How To Make A Chalkboard In A Rustic Shabby Chic Style

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I love inspirational messages hanging around the house, even if it is just one word.  There are many different ways to get a message across by use of a sign.  I thought it would be fun to make a chalkboard sign that I could change the message on as the spirit moved me.

It is really easy to create your own chalkboard sign, especially when you purchase an unfinished pine frame.  The frame I bought was a complete wooden slab with edges that looked like a photo frame.  It even had a wire hanger already attached.  These can be purchased from most any craft supply store.  I bought mine from Michaels.

Follow these easy step by step instructions for your own shabby chic, inspirational chalkboard sign.

Materials Needed:

  • pine slab frame
  • chalkboard paint
  • paint brush
  • three inch section of a branch
  • two beading eye pins
  • drill and small drill bit
  • beading elastic
  • clear beads – 5 large, 2 medium, 8 small
  • 2 beading rounds
  • 1 decorative long charm
  • pine cone
  • hot glue/glue gun
  • tacky glue
  • optional – Dremel tool to buff ends of branch
  • chalk
  • acrylic paint – two colors
  • Weathered Wood product


STEP ONE: Apply the first coat of chalkboard paint to the middle wood section of your frame.  Outline the edges first with an angled brush and then fill in the center.

STEP TWO: Once you have your first coat on, let dry for at least an hour and then apply a second coat.  Repeat with a third coat.

STEP THREE: While you are waiting for your paint to dry, you can work on your decorative piece for the top.  This also serves a function to hold a piece of chalk.   I had cut a section of branch with a hand saw so the ends were a little rough.  I used my dremel tool with a buffing end to smooth the ends.  This is optional.  1. First, drill a hole about an inch deep into each end of the branch with a small drill bit.  The hole only needs to be big enough to slide a beading eye pin into.  2. Next, attach a beading round to each eye pin hook.  You will need to bend the eye pin hook with a small pliers to fit the round through, then simply squeeze the hook back together with the pliers.  3. Now, coat the eye pins with glue and slide one into each end of the branch.  4. Tie a section of beading elastic, about eight inches long to one side of your long charm.  5. Begin stringing your beads, 1 large, 1 medium, and the four small (the number of beads you need may vary due to the length of the charm you choose)  6. Tie the other end of the elastic to the beading round.  7. Add a drop of beading glue or tacky glue to the knot for reinforcement, clip the leftover elastic close to the knot.  8. Repeat for the other side.

STEP FOUR: Apply your first coat of acrylic paint to the frame elevated edge.  Use the darker color for your first coat – this will be the color that just peaks through the top weathered layer.

STEP FIVE: Apply a coat of the weathered wood product (enlarge picture to see product).  Let dry for about an hour.

STEP SIX: Apply a coat of your lighter color (like cream).  You will see the color break apart from the surface and some of your other color will show through.

STEP SEVEN: Cut the “petals” from a pine cone to use to make the flower embellishments at the bottom of the frame.

STEP EIGHT: Start laying out the petals on the frame to form a flower and hot glue them in place.

STEP NINE: Once the flower is formed, add a clear bead to the middle with the hole at the top.  Hot glue in place.  Cut some of the stringy strands from the pine cone and insert these into the hole of the bead with tacky glue.  Make three flowers along the bottom of the frame.

***To prepare the chalkboard for use, you will need to rub the black paint with chalk and then wipe off.

I'm addicted to crafting and decorating my downtown urban loft and up north rustic cabin. Read more about me.