• DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial

    DIY chalkboard art can help you to convey information in an artistic, tasteful way! In this tutorial, you’ll learn the top two secrets for making an eye-catching chalkboard. You can also see pictures of our creative Airbnb apartment remodel!

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    As I mentioned in last week’s tutorial over how to make a wifi password sign, Hernán and I recently remodeled the apartment in our basement. We purchased our house in April, and at that time, the basement felt a bit sparse and too modern for a house built in the 1950’s.

    Before Photos of Our Basement Apartment | The Postman's Knock
    These are the original listing photos of the downstairs apartment in our home. The décor was clean, but a bit cold for my taste! (We had to remove the kitchen appliances … apparently basement kitchens are largely illegal in Boulder.)

    After years of renting apartments that I couldn’t customize, it was amazing to be able to make the space exactly how I wanted it. Of course, that meant splashes of color, eye-catching artwork, and one-of-a-kind touches.

    After Photo of Our Basement Apartment | The Postman's Knock
    You can see the rest of the photos of the apartment in this Airbnb listing. My favorite piece of furniture in it is the vintage turquoise bed!

    After being live on Airbnb for five days, we are already booked for nearly the whole month of August! Our first guests arrive this weekend, so I wanted to put the final touch in the apartment: DIY chalkboard art with some Boulder recommendations. I took photos as I worked so you can make something like this as well! Feel free to modify the steps below as needed:

    1. Clean Off Your Chalkboard

    Before you do anything, use a wet cloth to wipe off your chalkboard. Wait for it to dry a bit, then give it a second wipe-down for posterity.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Got a thrift store nearby? My mom made this chalkboard by painting with chalkboard paint over an art reproduction she found at the Goodwill. She’s made several chalkboards using this method.

    After the second wipe-down, walk away and let evaporation work its magic as you plan your design!

    2. Plan Your Design

    The key to successful DIY chalkboard art is a good draft. Begin by using a pen or a pencil to draw a shape to represent the dimensions of your chalkboard. My chalkboard is 48″ x 24″, so I drew a rectangle that is twice as tall as it is wide.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Try to make a draft outline that reflects the dimensions of your chalkboard.

    Now, use a pencil to divide the rectangle into four quarters. Once you’ve done that, start sketching out a draft. It’s usually easiest to start at the top and work your way down.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    If you want to incorporate banners in your DIY chalkboard art, you can check out the How to Draw a Banner tutorial. Roman Style lettering (used here to write “BOULDER”) is a good, solid style to use for words that you want to stand out.

    Continue to sketch and erase until you like the look of what’s in front of you.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Feel free to draw plenty of pencil guidelines to help you create orderly graphics and words.

    Now you have a nice guide for what to write and draw on the actual chalkboard!

    3. Sharpen Your Chalk and Draw Guidelines

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Most pencil sharpeners can be used to sharpen chalk. If you can, try to find a sharpener with a larger hole and a smaller hole. Put the chalk in the larger hole first to whittle it down, then put it in the smaller hole to hone the point!

    A lot of serious chalkboard artists use chalk markers. You can do that if you’d like, or you can go the cost-effective route (like me) and use regular ol’ chalk. Put that chalk through a pencil sharpener to give it a pointed tip. The pointed tip will make it a lot easier to write and draw! Now, use your freshly sharped chalk to divide the chalkboard into four.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Your guidelines don’t have to be perfect … just do your best!

    These guidelines reflect what’s on your draft paper, so you’ll be able to use them as a reference as you draw and write.

    4. Start Writing!

    You will probably find it easier to make your DIY chalkboard art if you lay the chalkboard on a flat, horizontal surface. Use your draft as a guide, and start from the top. This applies to both left- and right-handed people: it’s easy to avoid chalk smudges if you start at the top and work your way down.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Starting at the top reduces smudge potential.

    You can use your chalk to make light guidelines for yourself. Once you’re finished writing on those guidelines, moisten a cotton swab and use it to erase the guidelines.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    Make sure you wring any excess water out of the tip of your cotton swab. Otherwise, the swab will leave a strange little mark.

    As you write, you’ll notice that the pointed tip of your chalk becomes blunt very quickly. For that reason, you’ll want to keep your pencil sharpener handy! When your chalk becomes too blunt, just run it through the pencil sharpener again.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    The sharper you keep your chalk, the easier it will be to write with it.

    If you’re creating text-heavy chalkboard art, don’t be afraid to switch the lettering styles up. You can find several different lettering techniques in Hand-Lettering for a Latté.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    “Get Your Workout On” was written using faux calligraphy in the Janet Style.

    You won’t be remiss to add some calligraphy to your chalkboard! You can use the faux calligraphy technique to add a touch of any calligraphy style.

    5. Finish and Display

    Once you finish writing on the chalkboard, prop it up somewhere and observe it from afar. Ask yourself whether your guidelines are sufficiently erased, and/or if you need to add any touches here or there.

    DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    After observing my chalkboard, I added a few stars to fill up negative space and add character.

    If you’re convinced that you’ll never want to change your chalkboard again, you can spray hairspray on it to set the chalk. I personally love having the option to wipe the surface clean someday and come up with a fresh design, so I’m leaving this chalkboard as is.

    I hope that you enjoyed this little DIY chalkboard art tutorial! Remember, there are two secrets to an awesome chalkboard: making a pencil draft first, and keeping your chalk sharp. If you’re curious to see photos of the rest of our Airbnb, you can do so by clicking here. We stopped renting it out after my toddler was born in September 2018, but it’s still fun to look at the pictures! We had so much fun putting the space together to make a space that’s comfortable and creative with just the right amount of quirk.

    Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks very much for reading TPK!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock