How to Draw Chalkboard Art Like an Artist

How to easily draw chalkboard art on a chalkboard without being an artist. Tips and tricks that will have you creating drawings, pretty handwriting and more in no time.

Since learning how to draw on a chalkboard I have creating chalkboard art for Thanksgiving, Easter, and even created a floor to ceiling chalkboard wall in my kitchen and an outdoor chalkboard for my backyard patio.

How to Draw on a Chalkboard like an ArtistHow to Draw on a Chalkboard Like an Artist

When I first started working in retail display, drawing signs was one of my jobs. When I stopped working at the store and no longer was creating signs by hand,  I lost my touch. 

It was my time to re-learn what I once knew how to do so well.  I am a bit rusty, but over the weekend I had a family birthday celebration at my house and embellished a chalkboard with a menu for the party.

How to draw Art on a Chalkboard

Chalkboard art and lettering is not hard, the process just takes some planning and with each board you create – you will get better.  This post contains a step-by-step tutorial as well as a section on tips and tricks.

I know some of you may be saying, but I can’t draw a stick figure or have no idea what to draw?  This is when you head over to your boards on Pinterest or look in magazines for quotes, line drawings, and images you like.

Look for shapes you like, not complex art. Flowers, fonts, basic shapes are good images to start with.  Use a stencil or your doodles until you feel more confident.

I printed out the words “Happy Birthday” using my computer and printer as lettering inspiration.

I used the font: EcuyerDAX. To print out swirls and flourishes to use as design elements to copy,  install a font that produces decorative elements instead of letters when you hit a letter key on your keyboard.

Free Decorative-Ornament-Fonts

Download the ornamental fonts here:  Bergamot Ornaments, Nymphette, Swinging

To learn how to install a free fonts see my post:  My Favorite Free Fonts

Chalkboard Art Drawing Tips and Tricks

If you are using a brand new chalkboard – season it first. This will help lessen “ghosting”.  Ghosting is when you draw on a chalkboard and after it is erased – you still see the images, but in black.   To season a chalkboard:  Use a full piece of chalk and run it on its side over the entire surface of the chalkboard.  Make sure to rub it in well. Once the board is covered – erase it.   It is now seasoned.

Most important tip:  Don’t use dry chalk.  Dip the chalk in water before drawing on the board. As you work, keep dipping the chalk in water to keep it wet.  At first, the chalk lines will look faded – not bright – be patient and let it dry – it will dry bright white or whatever color chalk you are using.   You can also keep the board wet and draw on a wet board.  I did both.

Keep it simple at first – the more boards you create the better your drawings, centering, and lettering will become.

Make a sketch to determine placement of your images and words.  Pick one image to make the focus. In my art it was the cake and copy – Happy Birthday.

Make a border – I used a square at each corner and double lines. I then filled the double lines in with dots of color.

Mix up font styles – Thick, 3-D, thin, serif, shadow, and script. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 fonts.  One heavy print font, a script font, and one thin caps font.

To find the center of a word or words for one line – count the number of letters and spaces between each word.  For instance “Birthday” has 8 letters  – an even amount– no spaces, so the center is between the “T” and the “H”.   If I wanted “Happy Birthday” all on one  line.

The letter/spaces count would be:  14 – making the center point between the “B” and “I”.

If using both lower case and capital letters, capital letters take up a bit more room, but this is a good rule of thumb to center lettering.  Draw the center letter or space on your center point and then draw the other letters out from this center point to each side to complete your word.

This is the hardest part of chalkboard art – making free hand letters. Some letters will be bigger and your centering will look off.  Mine is off, but it still looks OK  – not perfect – but fun and festive.

Don’t aim for perfection.  The imperfections can sometimes add to the charm of chalkboard art.

 Use a dime store pencil sharpener to keep the tip of the chalk pointy.

Use colored chalk on the focus image or border.

When you add the wet colored chalk over existing dry white chalk it will appear that the white chalk has been ruined. It has not – just wet and looks faded. When it dries it will look nice and bright again.

How To Draw Chalkboard Art Like an Artist


Fonts I used: Happy Birthday font:  EcuyerDAX   Menu:  Monterey BT

Entertaining and Party Ideas: How to draw on a chalkboard

supplies needed:

  • Chalkboard
  • Chalk – white and colors
  • Bowl or glass of water
  • Damp rag – Do not use paper towels – they will leave a fiber residue on your board. I used a Handi-Wipe.
  • Q-Tips – dipped in water are the best erasers to get into tight spots and fix mistakes.
  • Sewing measuring tape or ruler
  • Computer fonts or art print-outs, clippings, or stencils to use as visual guides
  • Sketch pad and pencil

1.  Clean board with a wet rag. Repeat to make sure you are getting as much chalk residue off the board before starting your drawing.

2. Use the tape measure to find the center of the board – width and height.  You can draw a faint line down the board to help guide you and erase it later with a Q-Tip.

How to draw art and lettering on a chalkboard

3. I like to do the border first as it helps guide me on how much space I truly have to draw on.   Use a ruler to make straight lines if needed.

4.  Using your sketch as a guide, start drawing your focal image. If you mess it up, just wipe it away and re-do it.  You can also use the chalk transfer method to get your drawing or photocopied image on to the chalkboard.

How to Transfer a Drawing to a Chalkboard

On the back of your drawing, lay a piece of chalk on its side and then rub the back of the paper with the chalk so it is covered with chalk.

Flip it over and place the paper/drawing where you want it to go on the chalkboard.  Draw over the image with a soft tipped pencil.

The pressure from the pencil will transfer chalk to the chalkboard. When you remove the paper you will see a faint copy of your drawing.  Go over the lines with chalk to bring your image to life.

You can see more on how to do this in this post: Thanksgiving – How to Draw a Turkey on a Chalkboard

Chalkboard-Art Ideas

1.  Add in the rest of the design.

How to draw on a chalkboard like a pro

2. Add the color last.  Remember the white chalk around the newly applied colored chalk will look like it faded since water touched it after it was dry. Just let it be, it will dry bright white again.


3.  Erase mistakes and smudges with the tip of a wet rag and/or Q-Tip.

4. Let dry and display.

How to Seal Chalkboard Art on a Chalkboard

If you want to seal your design on the chalkboard so it will not smudge, spray regular hairspray in an aerosol can lightly over the design.

Chalkboard-Drawing-Ideas tips and tricks

With a little practice and a few imaginative ideas you too, will be on your way to creating fun and festive chalkboards to use for entertaining or to add some of your personality when decorating your home. 

Decorative chalkboards can truly add a festive personal touch to your surroundings.

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  1. This is such a helpful and inspiring guide on drawing chalkboard art, Diane! I’ve always been intrigued by the beautiful creations I see on chalkboards, but I never knew where to start.

    Your step-by-step instructions and tips have given me the confidence to try it myself. I appreciate the emphasis on starting simple and gradually improving with each board. Your suggestions for finding inspiration and using different font styles are fantastic.

    I also found your seasoning tip and the reminder to use wet chalk very useful. Thank you for sharing your expertise and encouraging us to embrace imperfections in our artwork. I can’t wait to create my own chalkboard masterpieces now!

  2. kathleen jones says:

    The word “FAMILY” plays a vital role in every human life because family comes as a top priority; we are well aware of that. Like a tree has its root, stem, branches, leaf, flowers, the same as the family tree has its structure like grandparents, parents, child, and it keeps continuing from generation to generation. “Family tree,” yeah, just two simple words, but these two words are highly important for everyone’s life.

  3. so smart. thanks for the tips

  4. Kathryn Coltrin says:

    I respect everything that you have written in this blog. Please continue to provide wisdom to more people like me.

  5. This is fantastic information! I just painted a chalkboard wall on the wall side of my ovens just like yours! Now for the fun part…adding the chalk art! Thank you so much for the inspiration and information!!

  6. Thank you. Very informative. Once you apply hairspray on project. Can you reuse chalkboard

  7. Scarlet | Family Focus Blog says:

    These are such helpful tips. It is so much harder than it looks to draw on a chalkboard. Now when I go out and see a good one I always marvel at it and picture doing it myself!

  8. Natasha L Hopper says:

    Question: Would using the hairspray to set the design still be easily removed and not ruin the chalkboard?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Natasha – Using hairspray as a sealer on a chalkboard is easily removed if you dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol. It will come right off. It will not ruin the chalkboard.

  9. Great tutorial and tips. I’ve just been asked by a friend who is a winemaker to create a board for his tasting room. His board is already mounted… High up… Will have to draw while standing on a ladder lol. Should being interesting!

    1. Laura Hampton says:

      Hi Sara

      Sounds like fun! Not sure I’d want to be trying this while stood on a ladder – fear of heights might lead to more than a few wobbly lines!

      Diane very kindly shared some of her tips for chalkboarding in this really cool infographic, which I thought you might like to check out too:

      Happy chalkboarding!

  10. Hi Diane,

    Thank you for your article – it’s just what I’ve been looking for. Would you recommend any different board prep procedures or drawing techniques for a black metal chalkboard? I’m drawing one out for a gift store.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  11. amazing talent and inspirational; thank you so much

  12. anyonecanchalk says:

    Thanks For sharing This..tell Us about Chalk Couture

  13. I just stumbled on your blog. Ive been doing chalk art for my job recently and have been looking for different chalk and ideas of how to execute my ideas. Your post was super helpful. Thank you. I am going to be saving this for reference.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Milna – That is so nice to hear.:-) Once you start creating art and letters for chalkboards, it will become easier every time you create one. It is a fun to see the art come to life as you draw. The best part…if you mess up a section, you can simply erase it and do it over. :-)

  14. Ravinder Tulsiani says:

    Excellent point.

  15. Have you found a way to make the chalk permanent. Shoes the sugar help with that?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I have not tried adding sugar to the water yet, but will try it out soon and post the results it to the post.

  16. Thanks for all the tips, definitely going to try.
    Here’s a tip in return (apologies if it has already been given): Use sugar in your water to wet the chalk. It cannot be rubbed out when its dry, you have to use a damp clothe to remove.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – Thanks so much for sharing this tip. I didn’t know about using sugar in the water when wetting the chalk. I can’t wait to try it.

  17. This was very useful. I’ll try all your tips!

  18. This was such a help! I’d like to get into hand lettering chalk boards for work and this was a great place to start. You mentioned at the end that you can seal it with hairspray. If you do that, is there any way to get it off to reuse the board or once you spray it, it’s sealed with that design?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Madelyne

      If you use hairspray to seal the chalk design, it can be washed off with soap and water. What the hairspray does is help it from getting smudged easily. It is not permanent.

      1. Thanks! A follow up question: I’ve got my board and I’m filling in some big letters. The fill is driving me crazy, though, and it looks uneven. I’ve tried smudging it to even out the fill and that helps a bit but I’ve got these little flecks (from pressing down too hard and changing direction) and it makes it look poorly done. Any tips for filling in large letters so that it looks even and professional?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Madelyne –

          Have you tried going over the areas with the tip of a Qtip? It should help you blend the chalk in the inside of letters fairly easily.

  19. Great tutorial! But already started artwork and print for first time, THEN read I should have seasoned;-(( now what? I’ve finished the whole board….ughhh help! Lol

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – It is best to season, but your chalkboard will be OK. When you tire of what is on the chalkboard, clean it off well with a damp lint-free cloth. When it is dry, do the seasoning. If you still see ghosting of your drawing, wipe the seasoning off again with the damp rag, let dry and season again with the chalk. The ghosting should be gone after this.

  20. Chloe Tickner says:

    Thanks for the great advice…
    Need a bit more if possible

    1. Could you advise on materials… Do you use normal pound shop chalk or artists… I had some cheap stuff and it just crumbled in the water! Also do you get thinner chalk pencils?

    2. Any ideas how to make a waterproof sign? I saw rumours about it but no definitive answers.

    Thanks so much!
    Coco x

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Chloe –

      1. I usually use Crayola brand chalk. I find chalk pencils, at least the ones I have bought are too hard and don’t write well on a chalkboard.

      2. You could use waterproof chalk markers. They come in all colors and hold up under wet conditions. Check for them at your local crafts store or on Amazon. Check out Chalk Ink brand. If you just want to keep your drawing smudge-proof, you can spray hairspray over it.

  21. says:

    I’ll right away clutch your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly permit me know in order that I may subscribe.
    By the way, what type of card reader services do you provide?

  22. Sounds silly to ask, but are you using just regular chalk paint ? How did you make the chalkboard? Can I use colored chalk paint? I have several large frames I’d like to turn into chalkboards not sure what to use for a backing board (they don’t have a back, just a frame) or what to use to paint it ? I know I could use chalkboard paint from store, but what about homemade or furniture chalk paint? Do I have to seal it in anyway? Thanx

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I would get “hardboard” cut to the size needed to use in the frames. You can buy this very inexpensively at any home improvement store. It is brown and about 1/8″ thick. Use spray paint chalkboard paint on it to create the chalkboard. Home Improvement and craft stores sell it. Once dry place it in the frame. You do not have to seal it. If you want a different color chalkboard, some companies make other colors. I would not use brush on chalk paint, as it would be hard to get the perfect smooth finish that spray chalkboard paint provides. If you really would like a color that does not come in a can of spray chalkboard paint, use could purchase a paint sprayer to apply it.

  23. Wow you really know how to decorate!
    Thanks for all the tips!
    Where do you get all your stuff and is there a place that you can get supplies for cheap?

  24. Hi Diane! This is wonderful! Ok. So I’m working on one right now, but every time I dip my chalk in water, it just crumbles or “bunches” on the board. Thoughts as to why? Bad chalk?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Caroline – It is probably the brand of chalk you are using. It could be soft or even old and dried out. Have you tried Crayola brand? This is the brand I use the most. If you are using it, then maybe only wet the board and not the chalk. See if this stops it from crumbling.

  25. Its the new fashion of most bars and restaurants. I have seen some neon glowing black boards as well. More than just arts I think this is a fashion trend.

  26. The letter “i” counts as half, so the center of the word “birthday” is right before the middle of the “h”. Hope that makes sense, my english aren’t very good….

    1. Dianne M. says:

      To find true center for projects with words, I print it out from the computer with the font I am using. I then fold the word or words in half, with the far left edge lining up with the far right edge. The creased line in the middle is the true center of the word or words. I can then use the actual paper on the chalkboard if it is to scale. If it is not to scale, I just keep it in case I use the design again in the future. Folding in half to find true center is the key.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Dianne – Great idea. I have done this myself on a few occasions. Thanks for reminding me and sharing it here. I will add it to the post.

  27. Thank you for your tutorial. I looked at quite a few, but liked yours the best!

  28. Sallie Durette says:

    Hi Diane. My name is Sallie. I have enjoyed your blog – you have some great ideas. I am the activities director of a nursing home. We are replacing our dry erase board with a homemade chalkboard. (Masonite board painted with chalkboard paint, and framed with a wide, ornate frame faux painted to look like an old Italian frame.)

    I will be inviting area artists to decorate the border of the chalkboard, with a design pertinent to the season and our region, with colorful chalks. The chalkboard will already be hanging on the wall. I would like to use something to set the chalk, so that the design will last for a month at a time. Your instructions, mention drawing with the board flat, so that the freshly sprayed chalk does not run or bleed. Do you have any other suggestions? This will be permanently mounted, and quite large- three feet by four feet. Thanks for any ideas you might have. Sallie

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      You can use regular ole hairspray to set the chalk designs and drawings. Use the aerosol can brands. I goes on more even. When it is time to change the drawings, simply wash it off with soap and water.

  29. Silly question, possibly: If you use the hairspray will that seal the chalkboard and make the chalk permanent?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      It is not a silly question. Hairspray will help seal the chalk so it won’t smudge or wipe off easily. Only use a light mist of the cheap stuff while the board is laying flat. Don’t hang it until it is dry. It may appear that the image is gone after spraying, but it will appear after the hairspray has dried. I believe if you wash it with soap and hot water you will be able to clean off the chalkboard to reuse.

      1. Oh, okay :) I’ll try it now. Thanks for the quick response !

  30. I love this! It helps you take your photos or pictures to a larger size and centers them over a large section…if that makes sinces…lol! Great tutorial! Thank you! I want to make a chalkboard sign for my craft shows!

  31. Looking for tips on how to go about one of these for my daughters 1st birthday with ‘stats’ as I have seen beautiful ones.
    Before I start, am I assuming it will smudge where I will be drawing onto it? or once outline done and and colour my hand will smudge this?
    Also, if I wanted to keep it as a keepsake what is best to use to ‘seal’ the chalk.
    Many Thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Emma –

      Use regular hairspray in an aerosol can to seal the chalkboard. You can also use what is called Permanent Fixative. It is sold in craft stores in the art supply aisle.

      1. Thank you Diane. Any tips about smudging?

  32. I did a airport table for my grandson in Chalk (because an artist I am not). It was easy to erase each and every time I made a mistake. Now I am wondering is I can paint directly over my chalk. I just wanted to use the chalk to draw it all out. Will acrylic paint still adhere with the chalk underneath?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tina – If the chalk is not written on too heavy or thick, it should be fine to paint over. If the chalk was applied thickly – I would blot it with a paper towel to lessen the chalk to the point that you can still see to follow your design, then paint. Use a light coat, let it dry, clean up the chalkboard to remove any chalk dust, then apply one more light coat of paint.

  33. So you clean the board after you season it for the first time? Does that get rid of the seasoning job you just did on the new board? Thanks so much for your help. :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marilyn – Yes, you clean the board after you season it. When you wash the seasoning off – there is still a residue left – this residue creates an evenness to the surface which will make any new chalk markings stand out more. You can season it when you first get it and then again after using it. It will help get rid of any previous chalk markings on the board and make new chalk go on more evenly.

  34. gino camelli says:

    How long will chalk writing display last on a blackboard or chalk board?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      It will last a long time – years, as long as someone doesn’t rub up against it.

  35. Great tips! I especially love the wet idea and using a pencil sharpener, genius! When I am centering lettering, like your “happy birthday”, the center, for me, would actually come BETWEEN the “b” and the “i”. So you would be putting the letters b and i on either side of the center. If that makes sense. I have handmade many invitations, posters, newsletters etc. and this has always worked for me. Any words and spaces together would have to have an uneven number to use only one letter as the center.
    Thanks for all your great info. Happy chalking!

  36. Bimala Raut says:

    This is fantastic! I din’t know that even using chalkboard we can make this much beautiful art. Really loved your chalkboard tips and tricks..

  37. Thank you for this tutorial! It worked perfectly and was so easy! My chalkboard for my daughter’s 1st day of school photo came out perfectly using your method!

  38. Thanks for this post, I was having such an incredible amount of trouble writing on my chalkboard in a manner suitable for display, this was such a great tutorial! Thanks Again!

  39. Thank you SO much! I’ve been looking around to see the easiest and most uncomplicated tutorials for weddings that I’ve been asked to do. Pinned it!

  40. I was just asked TODAY to do a 8ft by 6ft chalk board for my brothers wedding TOMORROW. YIKES! I asked Mr. Google “how to” and he told me you could help!! Thank you so much for this AMAZING POST!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle – that is pretty awesome size board. You will rock it. Keep the water and the Q-tips handy. :) Congrats to your brother. I hope you have a wonderful time at the wedding.

  41. Just ran across your wonderful blog. Do you have a favorite brand of chalk?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – I use Crayola. It is not too soft or hard. I would like to try some different brands to see if one is better than others.

  42. Jen @ Through My Creative Mind Blog says:

    Thank you for the article! I just started my chalkboard obsession and was frustrated with the look of the chalk. Thanks for the great tips!

    Stop on by and check my blog out if you would like. Here is a direct link to one of my chalkboard postings on it.
    Your newest follower!
    Jen @

  43. love this tutorial! i have a massive chalkboard in my kitchen/dining area for me to be artistic on & for my kids to mess about on. looking forward to trying out some of your tips. i do have a question, however … you mentioned “seasoning” at the start of your post. and then you started your tutorial by saying to totally wipe clean with a wet cloth. does this not reverse the seasoning or is seasoning forever, no matter how many times you wet wipe the board? also … wet chalk? who knew?? :)

  44. These are fantastic tips! I’m pinning this to remind myself when I switch up my board. Hopefully, it will look as good as yours now! Thanks Diane.
    Debbie :)

  45. Hi Diane,

    It always takes me a long time to complete projects such as this and I don’t know if it’s because I’m trying too hard to make it perfect or if it takes everyone else just as long. So, I am curious to know how long it took you to make this beautiful piece of chalkboard art?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alexis – I made the chalkboard in about 20 minutes. The cake I drew on it is something that I am very familiar with drawing. If I am doing new art, it may take longer depending on the details. Before I start drawing, if I make centering marks – the process goes much faster as everything I draw is centered. It is when I don’t make the center marks – thinking I can eye it correctly that I have to redo it usually as something will be way off. The more you do it – the faster you will be able to get it completed. Mine are not perfect – which in chalkboard art sometimes gives it more character.

  46. Leena Lanteigne says:

    This is SO helpful! I have seen chalk boards with fancy writing adn wondered how in the world people did them! Stencils? Paint? I had no clue they were done with chalk and with this method! Thank you so much! I’m going to start practicing! Found you through FJI’s Saturday Night Special and will be following, looking forward to more fun posts! Hugs, Leena

  47. Cafr Czar says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!

  48. Thanks for devaluing my art by stating what I do “isn’t hard” and that “anyone can do it.” Sure, anyone can print out some fonts, trace them over to a black board and paint it in with a fidgeting hand. Thing is, you can ALWAYS look at a homemade piece by someone without artistic talent and tell it was DIY, there’s still something to be said for hiring an artist to create art.
    Doing it DIY and looking DIY isn’t hard, you are right. Doing it fluidly and making it look like art, that’s hard, and takes actual talent. DIY is blurring that line in a very bad way.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi CJ – I wrote this post with no intention to devalue your art.I am in awe of your talent and others like you – who are true chalkboard artists. What you do is truly amazing and harder than any other type of art in my opinion, as you have to be precise and like you stated – have a very fluid hand, plus a sharp eye to work on such large scale projects while keeping everything in scale and the right perspective. I create chalkboards for myself on a small scale, just like I sew curtains, paint furniture, and try to learn the best way to do things to decorate my home. I can only wish I could draw like you. I love chalkboards and chalkboard art – there is just something so elegant and simple about them that attracts me to them. It is for this reason that I wanted to find out as much as I could about the art and how I could create some in my own style. Please know that you are a huge inspiration to all of us who do not have the natural talent to create amazing quality works of art with chalk.

    2. CJ, It’s art, it’s art.

  49. Kelly Trotter says:

    I am so glad I pinned this! I needed this tutorial today for a photo thank you card. :) So great, thank you so much!

  50. AWESOME tutorial. Thank you so much!

  51. says:

    That chalk board specials of the month looks fantastic.

  52. Just came acroos your site from Pinterest and am so glad I did ! This post was so helpful, Thanks.

  53. Feel free to stop by to shop and save an addt’l 5% off AnY Order @ AnY Time!!!

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  54. LoVe you’re artwork and creativity…very inspiring!!!

    I sell gorgeous framed chalkboards (regular & magnetic) I use the highest quality chalkboard vinyl in the world…made in France.

    I adore using the many fun colors that the chalk-ink markers come in. They are also available in my shop. They are so awesome because they are dust free & smear free. What you write stays on…until you choose to wipe it off!

    My secret tool for removing ghosting comes in every order

    1. Kimber,
      What is your shop where you well framed chalkboards?

  55. Just wondering if anyone is a lefty. I have problems with smudging on chalkboards and end up having to write from right to left so it isn’t ruined.

    Any tips would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Elaine – I do not know of any tips since I am a righty and everyone around me is right-handed so I don’t have much insight into a left-handed world. Try a Google search for “How to write on a chalkboard left-handed and see what comes up. Maybe another lefty in the know will read your comment and reply to you, too.

    2. Hi Elaine

      I’m a lefty – I use a piece of thick dowel with a heap of t-shirt scraps folded around one end and secured with a rubber band to form a knob. Rest that end on the chalk board and the dowel forms a rest to steady your left hand.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Great tip Andy – thanks for sharing it here. I am sure all the lefty’s out there appreciate it :)

  56. Cindy Cecil says:

    Hey! Thanks for the tutorial! It really helped me get started on a chalkboard for my daughters wedding reception. I was so not wanting to do this because I just can’t draw but….it was so easy! Thanks for your help.


  57. Amy @ Maker Mama says:

    Thanks for such a great tutorial! My handwriting is terrible and it was great to have these tips!

  58. Hi! Just found you via Pinterest. Great tutorial! I wanted to pass on something that may help as well. I hate my handwriting and could never get it to look good on my chalk board. I discovered that I could just print words or designs out on a piece of white paper. Quickly rub chalk over the back of the paper where the wording/design parts are. Using a lightbox or taping it to a window makes this quick and easy. Then lightly tape paper (chalked part down) on to chalk board. Using a stylis or very blunt pencil, trace your words/design and they will be faintly transferred to the chalk board. Now go over the faint lines with your chalk. What a quick and easy way to look very professional. I almost feel like an artist!

    1. Hi Vicki – this is such a great idea for all of us who don’t think our handwriting is pretty. I am going to try it – sounds easy and if I get pretty results I will be one happy chalkboard artist. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  59. Mazzi Peled says:

    Wow! That is a great article, very informative! Thank you for sharing :)

  60. nancy vecchione says:

    Love this! I’ve always wondered how to pull it off! Am heading out later today to get a chalkboard to try it out on! So cool! Great for weddings!

  61. hi diane. my name is belle from malaysia. your site is super interesting especially for this post. i would like to ask you about the chalk it possible if i want to coat it with matt or glossy spray? for make it long lasting?

    1. Hi Belle – I have not used a protective finish on a chalkboard, but I do not see why it would not work. It would be good to test it on a small section first or on a board you don’t care about to see if the chalk gets eaten by the spray paint. I think I would use matte spray finish on it so it looks more natural, but will still be protected. I would love to hear how it turned out.

  62. Thanks so much for sharing. I have always wandered how to achieve chalkboard drawings like the one you did.

    1. Hi Kristen – I left a comment for you on your post, but it did not show up. Not sure if you have comment moderation. Your chalkboard came out great. I bet it made the dessert table a hit at your father-in-laws party. It makes me happy to know that one of my posts inspired you.

  63. Natalie @ A Turtle's Life for Me says:

    Oh wow! This is wonderful and I can’t wait to practice! Your handwriting is so beautiful even on your practice copy! Thank you so much for this post!

  64. Awesome tutorial! I’m definitely going to keep these tips in mind for my own chalkboard decorating. Question- I’ve recently come across “chalk pens.” Do you have any experience with those, and, if so, do they work just as well as regular chalk?

  65. oh…you cannot know HOW timely this was….i’m doing the menu board for my son’s wedding next week. i bought chalk-writers…they’re pens that come in white and 3 other colors. i went EVERYWHERE looking for them and found: they were either out of stock; people looked at me like i was crazy and pointed to chalk; most people never heard of them. i eventually found them at joann’s. THEE only place around. you probably could order them online. i haven’t experimented with mine yet, wanting to try it on a chalkboard i just made covering wall-board with annie sloane’s chalk paint. i think it might be easier than all the wetting and so forth. don’t know how easy it is to erase, though. we’ll have to see. i appreciate all the information about the fonts and dingbats. wish me luck! and i, too, adore fonts. sigh. love, love letters in all their shapes and styles. thank you for an AWESOME post!

  66. Wow. It doesn’t look like you’ve ever lost the touch. It’s just perfect. I am wondering how much our nationality (!) affects this kind of ‘art’. I noticed Bristish or Americans are taught very different style of handwriting at school. And even while grown-up & with own ‘style’ this favors things like this. Here, in Western/Central Europe we write, uhm, very artless way, so it is just a challenge to gains skills letting draw/write the way you do…

    1. Hi Dominika –

      Here in the states we had handwriting as one of our subjects of study in grade school. I remember my mom saying she had to learn “penmanship” when she was a kid. Now with computers, today’s children are not learning handwriting skills, just keyboarding :) In college I took a few classes on calligraphy and that helped my own handwriting quite a bit. I love when I see a handwritten note in a beautiful script or print. To me is is art.

  67. I make a lot of chalkboards Diane, and I know they would sell better if I could decorate them. I’m one of those “I can’t draw a stick figure”. I’ll put this on my “to do” list.
    thanks so much for the tips! (a lot I already knew, like wet chalk) Because I’ve messed with so many pieces of chalk and chalkboards.
    Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some simple drawings. thank you!
    ps pinning this. :)

  68. Jan Thomason says:

    Oops, just read the other comments and you answered my questions up above:)

  69. Jan Thomason says:

    What a wonderful tutorial!
    I’m not sure how I’m going to use this but I AM going to use it!

    Question: Did you use chalkboard chalk on “what surface?” to make your “board”??
    That part I’m confused about.

    Thank you for sharing your tut!! Jan

  70. Thank you so much! Always get frustrated because my boards never turn out like I want them to. This is awesome!

  71. Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas. Dana Tanamachi is one of my very favorite artists; she does the most amazing work!

  72. The Style Sisters says:

    This is such a great tutorial and beautiful idea! Come link up to Centerpiece Wednesday and share your ideas with us!

  73. Molly Branstetter says:

    I adore your blog! Thank you so much for sharing this! How lovely!
    So thrilled to be your newest follower! Have a very blessed day!

  74. christine says:

    Oh my gosh! How do you come up with all these creative projects?
    This is a homerun!

  75. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Diane, I just LOVE your creative blog!!! I am putting you on my blogroll! This is the best tutorial I have seen about writing on chalkboard!!! So useful, informative and beautiful!!!!
    Your project would be perfect to share at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS, my new weekly linky party! It is live every Wednesday evening at 8:00. Come on over and join in!
    Thanks for all the great tips!

  76. Such great tips! Thank you for sharing! Never knew about using water…I can’t wait to try it out!

  77. Kristin @ The Hunted Interior says:

    LOVE the water tip… definitely going to be trying this on my new chalkboard wall!!!

  78. I love this … you make it look so easy and it is adorable! Thanks for the link to the fonts; can’t wait to try them!

  79. Athena at Minerva's Garden says:

    Hi Diane: This is such gorgeous artwork–I never would have figured this out by myself in a million years, but now I’m inspired to get a chalkboard and give it a try, because it’s so beautiful. Thank you, and have a lovely week!

  80. Angie Simonsen says:

    These are fantastic tips!!! Thanks for sharing!

  81. Jessica @ Decor Adventures says:

    Diane this is amazing! I can think of so many things to write and design on a chalkboard. Love the tips! Great project :-)

  82. So happy to see this info. Have not seen this detailed info on other blogs. I painted a door with chalkboard paint(two coats) and seasoned it but the finish seems rough and it is difficult to even print on; any suggestions on this?
    And while I seasoned it there is still ‘ghosting’. I have to admit I disappointed with the door but don’t want to give up.

    1. Hi Dee- Any time you use chalkboard paint on a surface that is not an actual chalkboard it is always going to be a bit rougher. I have a chalkboard that I made by using spray paint chalkboard paint over an existing piece of art. It looks like a chalkboard, but it more porous and ghosts no matter what I do. To not get ghosting and a smooth finish for your art a good quality chalkboard is the way to go – like the ones we had in school :) Office supply stores sell them. If you want to keep working on the door. Perhaps sand it smooth and remove all the dust with a tack cloth and then try using the paint again – rolling or spraying it on will give you a more even coat. There are many chalkboard paints on the market – buy the highest quality brand you can find which also may help.

  83. Amanda - Small Home Big Start says:

    This is awesome! I’ve always wondering how people got such great chalkboard signs and mine looked cloudy. Thanks for sharing all these great tips (and the fonts too!)

  84. This is such a cute & clever idea! Great tutorial, too! Thanks for sharing.

  85. Samantha Pellegrino says:

    THANK YOU!!! I spent hours yesterday looking for this very information and wake up to finding it right here and lovely!!! SO excited by this, a million thankyous! From cozy Canada :D

    1. Thanks Samantha – Good timing! I always say when coincidences like that happen – it was meant to be :)

  86. Coastal Femme says:


    Great tips….I learned alot!

  87. Pam @ Simple Details says:

    I’m 100% inspired to try it ~ thanks, Diane!

  88. KYBOE USA says:

    Great tips! I didn’t know about wetting the chalk or seasoning the board.

  89. says:

    Oj, meant to add that the chalkboard markers are what Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s use for their decorative chalkboard signs and they always look fantastic.

    Thrift Diving

    1. Hi Serena – I remember seeing the chalkboard markers in a magazine and I thought I clipped the source out so I could try them. The colors would be so much fun to work with. I will have to do an online search for them – Amazon, maybe? I have created art with markers on lighted boards, but they are not as classic looking as a chalkboard.

      1. Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

        Yep, get them from Amazon! I got mine there for $24. It’s called “Chalk Ink” and the colors are very rich. Even my kids love to use them! I always admire Trader Joes’ chalk ink signs when I’m there. LOL. They always look so creative!

        Thrift Diving

  90. says:

    I say skip the chalky chalk and use chalkboard markers. They are much richer and more vibrant! Will look awesome with that design :) Pretty!

    Thrift Diving

  91. Amy @ The Happy Tulip says:

    @Alicia S. Have you tried 3M Command strips? They usually hold pretty strong and aren’t “forever”.

  92. Wonderful tutorial! I have been wanting a chalkboard like yours for ages now! The only thing is that the only place I really have room for it is on the side of my refrigerator. How to get it to stay there is the problem. Other than using silicone which is forever, how would I get it to stay in place? I thought of magnets but I don’t think it would stay as it would be too heavy. Any thoughts or ideas?

    1. Hi Alicia –

      I have a smaller chalkboard on my refrigerator that I have up with sheet magnets. I have them glued all over the back. It stays up well. I found them at the craft store. I think the 3M strips that Amy mentioned would work well for a heavier chalkboard. As long as your fridge doesn’t have condensation on it – They would be perfect and not damage the fridge door at all. They come in different sizes. You could add one to each corner and a few across the top to make sure it was secure.

  93. Jenny@NorthwestLovelies says:

    Fantastic tips!! I’m a little obsessed with chalkboard art right now. I’ve done some, but will be doing more for a bridal shower, so these tips will come in handy! :)

    1. hi Jenny – I have a clipping of a wedding with a fabulous chalkboard as part of the decorations. It is so inspiring to me, but I have never found it online to pin. I think they add such an elegant, yet simple touch to a wedding -perfect for a bridal shower, too. Is it for your shower or someone else?

  94. I *just* bought a chalkboard for my small business so these tips are very timely for me.

    Awesome meeting you at the PSMM gathering tonight, btw!

    1. Hi Nicole – I love the way chalkboards look when businesses use them. Good luck with chalkboard – lots of fun changing it up when you promote different things. I look forward to chatting with you at upcoming PSMM events.

  95. What a fabulous chalk design! Thanks for the tutorial. I usually use chalk paint pens – they come in a lot of colors. :)

    1. Hi Stacey- I have never used them, but want to try them. I think I would become a convert for the vast choice of colors :) Did you buy then at the craft or party store?

  96. Ashley C. says:

    Wow – such intricacy! Thanks for the tips – these are fairly “idiot proof” which is just what I need!

  97. Diane,

    Awesome post, thanks so much for all of the tips. I am giving two chalkboards as gifts and am stealing the Happy Birthday with the Cake drawing – too cute!


    1. Hi Sue – so happy you like the cake drawing – that is one item I have drawn since I was a kid. I call it my happy cake :) Just a simple outline of a festive cake. Best kind of art for a chalkboard drawing.

  98. Jessica @ Mom 4 Real says:

    Totally pinning this…I have a bit of a chalkboard obsession!

  99. Courtney {a thoughtful place} says:

    That looks amazing. I am in love with your blog. Wanted to let you know that your Ikea Billy Bookcase with the graphic fabric is my Pinterest inspiration for the challenge!!!

    1. Hi Courtney – thanks so much XO. I feel so honored that you were inspired to do the Pinterest Challenge with something you pinned from my site. Looking forward to seeing it.

  100. Amy @ the Happy Tulip says:

    This is fantastic! Your chalkboard turned out beautifully. I had no idea using wet chalk was the way to go. I’ll definitely be trying that out soon!

  101. Diane | An Extraordinary Day says:

    The best tip of the day! Wet chalk/wet chalkboard. Who knew???? No wonder it was so difficult…..scrape, scrape, scrape.
    Oh Diane….you are my favorite name sake!!!!

    1. Hi Diane with one “N” like me. How many times in your life have you heard – Is that Diane with one n or two? :)

  102. Shannon Fox says:

    Gorgeous!! Tons of great info too. Thanks for such a super post!!
    I will be pinning to reference later.

  103. Erin @ Two Story Cottage says:

    Lots of great info! I just saw one at a wedding and wondered how they did it…. Yours looks fab! :)

  104. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Good for you and you did a great job, Diane! I had no idea about wetting the piece of chalk. I will have to try that. Thanks for that tip!

  105. Centsational Girl says:

    LOVE it Diane, so excited for your tutorial (didn’t know about those tips!) and we can’t wait for the big Pinterest party tomorrow!

    1. Hi Kate-

      Thanks – I am looking forward to seeing all the projects linked up to the party. More ideas for all of us to PIN :) I haven’t gotten a chance to get over to your site after reading your Sunday post in my Reader to tell you thanks for featuring the decorative screen I made. You are the best!! Thanks XO

    2. Hey there Diane. I was looking for ideas for painting brass and stumbled upon this post you made about chalkboard art. Mind you, I have spent hours looking for good info on Chalkboard art being I am moving from painting windows to designing chalkboards for businesses. I love the tip on wetting the chalk. Chalk paint markers are WAY too expensive. Thanks so much!