Chalkboard art is so much fun and is super easy to make with stencils. I will show you how to make mesh stencils in this tutorial.
Chalkboard art has become super popular with the rise of Chalk Couture. I’ve seen some of the tutorials and have to admit, it does look like fun. I then looked into it and realized it was really expensive. Instead, I decided to dip my toes by making my own DIY Chalk Couture set and just test the waters. I have no intentions of becoming a chalk couture competitor, I’m just hacking my way to a cheaper craft project.
The best part of chalkboard art is if you mess up, you just wipe and start over.
I did a little research and it seems the Chalk Couture people use two types of paints. There is the basic chalk paste and then there seems to me an acrylic based paint.
I tried both and decided I actually like just painting with Acrylics better. It produced a much better sharper image on the chalkboard. The only thing with using acrylic paint is you need rubbing alcohol to remove it and clean up any mistakes. Other than that, I’d say it is easier to work with than chalk.
I forgot to mention, there’s also the option to just draw on a chalkboard. Freehand chalkboard art does require some skill though. But stenciling chalkboard art does not!
If you’re interested in any of these welcome sign templates, these chalkboard stencils printables and SVG templates are all free and available in my resource library.
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Materials for DIY Chalkboard Stencils
Vinyl – I like to use vinyl for stenciling here. It is possible to use stencil film but if you’re going to make a reusable mesh stencil, I would recommend using permanent vinyl instead because it is stickier. I used a sheet from this set of assorted vinyl sheets.
Transfer tape – Amazon also has great deals on transfer tape.
Blank Chalkboard sign – There are so many great deals on chalkboard signs from Amazon.
Sponge – I found a makeup sponge worked best for this.
How to make chalk stencils
Step 1: How to make mesh stencils
I like to cut the design into smaller pieces. This makes it easier to work with when transferring.
If you are just making a single-use stencil set, you can just do the first couple of steps of this tutorial. Regardless, you need to cut the stencil out of the vinyl.
After cutting out the vinyl, you need to weed out the letters and any other graphical elements.
Step 2: Transfer stencil to chalkboard using transfer tape
My tip here is to use as small of a piece of transfer tape as possible. One piece for each letter if possible. It makes it much easier to remove.
You may need to pin the floating pieces down with tweezers as you remove the transfer tape.
The point of the transfer tape is to hold the floating pieces in place.
Step 3: Flatten out any air pockets.
You can either transfer this directly to the chalkboard or onto a mesh silkscreen. If you are using a mesh screen, you can take down the sides of your stencil with some masking or painters tape. Another option is to cut your mesh piece smaller than the vinyl so you the edges of the vinyl to hold the stencils in place.
It is really important to do this, especially around the cut out areas to minimize bleeding of the chalk paint. I originally tried this with chalk paint markers. It worked find with no air bubbles but even the slightest crease made for excessive bleed and required clean up afterwards.
Step 4: Color in the cutouts
I know online lots of tutorial have you scrape the paint on. I actually didn’t really like this method. If you have a scraper, by all means, give it a try. I found stamping it on with a sponge brush to be the best compromise in terms of getting enough paint on and minimizing paint bleed.
I did try “spreading” the paste on but that worked better with a making sponge.
Step 5: Peel when the paint is dry.
If there were no air bubbles, there will likely be no bleeding. If however there is some excess chalk paint that got under the vinyl, just use a moist q-tip to do some cleanup.
If you are using acrylic paint, you will need some rubbing alcohol to do the cleaning.