Chalkboard How-To

This week i worked on 2 pieces for our Environments team. I had actually made one very similar for them last week but on paper so they asked me to recreate it on chalkboards. I thought I would have fun with the project and make a time lapse.

Materials List

Chalkboard How To
make animated gifs like this at MakeaGif
  1. Sketch paper & Pencil
  2. Chalkboard or Corkboard
  3. Chalk (I use Crayola chalk)
  4. Chalkboard paint
  5. Multi surface acrylic paint
  6. Washi tape
  7. Brushes - any would work!
  8. Paper towels
  9. Chalk Marker (wipes off)
  10. Paint Marker (more permanent)


Step 1: Paper Draft 

This is where you can play around with placement before spending time on the board.

Step 2: Paint the Board

If the chalkboard is new, then there is no need to paint. If its had chalk on it before, you will notice it never really gets clean. This piece was actually a cork board so a cork board shouldn't give you any problems. Just try a few coats for cork board! Note: make sure you save some time for it to dry!

Step 3: Layout the Basic Structure

I like to use Washi tape to lay out a basic structure because it keeps my lines straight and it wont stick to the board too much.

Step 4: Simple Chalk Outline

This should be a super simple outline and it should be done with a very light hand just to have something to direct you.

Step 5: Go over Chalk Outline with Chalk Pen or Paint Pen

If you want to make a simple sign that you want to be able to wipe off at some point, then you can use a chalk pen. Note: chalk pens are also great on glass/mirrors, etc.! Make sure to do this with a steady hand.


Step 6: Double the Downstrokes

To get this "look" of the thick and thin letters, you need to double all of the downstrokes. So, if you are writing a "J" the trunk down would be thick and the little loop up wouldn't be. Neither would the stick across if you put it at the top. After this, I wipe off the chalk so it's easier to concentrate. Note: if you're using a chalk marker, wiping it at this point will WIPE IT OFF so you either have to write with the chalk super neat or, wipe around the letters as not too smudge the ink.

Step 7: Paint in the Downstrokes

You can do this with the chalk pen or paint pen as if you were coloring with a marker but I usually go with a paint so it's more vibrant.

Step 8: The Clean Up

Once the paint dries, I go over the edges just to make sure everything is straight and smooth.

The Final Product

I hope you enjoyed this How-To! Please let me know if you would like me to create a How-To for anything else!

DIY Calligraphy Starter Kit


About a year ago my husband bought me my own Calligraphy starter kit and it opened a whole new world to me! I loved learning how to put together my pen and how to create the perfect strokes to my letters.

Calligraphy starter kits range anywhere between $30.00 and $70.00 and they all bring the same basic materials. Here is my recipe for a Do-It-Yourself Calligraphy Starter Kit!

Where to Get It

What to Get

  1. Nikko G Nib (2)
  2. Hunt Oblique Penholder (1)

  3. Canson Pro-Layout Marker Pad:9x12 (1) - cheapest at Dick Blick!

  4. Higgins Eternal Ink (1) - cheapest at Dick Blick!

Tips & Tricks

  • Make a list of materials needed and research who has it cheaper. 
  • If you're located in NYC, I suggest taking a trip to any Dick Blick location for most of the listed materials or a trip to Kinokuniya (downstairs) if you're in midtown // Kinokuniya is pen heaven but it wont have most of the materials on the list. This will cutdown on shipping & handling!
  • I suggested the marker pad because its great smooth paper but you don't have to get it if you're starting out. Smooth printer paper will work just as good. Tracing paper will not work good. It's not thick enough to hold the ink.