Hey there! I feel like chalkboard signs are popping up all over the place and so I was so excited to be asked to do a few recently. My feelings of “hooray! I get to do a chalkboard sign” were immediately followed by “how do I do a chalkboard sign??”
After trying a few different types of chalkboard markers, here were some of my favorites to write with and also some helpful hints I came up with while creating these.
Markers | Chalk Ink markers were hands down my favorite chalkboard markers that I tried but the downside is that they run out fast!! (It actually seems like most chalk markers run out quickly so this isn’t necessarily a downside of the brand, just something to be mindful of in general, especially if you are working on a large chalkboard). I’ve used the white chalk ink markers for several projects and love them, but have also used the pink ones quite a bit here too.
Runner up markers would be Crafty Croc. I found that the tips frayed quite a bit so it was harder to do details with them, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that they came with a couple of replacement tips. I would definitely say stick with Chalk Ink for details and use Crafty Croc for larger items with fewer details.
Layout | It helped me SO much to do a draft to scale of the chalkboard first. I typically do them on my ipad so that I can easily play with the layout and size of the words, but this can easily be done with a pencil and paper too! Once you have the ideal layout, measure how far down the page each line of text will be and then make very small corresponding pencil marks on the side of the chalkboard (just keep in mind your scale, for example if you are doing a 16×20 sign and did your draft on an 8×10 piece of paper, double all of your measurements).
Keep it straight | Once you have your pencil marks on either side of the chalkboard, showing you where your text should go, use a laser level to make sure that all of the words are running straight across your chalkboard. How horrible would it be to finish it and then look at it from far away only to realize everything is slanting in one direction? Trust me. The laser level is key (for so many projects, not just chalkboard signs!).
Writing | You can definitely do a sign in so many different writing styles, which will probably depend mostly on the event that you are doing it for. You can do all script, and a mix of script and text looks great as well!! You could definitely get away with just doing a few words in fancy writing and the rest in normal handwriting. Be sure to check out my post on faux calligraphy if you haven’t already. This is a great example of when you can’t use true brush lettering, so you have to fake it!
Of course if you’re not ready to take on a big sign for a party or event, submit a custom order request here and we can do a consultation!
These signs were all done for an AMAZING first birthday party for Elle Bowe’s little girl. She had an amazing vision (and also took these beautiful photos!). You can see more on Elle Bowes’ blog or in the feature on 100 Layer Cake-let!
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