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Chalkboard signs are everywhere nowadays. When Steve and I got married three years ago I planned on having beautiful chalkboard signs for every little part of our ceremony and reception, and while we did have chalkboard signs I had waited until the last minute and free-handed most of them. If only I knew then how easy it could be to make (nearly) perfect hand lettering each time!
P.S. sorry in advance if the photos are a little blurry- some of these were taken on my phone!
When one of my best friend’s, Katie (yes, the same Katie that I made the custom wine bottle label for!) had a bridal shower coming up, I knew it would be an opportunity to try hand lettering a chalkboard sign once again. I thought about doing stencils, but I couldn’t find any in the fonts I needed. I also thought about using transfer paper, but couldn’t get it to work with chalk. Instead, I made my own version of transfer paper using chalk and regular computer paper-cheap and easy!
-Chalkboard: store-bought, like this cute rustic trio, or make your own using chalkboard paint
–Chalk: white and/or colored
-Computer and Printer
First pick your chalkboard. You can find pre-made chalkboards at craft/hobby stores (think Michael’s or Joann Fabrics) or make your own with chalkboard paint. Use a flat surface such as a picture frame, wooden board, wood or metal tray. Prime your surface with a spray primer, such as the Bullseye brand. Then paint your surface using a chalkboard paint. Before you can write on your surface take a piece of white chalk and rub your chalk over the entire surface and then erase the chalk. This will “prime” your board and get it ready to write. If you don’t do this your chalkboard writing will still show up on the board but it may be harder to erase and leave behind marks.
Next, plan your design. I find it easiest to sketch my idea on paper first, so I can plan what words to use and how many words per line. Once you have a plan, use Microsoft Word or something similar to choose your fonts. Then write out each word for your chalkboard. Don’t be afraid to use more than one font in your design!
Print out the words for your chalkboard design and cut out each word (just the word, no need to cut out each letter!). Lay your cut-out word on your chalkboard and plan where each word will fit. Now is the time to adjust font style or size. Here you can see how your final product will look!
Next, tape each piece of paper back down in the same order and design for the final product (with the side you just chalked down on the board). I suggest using painter’s tape-it will be gentle on your chalkboard!
Using a pencil, firmly trace and outline each letter. Be sure to trace over all of the details for each letter, as this will create a stencil for you to ultimately write with chalk.
Carefully pull away the paper from the first word and you will see a light chalk outline that you can now fill in with chalk! You can use white chalk, colored chalk, or a combo of both. Learn from my mistakes and start with the *top* of your chalkboard and work with one word at a time so that you won’t risk rubbing off your outlines before they’re filled in!
I used regular chalk and it held up pretty well. If you want your chalkboard design to be more permanent you can also use chalk markers such as these. When you’re ready to change your chalkboard design simply erase and repeat!
How would you use chalkboards in your home or special event?