Fabric Covered Framed Chalkboard

How to add color and style to your kitchen by making a fabric covered framed chalkboard to use to display your menu when entertaining.

For Thanksgiving I was given the challenge to make something using the latest surprise box of Waverly Inspirations products I was sent. I love chalkboards and decided to make a fabric covered framed chalkboard to place in my kitchen using as many products in the box as I could.

Fabric covered framed chalkboard menu 

If you like chalkboards. chalkboard walls in a kitchen and entertaining, you may like this project as it takes a basic chalkboard and kicks it up a notch on the style scale since you can choose fabric to coordinate with your kitchen or dining room decor.

The Items I Was Sent to Create Something

thanksgiving-decorating-idea-using-waverly-inspirations fabrics and chalk paint

Here are the decorating goodies that were in this month’s box. I used Waverly Inspirations chalk paint to paint the words, Menu, Main Course, Sides, and Dessert on the chalk board so they are permanent and used two of the fabrics to cover a frame.

How to make a fabric covered framed chalkboard

I bought a frame and a magnetic chalkboard in the home decor aisle at Walmart. The chalkboard fits perfectly inside the frame.

How to Make a Fabric Covered Framed Chalkboard

Making the menu chalkboard is fairly easy, but I have broken the steps into 5 sections to make it even easier for you to follow. The first step is covering the frame, then, attaching the chalkboard to the frame, followed by how to attach nailneads and then how to make ribbon using fabric. Lastly how to transfer an image and fonts onto the chalkboard.

Thanksgiving decorating with fabric projects. Make this fabric covered framed chalkboard for your kitchen or dining room.

supplies needed:

All supplies to make the Fabric Covered Framed Chalkboard can be bought at Walmart.

  • BHG 20 x 24  – 8 spot collage frame
  • U Brands Wood Frame Chalkboard – comes with two chalk pencils
  • 1-1/2 yards Waverly Inspirations Fabric – Dark Floral Cocoa
  • 2 yards yellow ribbon to trim sides of frame
  • 1/4 yard Waverly Inspirations Decorative Ribbon to hang chalk pencil
  • Upholstery tacks – 2 boxes
  • Mod Podge in a Matte finish
  • Liquid Nails
  • Scrap pieces of corrugated cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Pencil or marking pen

How To Cover a Large Photo Frame With Fabric

To cover the frame, remove the glass and backing if possible. Then cover the frame as you would if you were wrapping a gift. It is not hard. I used Mod Podge to glue the fabric to the frame and then seal the fabric.You do not have to seal the fabric.  I did so that in the future if and when it gets dusty, I can use a wet cloth to clean the fabric.

How to cover a photo frame with fabric.
how to cover a frame with fabric
  1. Remove any hooks from back of frame.
  2. Center frame on fabric and cut fabric around frame wide enough so it will wrap around the frame.
  3. Use a paint brush to apply Mod Podge to glue the fabric to the front of the frame.
  4. At corners, cut into fabric on the diagonal right up to frame.
  5. Flip frame over and begin to cover back of frame by wrapping excess fabric to the back of frame.
  6. To keep the back looking finished, add a 2-inch wide band of Mod Podge then lay fabric over it and smooth with fingers.
  7. Bring the cut corner fabric around each corner.
  8. Repeat on all corners
  9. After fabric is glued to the back on all sides, use a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter to cut away the excess fabric.
  10. Flip frame to the front. Cut away fabric that is over the glass. Use a spatula to push the edges of the cut fabric under the frame.
  11. The frame should look like this. Mod Podge will dry clear. If you have a glob of it on the fabric, remove with a damp lint-free cloth.
How to cover a photo frame with fabric

Optional:  Use Mod Podge to glue ribbon to the back of frame to hide the raw edges of the fabric.

How to Make Ribbon Using Fabric

how to make ribbon using fabric

My challenge from Waverly was to use as much of the contents from the box of fabric and paints they sent me. I made ribbon from one of the fabrics, but you can simply use ribbon. Here is how I made it.

  1. Use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut a 2-yard long strip that is 1-inch wide.  If cutting from smaller yardage, you will have to make a few 1-inch wide strips and piece the strips together to get a 2-yard long strip.
  2. Lay cut strip face down on an ironing board, press one side of the fabric to the center
  3. Repeat Step 2 on other side of strip.
  4. Press the folded strip and you now have ribbon.

How to Add Nailhead Trim Around Frame


Upholstery nails or tacks come in different finishes. I used Antique Brass to attach fabric ribbon around the sides of the frame.

how to add nail heads and trim to a picture frame
  1. Using a marker and ruler, make a dot every 2 inches along ribbon.
  2. Begin to attach the ribbon to the least viewed corner of your chalkboard so that where the beginning and end of the ribbon meet, it will be not as visible.  Leave about an inch of the ribbon unattached and hanging away from the frame where you start.  Hammer in a tack at each mark.
  3. When you come to the end where you will need to join the ribbon, cut the end so you have at least 1/2″ excess ribbon to wrap around the corner.
  4. Fold the edge of the end of the ribbon.
  5. Tap in a tack.

How to Attach Chalkboard to Fabric Covered Frame

Menu Chalkboard idea. Make a fabric covered framed chalkboard to use for entertaining and holiday meals.

I took this photo from this angle so you could see the side and how the chalkboard fits right into the inset in the inner part of the photo frame opening.

menu chalkboard idea for entertaining

Once you have the frame covered with fabric you can attach the chalkboard.

This is where my retail display training comes in. When I had to make something in an afternoon for a store display and only had the things available in the prop room, I had to be resourceful.

To make sure the chalkboard stays secure in the fabric covered frame, I needed to make some lifts to glue onto the glass.  To do this, I cut corrugated cardboard into small squares and made 6 piles of 3 squares.

This is needed to level the glass with the wood frame.  The cardboard raises the level. I used hot glue to attach the cardboard squares to each other in each pile and then to the glass.

I used Liquid Nails around the outer edge of the glass. Place chalkboard in. Let dry.

how to cover a frame with fabric
How to attach a chalk pencil to a chalkboard

I don’t have a photo of this, but the chalkboard will lay right into the fabric covered frame as shown above. Remove any glue that may get on the fabric with a wet lint-free cloth.

The chalkboard came with 2 chalkboard pencils. I attached one of them to a piece of ribbon and then made a ribbon loop bow at the other end. I attached it with an upholstery nail and then notched the ends of the ribbon.

How To Transfer a Design or Words onto a Chalkboard

How to make a fabric covered framed chalkboard for Thanksgiving

The words…Menu, Main Course, Sides, and Dessert are painted on the fabric covered framed chalkboard using Waverly Inspirations chalk paint. They are permanent. I used a chalk pencil – best invention ever to finely print what will be served in my own hand as well as draw the oak leaf and acorn design at the top.

free printable menu items for chalkboard art

Click here to download the: Menu Category .pdf  that I used. The font is not a freebie, I bought it. It is called Malisia Script Regular.

Click here to download the oak leaf design: Oak Leaves and Acorn Design

how to transfer a design to a chalkboard
  1. Fold print-out in half to create a crease that runs vertically in the center of the paper. This crease will be the center of each word. Cut the words from the printout and then rub a piece of chalk over the back side of each. Rubbing the chalk on the back is how you will transfer the words/font to the chalkboard.

2. Make chalk marks all along the center of the board. Center each word using the folded crease and the marks on the chalkboard. Use painter’s tape to secure.

3. Use a sharp pencil to trace over each letter in all the words.

how to transfer lettering and designs to a chalkboard
best brushes to use when painting with chalk paint on a chalkboard

4. When you remove the paper, you will be left with a tracing of chalk. It may be dark or light depending on how much chalk you initially rubbed on the back and the pressure you use. Go over with a chalk pencil to define each letter.

Use a fine-tipped artist brush to paint the words using Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint.  I used the larger tipped brush for the word “menu” and the finer tip for the rest… Main Course, Sides, and Dessert.


Use a paper plate to help you keep paint off the chalkboard as you permanently paint on each word.  I used the chalk paint colors:

White, Plaster, Pumpkin, Celery, and Maize.

Shake the paint well before using. I needed two coats of paint for the larger letters. Let dry overnight.

You now have a fabric covered framed chalkboard to coordinate with your decor.

Before writing with chalk on your chalkboard you should season it to deter ghosting. It is simple to do. Rub the side of a piece of chalk over the entire board. Let is sit for an hour and then remove it with a lint-free cloth.

For more chalkboard ideas, check out this post: Thanksgiving Decorating Idea Using a Chalkboard & Free Turkey Printable.

Once dry, use chalk or chalk pencils to write what you will be serving under each menu category.

When the meal is done and you are cleaning up, you can erase the chalk, but the words..Menu, Main Course, Sides and Dessert will be ready for the next time you use the chalkboard.

Chalkboard idea that will coordinate with the decor of your room. I made mine a menu chalkboard. Check out how I made some of the writing on the chalkboard permanent.

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  1. Norma Rolader says:

    Absolutely amazing the holiday chalk board Thank you for sharing and the how to:

  2. I missed this last year. I love it! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with a chalk board I have that doesn’t “sit” right, and this might be it. Thanks again, Diane!

  3. I’m going to switch up and do this for Christmas! Such a great idea!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – I love when I hear from readers about how they are inspired by a project I have done and plan to make it themselves using their own style. the chalkboard will look fabulous using Christmas colors and fabrics.

  4. Debbie Mayfield says:

    Super cute! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  5. Love! Can’t wait to do this. I have leftover fabric from my kitchen curtain. Perfect! I’m going to use it to put
    scripture verses on it.

  6. Love this! What a great way to use those scraps of fabric that I have that aren’t big enough to do anything else with, but are too pretty to get rid of – I never thought of using them to cover a picture frame. Can’t wait to try this!

  7. One of your best posts ever! I’m gonna do this!

  8. Mary Heicher says:

    Nice! I really like this one. I owned an art gallery and framing shop for a few years,
    and would have used this for some of the displays. You’re so very clever.

  9. Boy, are you creative!! I adore this!!!

  10. Mod Podge….reminds me of Mom:)

  11. Kris Wrucke says:

    Super, super, super cute!!!

  12. Diane,
    That is just lovely – so much nicer than many of the chalkboards I’ve seen. This one is pretty enough to put in your formal dining room! This would make a wonderful gift for a good friend who likes to cook (or not – they could even say “Order in! Pizza, etc!) I love the idea of the fabric and the ribbon – and the upholstery tacks sure add a touch of class. Love it!

  13. Very cute! I love the added texture and style of the fabric covered frame. (and I notice you serve green bean casserole too : ) I may have to try this for my Thanksgiving menu!