Monday, April 29, 2013

How I letter in chalk.... An imperfect tutorial

Chalkboards are SO big right now... I love them. They are a very forgiving art medium because you can just erase your mistake and start over. And I do that ALL the time, believe me....

But, today I thought I'd show you how I do the lettering on my chalkboards.

First things first.... get a straight edge. I use a magazine, a piece of cardboard anything.... I hardly use a ruler because I can't find one... I DON'T measure. 

Here are my tips for easy lettering...
1. Use guidelines. This will keep your letters the same size and straight.

2. Vary font and size of words. This will keep your artwork interesting and help to hide imperfections.

3. keep a dry and wet eraser nearby.

4. Always start in the center of the word... NOT the beginning. This way, you will always have room for your letters. (i.e. If I was going to write the word "sparkle" I would start with the letter R right in the middle of my space. Then the K, then the A, then the L, then the P.... get it??)

This image shows you how I did this particular chalkboard that is in my house right now...
-Don't be afraid to add arrows, hearts, and anything else you like!-


There is really no reason to start completely over if you are happy with the beginning. That is the great part about chalkboard art.... just erase what you DON'T like.... and keep going.


See... Even after looking at this for a thousand times I didn't realize that the "never" in this quote was too small to see in the heart.... Classic imperfectness that I will have to change.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Chalk lettering is SO much fun and really not that hard. If you can't think of what font you want to use, or if you need more of a guideline, type your letters out and print them before you start....

"Have no fear of perfection... You'll never reach it."
- Salvador Dali


Have a GREAT day!



32 comments:

  1. This is amazing! I am definitely bookmarking this blog post for when I need to do something like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. love it! how do youkeep your chalk 'sharp' to make such clean lines?!

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    1. I go over each edge once I have it where I know I want it and I go over it heavily. And rotating your chalk in your hand will help with the sharp edge. Just give it a turn every now and then! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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    2. I've heard sharpening your chalk with a pencil sharpener works well too! :)

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  3. Thank you so much for the instructions- my chalkboards seem so boring to me. This really helps!

    Just wanted to stop by from The Inspriation Gallery

    Mandy@ The Hankful House

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  4. Love this! Wonderful tutorial! I always have trouble writing anything. I'm so glad you shared with us at Transformed Tuesday.

    Hugs,
    Peggy~PJH Designs

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  5. Can I say thank you 500+ times for this!
    You are so talented!!! ♥

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  7. wonderful ideas not only for chalks ;-) thanks

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  8. Except you left out a word from the quote...never. But I do appreciate the tutorial very much.

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    1. If you look at the bottom of the post, I addressed that. It was in the heart and too small to see... I had to change it. But, that is another reason why it's called an "imperfect" tutorial.......

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  9. This is so helpful!!! By the way, an old horsetrack trick that my husband taught me....soak your chalk in water for a short time...4-5 mins...then write your letters. They will appear invisible but as they dry they are BRIGHT ! Its amazing!

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  10. Thanks for this post! Any thoughts on the use of chalk markers?? I see the menu boards at Starbucks and their colors seem so much nicer...but the chalk markers I tried were awful and couldn't write upside down...I should ask Starbucks what they use, but they're always so busy I give up!

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  12. Thanks so much for your tutorial! I just used it to make our stall sign for the markets tomorrow and it looks great :)

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    1. Oh and I blogged it here: http://whilehenrynaps.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/welcome-hello-hi.html

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  13. I'm using your tutorial to help me add variety to writing on cakes with icing! Just a small twist, but the principles are the same. Thanks so much. Deni Cole www.denirae.com

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  14. Awesome tutorial!!! I write chalkboards every week, and they really need a new look. I also just purchased a vintage Letter Form Alphabet book, though at the time I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. It was fate--now I can use it for inspiration when I chalk my boards :D

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  15. Your boards look absolutely gorgeous!

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  16. Love it!! I will need to do some experimenting with this!!
    -meandmyyounghans.blogspot.com

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  17. What great suggestions! I love the idea to start from the middle... I always run out of room from starting at the beginning!

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  18. Now that Christmas is over I was looking for some new inspiration for our kitchen chalkboard. Great tips! Thanks!

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  19. Lovely!!! So great I so this on Pinterest... =)
    Nice blog, on my reading list now!

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  20. Thanks for these awesome tips. I am just about to paint a chalk wall in my kitchen and thought I don't know how to pretty it up after I'm all down. Now just a little practice and chalk =)

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  22. This was uber helpful!! I bought the $10 pre-painted MDF w/ chalkboard from Home Depot, spray painted a silver border on it and used your tutorial to do some song lyrics. It turned out awesome!! Thanks for sharing. :) If you want to see it, I instagrammed it. http://instagram.com/p/m9X2kzP0Vo/

    Thank you so much!

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  23. Great tutorial...and so easy to understand! Thanks. I loved it.

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  24. Great tutorial...and so easy to understand! Thanks. I loved it.

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  25. beautiful!! i always tried my chalkboarding freehanded and never got that crisp look I always see. Thanks for sharing this and, too funny, i didn't even notice the word "never" was missing. I just figured he meant, "..perfection .. you'll reach it" as have no fear because you'll reach success which in turn is its own sort of perfection!

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Thank you so much for your comments! They encourage and inspire me to keep blogging and keep creating!