Search wedding on any search engine and I guarantee you sooner or later you will see chalkboard signs! With their adaptability, nostalgic aesthetic and beautiful simplicity it’s not hard to understand why they are so popular in weddings at the moment. Signs are a great way of letting guests know what’s going on without barraging them with information in your invites. We used chalkboard signs at our wedding to let guests know about our unplugged ceremony, where to sit, how our bar worked, instructions for garden games and some just for decoration.
To get bespoke signs made you are often looking at a double, even triple figure price tag which, when you know how simple they are to DIY, is insane. We bought our chalkboards from various discount stores for £1-£4 each and then jazzed up the edges with some washi tape. All in all our signs probably cost us less that £20. If you have a steady hand and neat hand writing then you can probably free-style your signs but if you are like me and straight lines are always a struggle then this tutorial is just what you need.
Thick and thin chalk pen – I use UNI POSCA
Masking tape and scissors
Board eraser (or kitchen paper)
Cut out your words. The closer you cut to the letters the better but make sure you leave some white around each letter as this will make things much easier.
Turn your cut out wording over and firmly rub chalk over each letter. Make sure the entire cutting is covered with a good layer. White chalk will make the finished sign look neater but if you only have coloured this will be fine.
Once all your cuttings have been chalked, turn them back over and carefully position on your chalkboard. If you need to re-position your words then gently lift them from the chalkboard and then re-lay. Try not to push the words around on the board as this will cause the chalk to rub off.
When you are happy with the positioning of your writing tape down with masking tape. You don’t need masses, just enough to hold each letter in place.
TOP TIP: tape down your last word first and then work your way up the board – this will make the next stages much easier
Once everything has been taped down, take a sharp pencil and trace over the outline of each letter. You will need to press fairly firmly but not so hard you break through the paper. If you make any mistakes don’t worry just go back over the letter and keep going.
When you have traced every over your sign gently remove your first word from the board. As you can see, your tracing will have left a light mark on the board to guide you in the next stage. If you accidentally wipe off any of your chalk marks, don’t panic, just clean your board, reapply chalk to your word, tape back on and trace again.
Take your thin chalk pen and go over your chalk markings. Where possible, try to draw in a continuous smooth line as this will make your writing look more professional.
Repeat stage 6 and 7 for each of the words until you have drawn all of the words onto your board.
Put the kettle on and leave your board for about 5 minutes to ensure the ink has fully dried to prevent any annoying smudges. If any lines are broken or need touching up, go over them with the pen to create a bold white line.
Now with your thick chalk pen, fill in the blanks using your original print out as a guide. I find it works best to build up layers with your pen to make your letters look crisp and bold.
Once you are happy with your sign, leave it to dry for a further 5 mins then take your board eraser and gently rub the sign. Focus on any areas with chalk residue left over. Don’t worry, it won’t rub off your had work!
And you’re done! Wasn’t that easy?! Now you know how, get creative. Experiment with different fonts, board sizes, and even add wreaths if you like! I found that by the time I’d done my 5th board I was so confident with it that I could freehand a lot of it. I’d love to see what you create so don’t forget to tag #tilidiy and @tilidiy in any of your creations.Etsy Shop: API reponse should be HTTP 200
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