February 2, 2013

DIY Chalkboard, Lettering Using Photoshop & Digi Chalkboard Pages

As you can see from some of my previous Saturday DIY posts I've recently been updating some spots around my house. In December I decided it was time for a little upgrade in my dining room. You can see from this post what my dining room wall use to look like.  We've recently started doing more school work upstairs (we homeschool around these parts) and so I needed more shelving space for books and school supplies. The little bookshelf I had in the dining room just wasn't cutting it. I knew that if I bought new, bigger shelves that I would want something on the wall that would cover a little more space to balance things out. The current wall display just wasn't going to cut it....even though it was one of my favorite walls in the house. For those of you wondering if I got rid of those silhouettes, I didn't. I added them to a different gallery wall I have in my house. I added them to that first wall there you see in the link. I'll probably be doing a post soon about my new wall.

One day I was browsing a local antique store and I saw an schoolhouse chalkboard. Immediately I decided I wanted a chalkboard in my dining room. Since the one in the antique store was too expensive, I came home and started looking online for chalkboards. I couldn't find anything that I liked or that was in my budget. So I decided to make my own and here's what I did it:

1. Purchased a piece of cabinet grade plywood. It's a lot smoother and the finish turns out nicer than a regular piece of plywood. My dad and brother own a Building Surplus Store. Score!
2. Painted the plywood with chalkboard paint. I already had some from a previous project. So no money there.
3. Purchased thin trim and stained it a dark color.
4. Had my hand dandy husband cut and nailed the frame directly onto the board.
5. Used drywall anchors to hang up the chalkboard. We put screw directly through the chalkboard and then painted over them with chalkboard paint.

My hubby tells me that this is staying with the house if we ever sell it.....whatever!

I really love it! The  next step was decorating it. You might think, since I'm a homeschooling mom, that I was planning on using this for school. Not so much. While I'm sure there will be times when I use it for spelling words, math problems and the occasional discipline (remember when your teacher would write your name on the board and you would get marks by it if you were bad...yah, me neither), my plan, right now, is to decorate it each month with some new chalkboard lettering. I found this awesome tutorial over at in my own style. It helped me a bunch and she has some links to some free fonts that are perfect for Chalkboard Lettering. The only thing I did differently was that I sketched out my lettering in photoshop. I opened up a new document that was the same ratio as my chalkboard, used some different fonts to plan out my chalkboard art (I tried to use at least 3 fonts) and I played around with it until I liked it. Then I took my laptop over by the chalkboard and went to work using the directions from the tutorial over at in my own style.

So far I've decorated two boards. One in December and one in January. My 8 year old made some snowflakes and she thought they would look good on the board. I agreed. Then my hubby had to come in and inform us all that snowflakes have 6 sides and he had to show us how to do this. His is the big one in the middle....with 6 sides.

I'm going to try and share each month's chalkboard with you throughout the year.

And If you aren't inspired to make your own chalkboard maybe you can at least try the chalkboard style in your digital scrapbooking. There's a bunch of "chalkboard" type supplies over at Scrap Orchard that can help you add your own chalkboard effect to your digital scrapbooking pages.

Here are a few pages I spotted in the gallery:
by Kristi (click image for full credits)
by jmljenson
by KSCroppyChick
By Shari

And here's a little card I made for Valentine's Day to give to the grandparents and such. I ordered 4x6 cards from Persnickety Prints. I'll be showing you the printed card next week.
Using the February Scrap Orchard Mega, Chalked Frames by Chelle's Creations and Chalked Boards by Chelle's Creations.
Either way I hope this inspires some more creativity either in your home or your scrapbook pages.

1 comment:

Chippi said...

I am loving these DIY blog posts. I love your big chalkboard, and I would probably make one of my own except that I can't stand chalk! It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. I guess I will have to stick with the digi-chalk :)

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