk for when you are ready to design (Basic chalk will do just fine: I get mine from the Dollar Store)
- Coloured chalk pens if you are ready to get super fancy (Michaels has an excellent selection, all with different tips to create varying thicknesses)
Step 1: Remove the wooden backing from the frame and sand out any roughness or imperfections. You want the surface to be as smooth as possible. I used my husbands electric sander however doing it by hand works just as well, just requires a little bit more elbow grease and muscles!
Step 2: Once you have a smooth surface, wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Then leave it for a few minutes to ensure it dries completely before applying your paint.
Step 3: Keeping your spray paint can 6 inches away, spray evenly vertically, covering the entire surface of the board. Allow to dry for two hours. Apply your second coat, spraying horizontally. This will allow for even coverage across the entire chalkboard. Two coats should suffice.
Step 4: Apply your chosen color of paint to the frame. I always like to pick a contrast color, keeping in mind the colors in your home. You want the piece to blend in nicely with your existing decor.
Step 5: Once everything is dry, reassemble your picture frame and now you have your homemade chalkboard!
I personally love to play around with different fonts and designs so that all of my chalkboards have a unique aesthetic and are in tune with the message I am communicating. There is unlimited resources on the internet to help you achieve this. I complete many of my boards freehand now but if you are a little shy with your typography skills, here is a great technique for applying perfect lettering. Locate the word or message you would like to have on your chalkboard on your computer and print it. On the blank side of the printed paper, take your chalk and rub it along the paper, coating it completely. Turn your piece of paper over and lay it on your chalkboard, chalk covered side down. Then take a pencil and trace the outline of the letters. When you lift off your piece of paper, you will have soft outlines of the letters to follow. Simply fill them in and you have completed a successful transfer. So easy to do!
- Plan your layout in advance. I always try to do this by making sure everything will fit. It is beyond frustrating to be halfway through, and it’s looking awesome, only to learn that it won’t all fit on your chalkboard. One technique I often try is drawing the first and last letter of each word, and then fitting in the letters in between. It may take a little erasing here and there but will save you time in the long run.
- For erasing, a damp cloth works best. If it’s tiny details you want to erase or simply tidy up the edges of the letters, a wet Q-Tip works magic.
- Play around with direction. I have completed many chalkboards with some words vertical, some horizontal. You discover the best looking layouts simply by trying them out. I am a very visual learner so this works well for me in discovering what looks good and what doesn’t.
- Simplicity can be your friend. Many of my chalkboards have been beautifully effective just with one simple word. Again, the internet has a ton of ideas so do some research, and then tailor ideas to suit your message, event, etc.
You can have so much fun with chalkboards. The possibilities are endless and I love how they can add to your home and holiday decor. I hope these ideas have inspired you to create your own and that you enjoy them as much as I do. Thank you again for having me as a gust on Lolly Jane!
You can read about my pregnancy chalkboard announcement here or related posts on Baby Girl’s progress here.