Thursday, July 18

DIY Birthday Chalkboard Tutorial

Ever since my post about Callie's first birthday party I have received a ton of questions about how I made her stats "chalkboard."  My sweet niece just turned one and her momma asked me to make a chalkboard for her, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make a tutorial to answer all of your questions! 



Here are the supplies you will need:
  • Black foam core board (Can be found at Hobby Lobby or other craft supply shops)
  • Metallic permanent markers (Max Pen UltraMark are the best and can be found at Walmart)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or straight edge 
  • Baby stats


The first step will be to find a font you want the name to be written in.  I free handed all of the letters and writing but if you are, shall we say, craft-challenged you can also just print out the letters using a computer, cut them and trace with a pencil.  Once you have picked the font use a straight edge to guide the writing and outline the letters in pencil.  **Note- do NOT use a lot of pressure when drawing with the pencil, you want the line to be barely visible.  If you make a mistake do NOT erase.  If you erase on the black board you'll be able to see a faded line from the eraser. (See picture below) I promise you won't be able to see the thin pencil mark mistakes once the board is complete.




After you've finished the outline take a marker and trace over the pencil lines.  This is a great time to add details, don't be afraid to make the lines more bold, you want the name to really stand out.

The second step would be to draw the scroll under the name.  It looks super complicated, but I promise if you just break it down step by step and draw each part as you go, it's not too difficult.  Follow the same steps as before, use a pencil to draw and then trace with the metallic marker. 

At this point go ahead and section off the areas where you will list the 1 year information.  I just used a straight edge and added a little decoration on the ends. 


 Now the fun begins.  Experiment with different fonts on the computer, type out what you want to write and then eyeball it as you use a straight edge to keep the words from looking crooked.  Don't forget to add fun details like flowers and pictures of the things you've written to add a little more to the board. 



That's all there is to it!  Make sure to allow a good chunk of time to make the board.  When I did Callie's I started a month in advance and just added details as I got the time.  If you do it right before the event you may get too fatigued to really do a good job and it will show in your work.  This whole thing should cost you less than $8.00 to make and it's permanent!  You can't beat that. 

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

51 comments:

Sarah Johnston said...

I have a question I can't find the 8 ok of markers do I recommend another kind I've even looked online ive only found te basic 4 pk

Nicki Morgan said...

This one was purchased back in April/May 2013. Last time I was at Walmart I only saw the 4 pack so they may have changed it up. I've used off brand too and they just don't work very well. You could try out a few different brands and just mix as you go. I hope that help! Good luck :-)

Chelsey said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm hoping to find the 8 pk too, but what is the other brand of markers you used in the picture on the right??

KendraLWatkinsPhotography said...

So adorable! Im going to attempt one for my son's 1st Birthday, thank you so much for sharing the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

I used the Bic Mark-it Metallic markers from Target and they worked very well!

Briana said...

Did you free hand her name on the board? Or is it a font you traced? I've been trying to find a good font for the board I'm going to make for my daughter's 2nd birthday board and am having a hard time finding a pretty one!

Anonymous said...

is the black foam core board the same thing as black foam board ... can i find it at michaels or ac moores?

Anonymous said...

i saw a black foam board by elmers at joann , will that work?

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble finding metallic markers!

Anonymous said...

I imagine chalkboard markers would work well, no?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the process of making one too - and I got the black foam board from Walmart and I think it is the same thing!! :)

Anonymous said...

What off brands have you used?

Nicki Morgan said...

The one you want is called Max Pen UltraMark Metallics Permanent Marker, Bullet Tip, Assorted, 8pk. If that isn't available I've tried Cra-z-Art but was not thrilled with them. They all end up looking the same color on a black core board. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Micheals has a 5 pack for about $6.... Recollections brand!

Anonymous said...

I read that you free handed the fonts...did you use any fonts off the computer? If so, which ones? I love your hand writing if you did all of that by yourself!

Anonymous said...

Dollar tree has the black foam boards...cant beat a buck :)

Heavensangel2387 said...

Thank you for sharing! I have twins and their 1st birthday is coming up. i have looked everywhere for a reasonable price. They sell for $30-60! I couldn't believe it. I am going to try to do my own!
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

does anyone know how to easily trace the fonts onto the board without having to cut out all of the letters?! thanks

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that if you trace over the letters/font, without cutting them out, it will leave a slight indention on the foam board. You should then be able to color the letters in with your markers. Just an idea. :) It works on wood so I don't see why it wouldn't work on foam.

Anonymous said...

What did you do to fill in the letters? Did you just use the same color metallic pen?

Lindy said...

Hi! I was looking at your picture and noticed the 6 pens on the right are different than the Max Pen Ultramark pens. What are those? Do the Max Pen show up bright like your Callie board?

Thanks!

Nicki Morgan said...

Lindy, those pens were purchased by my sister in law, I am not sure what brand they are but they didn't show up very bright. They all came across monotone. The Max Pens really are the best for the chalkboard look. :) Hope this helps!

Ella Hemeon said...

Hey! I too found your blog through pinterest and plan to make a "chalkboard" for each of my twin girls for their first birthday. I've been making monthly boards using a real chalk board and chalkmarkers and planned to try those out, but actually found 3 packs of the ones you used, in the 8pack, yesterday at a local WalMart! They were on clearance so I bought all three and thought I could share. I am happy to send the extra two packs to anyone looking to do this project! :):)

Also, I love your blog! Your family is adorable! :)

Migdalia Laureano said...

Hi do u still have the markers to send I haven't been able to find these in any walmart around me

Lauren Smith said...

I found markers that looked like the Max-Pe metallic ones shown, but they were packaged as generics. Hoping they are the same. Wondering if Walmart bought out the Max-Pen brand. Wish I could find the 8 pack, but only found a 4-pack. It is hard to find anything in the Hawaii Walmarts, hehe.

sara said...

love your tutorial i am going to do this for my sons 1st bday with a mickey mouse then for any australians you can but both the markers and foam board from office works

Meghan said...

I'm still looking for the Max Pens. No longer at Walmart or online. Anyone else find another brand that worked??

Monique Bowen said...

Hi ella do u still have your extra packs :)

Katie D said...

I cannot seem to find the markers by me (Michigan) either. Anyone willing to mail me a pack??

Kate P said...

I just made a beautiful board for my daughter's first birthday. Thank you for your tips! Crayola now makes metallic markers that were perfect for this project and were not expensive, $6! I live in New England and bought the foam board and markers at Michaels craft store.

Sheryl Lydon said...

I tried several types of markers, including Bistro chalk markers & acrylic paint markers. The Bic Mark it Metallics are the best. Found mine at Target (don't bother going to Walmart, , Office Depot or Hobby Lobby for these babies! Now I need to find a couple of fine points for the script lettering...the hunt's on again! Lol

Laura Buchanan said...

any suggestions for the font for the name? I love what you used but cant find it on my word....thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I used these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007IYHBJE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for my daughter's board last year, and they worked perfectly for anyone having trouble finding them in stores. This tutorial was awesome by the way :)

SAMUEL ALEX said...

i love black foam board, Well foam board signs are well-suited to visual aids such as statistical charts and graphs that can help you make your point at business meetings.

Reena Luise said...

Foam Boards are great for outdoor use, these signs are commonly used in a variety of industries that require a lightweight sign for outdoor display. For example, you may find rigid signs at:

• Construction Sites
• Homes for Sale
• Public Events

Jess said...

Where can I find the scroll design to use on my chalkboard?

Anonymous said...

this is a silly Question but do u make theses and sell these? if so i would love one for my sons 1st birthday in april i want one one but there so much money

thomas said...

This is quite wonderful blog the things are related to my topic which I was looking for. Thanks
chalkboard markers

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thankyou, Beck :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what size the board needs to be? Thanks.

Nicki Morgan said...

The board can be found at Hobby Lobby and measures 20" x 30"

Maria Tosti said...

Go to www.dafont.com for free fonts. Great site, tons of font styles

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what markers to use? The ones listed that she used I cannot find anywhere. :(

Sandra said...

What font did you use for her name?

Unknown said...

Anyone ever try to do this project on black canvas? Do I use the same markers and how do I transfer on to canvas? My daughter would like me to make this for my granddaughter's first birthday next month
!

mareda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mareda said...

I am going to try different kinds of markers on black canvas. Will let you know how it works. (I will be finishing this project by this Saturday so should be able to let you know in time for first birthday this month)

25ricko said...

Did anyone figure out what markers to use?

Marie H said...

For anyone looking for metallic markers, I found some very similar at target today for $4.99. The ones at target had black barrels but I found the same markers with white barrels (no difference but price) @ Amazon here: Write Dudes Infinity Metallic Permanent Markers, 8-Count, Assorted Colors (CYB80) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055GH67E/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awd_JVcQwbX505BTV

I tried them out on black paper first and they look great! I can't wait to work on my project when my little girl goes to sleep. Thank you for the tutorial! :)

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