Introduction: Easy Professional Chalk Art Signs
This instructable is to show you how to make nice looking chalk art easily.
I did this for a church I work at with materials that I already own. Here's what I used:
A Cricut cutter
A chalk pen
Of course, you can substitute any of the above materials. Vinyl can be replaced with contact paper (it is best to use something sticky for clean lines). I used to do a lot of stencil work by hand, but I bought a Cricut that has changed my life. You can easily cut your stencil with a Xacto knife after printing or drawing your design and placing it on your stencil material. The two forms of chalk are necessary.
Step 1: Make Your Design.
Measure your chalkboard and put those dimensions into the editor of your choice. I used Photoshop, but you could also use Illustrator, Gimp, or even Microsoft Word. Depending on your method, you can either put your image into your Cricut/Silhouette to cut it or print it for your Xacto stencil.
If you are cutting it by hand, I recommend only cutting the top layer and keeping your backing in one piece. It makes it a lot easier to keep everything intact, especially if you have "islands" on certain letters.
Next, we'll apply the design.
Step 2: Apply Your Design
Since this is a stencil, you are going to do your weeding opposite. (Weeding is where you remove parts of your project to leave only the parts you need.) Take off your letters and apply transfer tape to the front of the stencil. If you do not have transfer tape, regular masking tape works, but I recommend placing it on your shirt first to make it less sticky before applying.
Press down on your tape, especially on your "islands."
Remove the backing, so that everything is stuck on your tape.
Line your stencil up on your chalkboard, put the middle in first, then smooth out the air from the center.
Press down on your stencil, then remove your tape.
It doesn't have to be perfect since it's chalk, but it does make things easier if the edges are tight.
Doing the chalk is the easy part!
Step 3: Draw Your Outline
I bought a Bistro Chalk Marker on sale from Hobby Lobby. It was a pain to get it to flow, but once it started, it ran smoothly. Because of it being one of the finer points, I decided to outline my letters with it instead of filling everything in.
The chalk pens are removable, but it does take a little more work. With an outline, it is less to scrub off and makes it easier if anything happens. I had kids draw all over the board, but I can gently wipe it and just fill my outlined letters back in.
It is also worth noting that you have to do your outline first. The chalk pens don't do well on top of chalk. It will clump and stop working. Do an outline first.
Step 4: Fill Everything in and Remove
After my outline was done, I went back and filled everything in with regular plain chalk. I colored them in and also rolled it across the stencil to even all of the design out.
Then I removed my stencil slowly, careful that it didn't make any chalk dust fall down on the clean sections.
I went back and used a weeding tool or my Xacto to pry up my islands that were left behind.
Then, I cleaned up any edges with a wet towel or a damp q-tip.
Now you're done!