As promised, I’m going to show you the step by step process that I use when I create one of my chalkboard designs. This will give further clarification to this tutorial which outlines the basics of chalk art.
The board I most recently made is for my friend Becky. She wanted a decorated chalkboard for the party she was throwing for her sister’s 40th birthday and gave me this as a her inspiration:
I told her that I was certain that I could do at least as good a job, plus I would add her sister’s name “Krissy” to make it more personal. So first thing, I sketched out a design on paper with pencil. I normally would not make my sketch this detailed, but I was sending it to Becky for her OK and wanted to make sure she could see my “vision” so to speak.
As you can see, aside from a few things, my design ended up quite different from the original except for the wording. She gave me the OK so I started transferring it to the actual chalkboard. First I assembled my supplies:
I have chalk, colored chalk if needed, a damp paper towel to fix mistakes, q-tips for the same reason, a ruler, and my design. One recent addition to my supplies is in the upper right hand corner of the picture. It is a seamstress’ mechanical chalk pencil. It draws very skinny lines when I need them.
OK, so you start with a clean, dry chalkboard, and I always tape my design up next to the board for easy reference.
Now I draw lines where I plan to put my words and add the outlines of any major elements. I also draw center lines where applicable – usually just vertically. This is a trial and error, step back and look, erase and redraw sort of process.
To make the corner designs uniform, or any time I want a symmetrical look I will cut out a pattern then use it to trace the shape. Here is what I made for the corners here
Now you want to start at the top, so that you don’t accidentally smudge your work as you go, and draw the final design using the lines you sketched as your guide. When you have word or shape in place, carefully erase your guide lines with a wet paper towel or q-tip. Here is the progression of my chalkboard through to completion…
As usual I made some changes from my sketched design to the finished product. This is because I end up with a blank spot where I hadn’t intended and need to add something, or I end up with too little space for something and need to omit or change it.
And that’s pretty much it.
As a final note – have patience. I cannot begin to tell you how much “erasing” I do on a board this size. It’s rediculous. My kids laugh at me because I will finish a section, stand back, admire it for a moment, then go back, erase it and start over. I repeat this process over and over until it’s done. But the upside is that it gives me results that I’m happy with, so it’s worth the effort.
Good luck with your designs!