Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DIY chalk art

Recently, I revealed my completed craft room gallery wall. You can check that post out HERE. Included in that gallery wall is a piece of DIY chalk art that I made. In that reveal post I divulged my lack of hand-lettering and hand-drawing skills, sharing that I used a fun trick to make my chalk art. Today I'm going to share with you how I created this lovely piece of DIY chalk art without drawing anything.


To create this chalk board design I used the Chalkboard Frame from the Organization Gallery by We R Memory Keepers. And, I actually didn't use a single stick of chalk! I used some DIY stencils and Martha Stewart Erasable Liquid Chalk Paint from Plaid.


While hand-lettering on a chalkboard isn't my thing, paint and stencils are right up my alley. And the coolest thing about this Erasable Liquid Chalk Paint is that is doesn't smudge when you touch it like chalk does, but it erases easily and completely with a damp cloth or sponge. Awesome sauce!

You can purchase Martha Stewart Stencils to use with the liquid chalk paint, or you can make your own with an electronic die cutting machine. I'll show you how!


First off, you need to condition your chalkboard by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the entire surface. This prevents "ghosts" from showing up when you create your chalk art.


Once you've covered the entire surface with chalk, wipe or erase it all off with a dry sponge or cloth. Now your chalkboard is ready to be made into a lovely piece of art.


To create my stencils I used Mono Adhesive Cardstock from Bazzill, and cut my design on it with my Silhouette Cameo. I created two stencils-one for the laurel wreath, and one for the lettering. Since my chalkboard surface is 15 inches, I cut my 12 x 12 inch wreath design in half and then adhered it to the sides of the chalkboard. Using the self-adhesive cardstock ensures your paint won't leak underneath your stencil.


Since the part of the design reaches almost to the edges of the cardstock, I added some pieces of painter's tape in those spots so I didn't get any excess paint on the chalkboard surface. The paint bottle comes with a sponge tip, which works really well for applying the paint. The directions say to dab it, but I preferred the look of gently rubbing it with a downward motion.


Once I finished applying the liquid chalk paint (check carefully to make sure you've completely covered each part of the stencil design), I gently pulled up the stencils and tape being careful not to disturb the wet paint. Before it had time to dry I went back over the design with a damp sponge brush to remove any imperfections. You could also use a clean damp brush-tip coloring tool.


Once the wreath design dried I repeated the process with my lettering stencil, cutting off any part of the stencil that would cover my wreath since the adhesive-backed cardstock would pull up some of the dry paint when removed.


Here are a few important tips for creating this project:


  • when using cardstock as a stencil, be careful not to apply excessive amounts of paint that might cause your cardstock to warp and buckle allowing the paint to leak through underneath
  • the liquid chalk paint goes on very bright white, but then lightens as it dries so it looks more like chalk
  • don't expect the kind of perfection you get from a graphic print--this is supposed to look like chalk and will have the same imperfections chalk does
  • once you finish your stenciling and all the paint is dry, go back over your entire surface with your eraser to create an even finish on the chalkboard surface since the cardstock adhesive picks up some chalk dust


What I love about this technique (in addition to making me look like I can hand-letter when I really can't) is that the "chalk" won't smudge, but I can wipe this board clean with a damp cloth or sponge when I'm ready to change things up, and make an entirely new piece of art.

How about you? Have you given the chalk art trend a try? Have you practiced some hand-lettering skills?