I love fall. I love DIY. I love pretty handwriting. I love chalkboards. Thus, what’s better than a fall DIY chalkboard to spruce up the home decor? Nothing.
I’ve seen all these amazing chalkboards on pinterest, etc. but never been brave enough to make one all fancy and shit. I did a bi-weekly chalkboard during my pregnancy, using chalkboard markers, which I enjoyed, but I was never obsessed. So, recently I’ve sought out a way to make legit chalkboards that look professional and that I’d be proud to display in our home. So hopefully others will find this helpful in getting started in making beautiful chalkboards, too!
Now, some people opt to do chalkboards all free-hand. Which, more power to ya. I am working my way there and I think I can get there after some practice. But for now, I like having a bit of a safety net. So, here’s my process:
1. Design – this is the fun part! (Note: I always just design my chalkboard in Word) First, I start by figuring out a saying, quote, etc. that I love and fits my theme. So, for this particular chalkboard I wanted it all about Fall. I had seen two different chalkboard sayings that I loved…so I figured out a way to combine them to fill the space on my chalkboard. “Hello Fall”, and “Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice.”
2. Then, I look for fonts that are fun, and mix well together. I love mixing some sort of script font and thicker, boxy fonts. It’s so much fun to find fun fonts to download – and there are tons out there! Here is one of my favorite sites to find links to font downloads!3. Once your saying, fonts and design have all been determined, you need to play around with the sizing and print out the words. This may take some trial and error. Since my chalkboard is not super tiny, I find it best to put roughly one word per page, and increase that sucker as big as it will go! Then, I like to cut out the words and arrange them on the chalkboard to see how I want it to look. Be creative here. Put words at an angle, and play around with it until you get it just right. 4. Now here comes the secret…turn over each cut-out word, so the font is down. Take the side of a piece of chalk and rub it against the paper – to cover the entire word. You will end up with lots of chalk debris, which is fine. Just make sure it’s thick and totally covered.
5. Now, turn the word right side up back in it’s place on the chalkboard. Take a pencil, pen, or whatever and trace over the word. This will leave a superrrr light outline of the word. Then, you can go back over it with a fresh, sharp piece of chalk to darken the word, and clean it up. GENIUS.
6. After the base of your chalkboard is done – add little designs to spruce it up, if you want. I opted to just freehand a couple of arrows, to break up my two sayings just a little bit. There are so many things you can add to just give it a special touch.
I mean seriously, why did I not think of this sooner?? Sure, it might be a little time consuming, but for people just starting out with chalkboard and handwriting art – it’s perfect. It’s a great creative outlet for me, and I’ve already been thinking of what to do for Christmas. The options are endless!!
A HUGE tip: sharpen your chalk…with a pencil sharpener. Yep, a normal $1 pencil sharpener will work for plain ole chalk, and allows you to get sharper, cleaner lines. It’s magic.