Summer Chalkboard Art

I’ve been kind of obsessed with chalk board signs lately (check out my Pinterest board).  While creating a gallery wall in my entry, I decided to add a large chalkboard that I have.  I wanted to create a temporary piece of art for the summer in black and white to match the gallery (I posted about the gallery wall HERE).  First I gathered the necessary supplies: paper towels, chalk, Q Tips, and Aqua Net (also needed but not pictured: ruler, tape measure, and level).  Then I measured the board and created a layout that I liked.  About the beachy layout:  I love the art (by Katie Daisy) with the quote “I long for Salt Air in my hair”, we take a road trip from UT to Laguna Beach every summer, and we love to sit on the sand or surf in the ocean as a family.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

I added an orange grid and printed off the template.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

With a damp paper towel, I wiped down the chalkboard and let it dry.  The surface wasn’t perfect, but that doesn’t matter in the end.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

I copied the grid onto the chalkboard using a ruler, tape measure and level.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

Then it was time to start adding the large elements.  I started with the brackets at the top.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

Then the crest.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

Then one at a time the stripes, year, whale, words and star fish.DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

One of my favorite things on the chalkboards that I liked were diagonal words.  These were complicated for me, but the template and grid helped a lot.  Darken the lettering once you are happy with it.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

In my origional drawing, I had 3D lettering.  I realized it is much simpler to draw the letters flat and add the 3D effect later on your own.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign


I love the graphic whale that I printed off, but I knew I would never be able to replicate it.  Instead I just used the outline.  In the Road Trip photo you can see you can “sketch” in chalk and fill in once you get the shapes right.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

Here is the layout with all of the major elements layout out and filled in.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

At this point I was ready to clean up the excess chalk, sketch lines, and grid.  Take a damp paper towel and wrap it around your finger.  Clean right up to the edge of the chalk lines.  You can always add chalk back where you erased too much.DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

For the final product, I opted for an octopus instead of the star fish, still not sure if this was the right decision, but it is all temporary anyway!  The Road Trip crest has a chevron design what I chalked on and rubbed in with my finger.  It’s subtle, but I like the texture.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

The Salt Air was turned into 3D and shaded with stripes and finger rubbed chalk.  If you need to make a perfectly spaced stripe just dip a Q Tip in water, squeeze it out, and “paint” a clean stripe.  the Q Tips work great for cleaning up any tight areas.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

And voila, the finished chalkboard, at least for this season.  If you don’t want little fingers rubbing off your hard work, give the entire board a light spray of Aqua Net hair spray (I purchased “Unscented” but believe me, it still stinks).  When it is time to change it I’ll just wipe the entire surface with a warm damp cloth and start over.

DIY Custom Chalkboard Art Sign

Happy Chalking!

{note:  to see the gallery wall where this is featured click HERE}

For more chalk tutorial from Burlap & Denim click the links below:

DIY Overhead Projector Thanksgiving Chalk Art


Linked Up: FunkyJunk Initeriors, Rooster & Hen, Tatertots & Jello, Home Stories A2Z


  • Oh my gosh, that is stunning! I’m so impressed. I may just have to try my hand at it someday. Thanks for the awesome tutorial. :)

    • Thanks Lisa! It was a fun first shot and it turned out better than I expected. My penmanship is terrible so copying fonts from the computer helped me pull it off.

  • WOW! That is amazing… all I need now is your patience! Beautiful job! :)

  • I love it! You did such a great job. I see one of these in my future. ;-)

  • I love that! You did a great job using the grid and it was an excellent tutorial! I am getting ready to make a chalkboard myself and now I’m determined to do a fancy schmancy display!!
    Did you order people to touch it under penalty of death? I would…after all that work!! LOL
    Blessings, Lorraine

    • Lorraine, there were penalties involved before I sprayed it with the Aqua Net, now?…no worries, it’s set.

      • So, the Aquanet keeps the design in tact really well? We are having a large chalkboard on a wedding reception. I was trying to find how I could protect the artwork on the board during transit and set up, but still make the chalkboard usable afterward without having the artwork be permanent. Does the aqua-netted chalk come off nicely to a clean board again?
        thank you!

  • Wow, this turned out beautifully. I think I like your octopus better than the starfish… way to go! So glad I found you through Tatertots & Jello!

  • Wow!! Really love your chalkboard. It just speaks my name. Thanks for sharing.

  • Beautiful work!!

  • Wow! Chalk Art is quite an involved process! Your tutorial is so thorough and gives a lot of great tips. You did an amazing job recreating your inspiration piece :)

    - Claire

  • Very creative! I just tried to do it myself, but I must not be using the same kind of chalk that you did. Mine looks quite a bit more streaky, but still cute. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Gretchen, I just used Crayola, $0.97. Worked great. Try smearing the filled in are with your finger. I’d love to see what you did!

  • I love this! but I’m afraid that I would have gotten stuck on the graphic design part and never even made it to the chalk part (-: Any tips on the graphic part? Thanks!

    • Good question Kristen, I’ll address that up in the post, thanks!

  • LOVE CHALKBOARDS!! Good to know the trick with the AquaNet. I definately will be using that from now on. (love all your ideas, keep em coming!)

  • Very impressive! I saw your project at RRR. I’m now following you on facebook and Pinterest. I love your blog design, btw.


  • Use Pledge to clean a chalkboard to make it new.

  • Ooooh, you’ve made me long for “salt air in MY hair”! Very cute idea and the details you’ve added to it shows off your flair for making it your own.

  • how fabulous!! thanks so much for the wonderful chalkboard how-to….breaking it down for gorgeous results! xo can’t wait to get my chalk on! xo

    would love to have ya pop by for a visit sometime – giveaway going on now!

  • Wow, just what I needed to work on something for a Mother’s Day set up I want to do at church. Now to find the graphics.

  • Ok Awesome !!! Thanks for the hairspray tip… I hate it when things rub off my chalkboard!

  • Wow, I am so inspired. I am putting this on my list of future projects. Love the hairspray tip, too, who knew?

  • I really like your work. Are you available for hire? Please give me a call to discuss my project.


  • Thanks for the tutorial! I found you via pinterest. Did my own summer themed chalk board this week following your tips, and it turned out great! My husband (not normally observant of most craft projects!) can’t stop talking about it and wants to do new versions for every foreseeable occasion, ha ha.

  • Great Graphic Design ! I am copying your message word for word . I have been applying the positive affirmation principals that are explained in The Secret, The Laws of Attraction, which, in a nutshell, states that Thoughts Become Things and when we focus our attention towards our goals ,hopes and wishes we will actually manifest them into being! I am “believing” and “seeing” myself moving to South Florida , living by the ocean and experiencing the joyous sensation of feeling the Salt Air in my Hair !
    When I stumbled across your chalkboard I felt my heart leap….
    Thanks for sharing friend.

  • I’m just waiting to see what awesome thing you did with your hair with all that remaining Aquanet. I’m sure it will be a future post. ;-)

  • Love Love Love this! This is a great tutorial and I’m so inspired. I love creating chalkboard art but still trying to improve my skills. Your grid marks are a great idea and I will definitely be using the hairspray suggestion. It’s hard to keep my little girl’s hands off and she wants to draw too! :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Ellora, I was working on a new chalk board today when my little 3 year old couldn’t resist swiping his fingers across it. Silly kids. Thankfully it’s an easy fix with Q tips and water. The hairspray is a lifesaver when you are finished. My summer board didn’t get messed up all summer long…a miracle with four boys.

  • fantastic tutorial….thanks for the idea for my chalkboard wall…since my family doesn’t have an overhead projector…actually, should check with my dad – we may just have one!
    thanks again

  • The hairspray is SO SMART!!!

  • so helpful. thank you! what do you recommend cleaning chalkboards with between different displays? I have tried soap, windex, sanitizer, and just plain water but it never looks even remotely like new.

  • Io adoro le lavagne, questa è una bella soluzione.
    Hai mai usato anche la vernice magnetica con quella lavagna? io devo provare ho appena acqiustato quella magnetica

  • How did you create the template that large?
    I’m really wanting to make my own!


  • Does the hairspray make it hard to clean the chalk off the board or does it leave chalk marks on the board? I am creating chalks art at a venue for a wedding that had some permanent Chalk boards and I’m curious. Thank you

    • Jessica, Great question. The hairspray does not leave chalk marks on the board, but it does make it more difficult to remove the drawing. But with some warm water on a paper towel, it just takes a bit of scrubbing. Definitely worth it if you are worried about anyone touching the chalk art.

  • I can’t wait to try my hand at this thanks for the tut its very easy to follow

  • I just painted a door with chalk paint and found this post via pinterest when looking for inspiration. I love your chalk art and I love how my “copy” turned out too! THANKS!!!

  • My chalkboard is located in my kitchen where something greasy splashed on it. How do I clean it where chalk will work effectively and not slide invisibly?

  • […] read at Burlap and Denim that you can lightly spray chalkboard art with hair spray to keep things in place. Since my craft […]

  • looking good

  • nice post

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