Wait, what??? Fake a chalkboard? What is there to fake, it’s just a chalkboard right? I’ll explain.
But first, tell me, what have you been up to; Any new creations? What creative chaos are you concocting in your home? Tell me in the comment section below.
Honestly, I would love to hear all about it. And for those of you taking a creative break, don’t think you are off the hook. You are still required to comment but you are challenged to make it rhyme! Kidding. You don’t have to come up with a rhyme but it sure wouldn’t hurt.
As for me, I’ve been up to a several things. Easter is coming so I got out the Easter chalkboard art I made last year.
I thought you might like it for yourself so I created a link for you to download it for your personal use. You can have it printed or use it as computer screen wallpaper. It is super cute as a computer screen background!
For personal use only
The process I use to make chalkboard signs has changed over time.
I use to made a standard chalkboard, then draw on my design with chalk and that would be that.
Below is one I did when we first moved into this house a year ago. I used sheet metal, chalkboard paint and chalk markers to make it.
I saw the design on a t-shirt, and being the only girl in the house, I thought the boys would really appreciate it.
Shockingly, I didn’t get a whole lot of love back over this. I don’t know what is wrong with these kids.
After going through the process of drawing out different chalk designs on several occasions, I came to the conclusion that;
A) Chalk is a pain. Not only is it a dusty mess but the picture often doesn’t come out as vibrant as I would like it. Chalk markers are a better but they come with problems of their own too.
B) Yes you can erase the chalkboard, which would seem like a cool thing, but in truth who wants to erase something you just worked so hard to create?
After all, you never know when your crazy house is going to need the reminder and you have to whip out the sign again! (Oh lordy, I think I just heard the sound of collective eye rolling coming from my family room.)
Here is an example of another early sign done with regular chalk. As you can see, my first couple were not so fabulous. It took a few to get the hang of it. See how the color is a little on the dull side? The whole time I was drawing it, I kept thinking how much easier this would be if I could just get out a paint brush and paint this on.
That is when I decided it would be better to use regular white acrylic paint, painted on black mat board.
I paint the mat board with black chalkboard paint then add my design with a paint marker or a paint brush. The end result looks like a chalkboard but the lettering is much brighter and the sign is reusable.
I change out the different designs with each season.
It is just mat board so it is not very heavy and easily stores away in the off season.
Sometimes I paint on the back too and just flip the board over when I need a change.
Here is the one I created last month when I needed a change. I am about to take it down and switch it out again.
The great thing is because it is actually paint, I can bring it back next year.
This new way worked out great when I was
forced persuaded to make some signs for my big sister’s farm wedding last summer. (Just joking Big D.
I was happy to help even if you are “the boss”) Don’t worry she doesn’t read this blog.
All jokes aside she really is an awesome amazing sister just like EACH and EVERY one of my family members. Isn’t that right MOM. (Mom does read the blog)
My Basic Process to Faking Chalkboard Art
To start, you will need black mat board.
I grab a large piece and use a ruler and utility knife to cut it to the size of my frame
After cutting my mat board, I roll on black chalkboard paint.
Next I either sketch my design or create one on my computer and print it out.
When I print it, I do so one page at a time and then tape the pages together to make one big page. Honestly, creating the type on the computer and then transferring it to the board takes way less time than trying to hand letter.
This way is so easy that I rarely go through the headache of trying to get the spacing and lettering just right by hand.
Now I transfer the printed design to my mat board using graphite paper .
A Note on Transfer Methods
You can use a variety of transferring methods.
There is the rub chalk or pencil on the back and then turn it over and trace the design on the front.
The chalk on the back will leave a outline on on your canvas or mat board. This is good in a pinch or for a chalkboard you want to erase right after.
The down side is sometimes the transfer marks are hit and miss and the chalk is messy.
Projector…..If you have a projector this works fairly well.
The up side is you can enlarge your design to fit your canvas.
The down side is you need a slightly dark room to see the projected design and sometimes the projector slightly distorts the picture if you don’t have it lined up just right.
And heaven forbid the canvas or projector gets bumped while transferring and you have to start all over. That’s loads of fun. In my experience, the solution is to throw out a few carefully placed expletives while starting over.
Oh yes, it helps.
My favorite method is graphite transfer paper. You just place the paper under your design and trace away. It leaves a bright mark and it is super easy to use. It doesn’t erase super well so I don’t recommend it for a traditional chalk board.
Chalkboard Design Transferred and Ready to Paint
After I have my design traced and ready to paint I often outline it with a paint marker.
Fill in with Paint
Now fill in with paint. Sometimes I do the whole thing with a paint marker.
I used a brush for the love sign because with a fat paintbrush I could cover the letters quicker.
The leaves were easier to paint on with a brush too.
The Young Life sign was all paint maker. (If you are not a big painter but want to try to make your own sign, I recommend starting with a simple design like the love sign. The letters are fat so there is not a lot of fine detail work.)
Now you are basically done. You can leave it as is or rub chalk all over it to really make it look like a chalkboard. With the long edge of the chalk cover the picture and then take a rag and wipe it off. It will look like a blackboard.
And you are done!
The YoungLife sign was last weekend’s project. It was a favor for an old friend who works with Young Life. If you are not familiar with Young life, it is a Christian outreach ministry for high school kids. She said she really needed a chalkboard welcome sign and apparently, another mutual friend threw out my name as someone who might help. Of course my first thought was, who is this friend? We need to have a talk. No, actually I just said yes, I’ll make you a sign.
It’s not that I really wanted to make yet another sign. I just didn’t want to have that conversation with God. You know the one the goes something like this, “No God I really just don’t feel like making one more sign.” “Yes, I know I have made several for myself personally. Yes, I know it is for a good cause but I have to draw the line somewhere.”
Yeah telling God that “for a good cause” is where you draw the line didn’t seem like a good plan.
So I quickly said sure, I can make you a sign. Then I promptly started and knocked the project out 2 weeks early. Ha! I wish. Of course I waited till the very last minute. Under much self-induced stress, I whipped out a sign 12 hours before her banquet started. shhhh no one has to know. That will be our secret!
I hope this helps with your future sign making. Don’t get discouraged if your first try isn’t perfect. As you can see from my rooster that my first couple attempts were not so hot either. The more you do, the better you get at it.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below
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