I added another piece of decor to the porch this weekend. I had considered buying a chalkboard sign from one of the sellers on Etsy but I couldn’t justify the expense. If you want one but don’t want to make it yourself, there are a wide variety of them available from various Etsy sellers. But, if you want to make your own, here’s my process for a DIY chalkboard sign.
While at Michael’s the other day, I saw a piece of slate for less than $5, that I knew would be perfect for the spot I had in mind. To prep the slate for hanging, I drilled a couple of holes using a masonry bit. I knew I wouldn’t be able to freehand anything so I made a template in Illustrator, downloadable here. I wasn’t certain how I was going to transfer the template to the slate. Fortunately, I found this tutorial for using an inkjet printer to create transfers that I used as my guide. The second page of the template download is a reverse image to use as a transfer. Since it’s not possible to print white on an inkjet I chose to use blue; it’s visible on the slate but not too dark that it will show through the paint.
My first step in creating the transfer was to fold a regular piece of paper in half and then in half again. The fold lines will help serve as a guide when placing the transfer on the slate. Next, I sprayed the sheet of paper with adhesive spray and placed it on a sheet of wax paper. Make sure that the corners of the wax paper are securely adhered. I trimmed off the edges. Finally, I used a ruler and some chalk to mark the center points on the slate.
The rest was pretty simple, I put the transfer paper in the printer so that printer would print on the wax paper side and printed out the template. Using the fold and chalk lines, I carefully placed the transfer on the slate. It doesn’t have to be perfectly centered, but this will help you get it close enough that it doesn’t look off balance. I carefully applied pressure to the paper and then removed it. I took my slate out into the Oklahoma heat for a few minutes to help the ink dry. Once the ink was dry I traced over it with a white paint pen. When the paint was dry, I ran the side of a piece of chalk up and down the entire board. Then I used a paper towel to smear the chalk and make it look like a well used chalkboard. I had planned to use a piece of jute string to hang it but couldn’t find any in my stash so I went with some green striped twine instead. Now I have something on that bare wall on the porch and the girl scouts know I’m an easy target for cookie sales.