How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster

IT’S HERE!  IT’S HERE!  I’ve finally written up a post detailing how to make a birthday chalkboard poster!  {*let the parade begin!*}  I can’t tell you how many people have reached out to me asking for a tutorial….sorry it’s taken me so long, guys!  I just wanted to make sure it was very detailed and thorough.  Soooo, that means it’s a pretty long one too.  Ha! ;)

So what’s a mom to do when she wants a chalkboard poster for her son’s first birthday, but she doesn’t really love any of the ones for sale on Etsy??  Why, the answer is to make her own, of course!


[This post contains affiliate links.]


That’s how I came to creating these birthday chalkboards.  All the ones I saw online just weren’t quite to my liking (I am pretty picky), and none of them seemed to include all the information I wanted to share….my little dude is super cool and I wanted to display everything about him!

So one day before his party, I fired up Photoshop Elements and started cranking out my own.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I ended coming up with a method that worked well and a poster that was just what I wanted.  I did the whole thing again several months later and created a birthday chalkboard for my niece (hers was Classic Alice in Wonderland-themed).

Here I’ll walk you through how I make these birthday chalkboard posters….it’s really not that hard, so save your money and make your own!


How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster

The Birthday Chalkboard Posters I’ve Created

Here are the two birthday chalkboard posters I’ve made so far.  My son’s party was dinosaur-themed, but I just decided to print out a black-and-white engineering print for it.  I later created a colored version matching the colors in his room as a keepsake for his baby book.  (Oh, and this is what I’ll be using for this tutorial.)

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


My niece’s poster was created for her Classic Alice in Wonderland-themed party….and it sure was nice making something with pink for a change! #lifeasmomofaboy

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


And here’s the one I made for her second birthday.  This one was zoo-themed!

Zoo-Themed Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Disclaimer: I am neither a professional graphic designer nor a tech wizard.  I’m just a complete amateur with an inkling for dabbling in all things creative, and I’ve happened to be fond of Photoshop ever since taking a Photography class in high school….which pretty much only involved slapping a filter on photos of my dog.

The following tutorial is just the self-taught way I make my birthday chalkboard posters….there may be easier/better/smarter ways to do it, but this works for me.  Hopefully it works for you, too!


Install Photoshop

***UPDATE!*** A new version of Photoshop Elements is now available….Version 14!

I make my posters in one of my all-time favorite inanimate loves, Photoshop Elements.  It’s the just-as-awesome-but-waaaaay-cheaper version of full-fledge Photoshop.  You can of course use Big Daddy Photoshop (or any similar program….I’ve also written up a tutorial showing how you can use Preview to make a chalkboard poster on a Mac) and follow the same tips that are below, but this tutorial will walk you through the steps using Photoshop Elements.  Take the pieces that you need.

Also, please do NOT be intimidated by Photoshop!  I know it seems very scary when first diving into, but I promise it is very easy to use once you get the hang of it, which doesn’t take long.  Plus, there are tons of resources available online and how-to books and DVDs if you get stuck.

But the BEST PART is that making these types of posters in Photoshop is SOOOO EASY!  And I mean that.  After reading this tutorial, you will be amazed at how stinkin’ simple this is.

Adobe now provides several ways to purchase Photoshop: either buying the disc/instant download outright for Photoshop Elements (which is what I’ve done), buying it outright as part of a package with Premiere Elements, or purchasing a monthly subscription to full-fledge Photoshop alone or with Lightroom:

Note: For this tutorial, I’ll be referring to it as ‘Photoshop’ just to save some key strokes, but it’ll be of the Elements variety.  Also, I’m still running the dinosaur Version 11 instead of the current Version 13, so that’s what my directions and screenshots will depict.  I’m sure it’ll match pretty closely to the newer versions though (hopefully!).


Download TONS of Fonts

Before you start designing, I recommend downloading lots and LOTS of cool fonts.  Seriously, go on a download spree and grab yourself a bunch of fonts that look very chalkboard-esque or are cool handwritten ones.  Get lots of dingbats too (more on these below).  There are tons of great free ones available to download, or you can of course find some gorgeous ones to purchase.

If you need help on how to download and/or install fonts, check this out.

And you’re in luck because I’ve already compiled a bunch of my favorite free fonts to use with birthday chalkboards!

The Best Free Fonts for Birthday Chalkboard Posters! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Check these collections out too for even more inspiration!

Free Chalkboard Fonts 50 MORE Fabulous and Free Chalkboard Fonts Awesome Free Dingbat Fonts for Chalkboards

You can also make a font from your very own handwriting for free, too!



I’ve also compiled a list of my favorite sites that offer awesome FREE digital resources!  High-quality fonts, SVGs, backgrounds, digital scrapbooking, Photoshop fun….it’s all covered here (and most include commercial rights too)!

Where to Find the Best FREE Digital Resources: Fonts, SVGs, Clip Art, & MORE! | Where The Smiles Have Been


Get a High-Resolution Chalkboard Background

Ok, now that you’ve got all your fonts ready, you’ll need to find your chalkboard.  I’ve already written a full tutorial on how to find a nice chalkboard background for this purpose, so I’ll spare you the details here.

Once you find one to your liking, open it up in Photoshop and make sure you’re on the Expert screen (and don’t be intimidated by that name!).

When I start making one of these, I usually don’t know what final size I’ll wind up printing it out as, so I just leave the chalkboard as is and work with it at full size.  Then, once I have my poster designed, I’ll make any necessary cropping at the end before sending to print (more on all this below!).

[Note: For all of the below screenshots, you can click on them to open up a larger and easier-to-read image!]

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


The Main Tools

Photoshop is obviously a very powerful program with tons of capabilities, but for these posters, I just use a handful.  So, once again, YOU DON’T NEED TO BE AN EXPERT IN PHOTOSHOP TO MAKE ONE OF THESE POSTERS.  There….are you relaxed yet?  Sorry for all the shouty capitals. ;)

These are the main tools that I use for this type of project:

  • Move Tool: Used to move different layers/elements around and to resize and/or rotate them.
  • Shape Tool: I don’t use this one very often (I instead prefer to use dingbats….more on these below), but this is an easy way to add different shapes/lines.
  • Text Tool: This is the BIG KAHUNA of these prints and comprises about 99% of what you’ll use!
  • Layers: Not actually a tool, but this menu on the right side of the screen will list all the layers you add, so you’ll see all the Shape and especially Text Tool layers you create here.  It will not only show you what you have added, but also is what aligns elements on top of each other.

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Start Adding Text

The first item I always start out with is the kiddo’s name, and I like to make it HUGE and centered at the top.

To do this, I just select the Text Tool on the left and click on my chalkboard background, which allows me to start typing.  In the menu that pops up on the bottom, there are lots of options available to customize this text box:

  • Change the font, size, and/or color
  • Add emphasis by bolding, italicizing, underlining, and/or striking through it
  • Change alignment (centered or right-/left-aligned)
  • Change leading (if you have two or more lines of text within the same text box by hitting enter for a line break, this changes the amount of space between the lines.  You can see examples of this in the Favorites section of my son’s poster above.)
  • Make the text vertical instead of horizontal or warped (more on how to warp text below)

I usually don’t mess with any of the options to the left of these (you see all those little green and outlined T’s?).  You certainly can though if you want to get extra fancy!

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


KEEP Adding Text….Over and Over!

After I get the name up top, I usually then add a banner underneath, then I’ll start working my way down and around the chalkboard.  (Also, normally I leave everything white then change colors at the end, but for this tutorial I’ll go ahead and leave the final colors in to make everything easier to distinguish).

Using Dingbat Fonts: Like I mentioned above, I prefer using dingbat fonts as opposed to solely the Shape Tool.  You can see that the banner I’m using below is actually a font, too.  It’s what’s called a dingbat font, which uses special characters in place of the standard alphabetical/numeric set.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE using dingbat fonts, especially for these types of posters because they make embellishing the poster and adding non-text elements a breeze!  Once again, here are some of my favorite dingbats for chalkboards.  You could of course hand-draw all these elements in though if you have that kind of talent….I do not, so I take the Lazy Girl route! #noshame

Oh, and just to be clear: EVERYTHING on my son’s poster above is a font.  All the doodles, frames, brackets, dividers, banners….all of them are dingbats.  Pretty cool, huh?

Ok, back to this poster!  The font that I used to create this particular banner is called KG Flavor and Frames Five, and it is created by typing a “j.”  See, I type a regular keyboard character (a “j”), but since it’s a dingbat, that font’s assigned character (banner) is displayed instead.  Clear as mud??  Don’t worry, dingbats are not hard to use.

You’ll also notice that with each new piece of text/information you add, it creates a new layer off to the right.  You will end up with dozens and dozens of layers by the time you’re finished!

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Renaming Layers: The layers are named and will show whatever respective text you typed….this can be confusing when using a bunch of dingbat fonts and dozens of layers.  I usually end up renaming them with whatever they look like or represent, so in this case, I renamed it from “j” to “Birthday Banner.”  This is easily done by either double-/right-clicking on the layer’s name, typing in your new name, then hitting OK.

This step is not necessary, but it makes things MUCH simpler when moving and/or editing the layers down the line!

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


A Helpful Hint When Using Dingbats: When using a dingbat font, it can sometimes be rather time-consuming finding the character you’re looking for.

So, instead of just manually typing through all the keys on my keyboard trying to find the perfect item, I either use one of my favorite design tools to preview the fonts (I use this for non-dingbats too!), or I’ll check the character map that can usually be found on the font’s download page or in the .zip file it was downloaded in.  It just makes it much easier and faster to find what I’m looking for.

Preview All Fonts


Warping Text to Add Effects:

One of the cool abilities in Photoshop that you don’t have in Preview on a Mac is that you can warp the text in a variety of ways.  This allows for all kinds of neat effects instead of just having your text being horizontal or vertical all the time….how boring is that?!

In the example below, I warped the text “My First Birthday!” to match the shape of the birthday banner dingbat I just added.  To do this, I clicked on my text layer, selected the Warp Text Tool at the center bottom, chose the Flag style from the drop-down menu, adjusted the bend slider bar until the text matched the banner’s shape, then clicked OK.  BOOM!  Instant interest.

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Other Ways to Edit Layers

To Rotate an Element: If you don’t want to warp an element but still don’t want it to be horizontal or vertical, you can rotate or spin it to create a cool angle.

Just click on it so a box appears around it, then click on and hold one of the small corner boxes (your mouse will turn into a little semi-circle line with two arrowheads on either end….it doesn’t appear in the animation below, but it’s there….I also don’t know why this animation is looking all wonky….), and while holding your mouse down, rotate the element to the angle you want.  Then just click and drag it to its final position.

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Use the Effects Menu: I don’t use this one too often with these projects, but there are tons of easy effects you can add with the Effects Menu, which is located in the lower right corner next to the Layers Menu.  Select Styles at the top and you’ll see there’s a dropdown menu with all the different kinds of effects.  For this type of project, I usually stick with the Strokes options, which are outlines (you can see them there as the squares with the black outlines around them).

It’s sometimes fun to add a colored outline to a shape or font, like I did for the corner Alice in Wonderland pictures on my niece’s poster.

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


And That’s How You Design a Birthday Chalkboard Poster!

Soooo, those are the basics!  Yep, that’s basically all you need to do to make one of these bad boys.  Told ya it was easy! :)

It’s really only finding fonts and a chalkboard, then adding in a whole bunch of text and just filling in the chalkboard with any and all the information you want to include about your little lad or lady.  That’s it.  No special Graphic Designer education needed.

From there, I just start adding in all my info with lots (and LOTS!) of different layers.  Along the way, layers get moved and resized (using the Move Tool), warped, recolored, etc.


***UPDATE: How to Make a Birthday Banner***

I’ve since added a new post on how to make a birthday banner for a chalkboard poster as part of my All Things Chalkboard series.  Be sure and check that out too!

How to Make a Birthday Banner for a Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Cropping Your Poster for Printing

Now that my final poster design is complete, I’ll then go in and crop it to its required printing dimensions.  Here’s a handy guide for determining ideal and minimum sizes for printing.

If I need to move the information so it doesn’t get chopped off from the cropping, but I still want to keep its proportions and spacing, I’ll select all the layers at once then resize them as one element (by using the same method described in the part above talking about how to rotate an element….but instead of spinning it, I’ll drag a corner box to resize it).

Then I’ll select the Crop Tool, and either choose a pre-sized option, or use the Custom option and type in my own width and height numbers.  You can also plug in a resolution size here, too (usually you want at least 300 for printing).  Depending on the final size, some elements may need to be moved a bit after the background is cropped.

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Saving Your Poster

I always like to save my file as two different versions.  The first is as a Photoshop .psd file (with ‘Save Layers’ checked), which keeps all your layers separate so you can go back in and make edits if needed (or if you’re constantly changing your mind like me!).

I’ll save my file as a .psd version at the start and then keep saving throughout the design process.  Then once I’m ready to print, I’ll save it as a .jpeg.

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been


Printing Your Poster

You can of course print your poster at pretty much any size, using a home printer or sending it off to a store.  Normal letter-sized or smaller prints would be nice as keepsakes in a baby book, and I think BIG poster prints are great for parties or photoshoots.


Tips for Making Birthday Chalkboard Posters Look AWESOME!

Here are a few more tips I’ve got for making these babies.  It’s all really personal preference though, so make something you’re happy with!:

  • More is MORE!  Unlike regular, non-chalkboard prints, these guys look great when filled in and covered with information.  Don’t worry about having a lot of negative or blank space (*cue Taylor Swift*).  Instead, cover that puppy up with tidbits about your little one!
  • Go Font Crazy!  Same premise here…. You don’t need to stick with just a handful of fonts like you would want to with a regular print.  Add a bunch, mix them up, change their colors, and get wild with your designing self!
  • Use Dingbat Fonts!  Like I talked about above, they are such an easy way to embellish your print.
  • To Color or Not to Color?  These posters look great as a classic black board with white chalk, or you can add some color to match your child’s party.  I’ve done both!
  • Photos & Clip Art are Cool Too! You don’t have to stop with just fonts/dingbats.  Feel free to add clipart or other pictures (i.e. if your child LOVES Mickey Mouse, add an image of him too).  I did this with my niece’s Alice in Wonderland poster.  You can even include a real photo of your tiny tot!
  • Not Just for BIRTHDAYS! Nope, some of these same concepts can be applied for other occasions too in a variety of ways, including posters, signs, invitations, announcements, thank you cards, etc.
    • First Day of School
    • Graduation
    • Wedding
    • Bridal/Baby Shower
    • Pregnancy/Adoption Announcement
    • Christmas Cards
    • “We’ve Moved” Cards
    • Home Decor/Holiday Prints
    • Classroom Posters

How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster | Where The Smiles Have Been

Phew, that was a DOOZY!!  Thanks for sticking with me. ;)  I hope it all makes sense.  If not, please let me know and I’ll do my best to provide more detail!


All Things Chalkboard: The Series!

All The Chalkboard: The Series | Where The Smiles Have Been

If I tried to include every. single. detail. here, this tutorial would be a mile long!  And since I seem to really like writing posts about making chalkboard posters, I’ve started a series called All Things Chalkboard!


More Chalkboard Fun!

Here are some other fun (non-birthday) chalkboard goodies I’ve shared, and be sure to check out my Project Gallery for everything else!

Sibling Pregnancy Announcement Chalkboard Sign | Where The Smiles Have Been


DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


DIY First Day of School Chalkboard Sign Photo Prop | Where The Smiles Have Been


How To Make Your Own Chalkboard Poster on a Mac


Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed your visit!


About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.


  1. Please can you contact me as i’d like to pay you to design one for my little boys first birthday!

  2. Hi! I’m brand new to photoshop. Bought it….don’t know how to use it…yet
    I’m trying to follow your directions to make a birthday chalkboard on Windows and I’m so lost I can’t find where to get my fonts I downloaded from your recommended sites and I don’t know how to create banners and stuff. Please help!!

  3. I’m looking for the dingbat or font you used to make your dots. Do you mind letting me know which one you used?

  4. Hi Christine,
    thank you so much for this great tutorial! I have one question: Do you know how to make your fonts look golden maybe even with a sparkle or shimmer to it? I am trying to make a bday chalkboard in gold and pink for my baby’s 1st bday:)

  5. I love this!!! You have such a talent! I really like a font used in the “How to make a birthday chalkboard” image. Do you remember what font you used for “chalkboard”?

  6. I absolutely love this post! all of the details on how to make the poster were awesome, and easy to understand. I was hoping you could give me the names of the fonts you used in the favorites section for “favorites” “toys” and “mommys cell phone” . I was also curious about the polka dots(main section) and brackets used in the favorites thanks!

  7. Suganthy Magdalene says:

    Hey Christine! What is the font that you have used for the word ‘Poster’ in the first image that. Thanks!

  8. LOVE this tutorial!!! Thank you, thank you! I only have one question: What font/character did you use to make the “AND” between the 32 and 22?

  9. Thanks so much for your tutorial! It is great. I ended up using Word to design mine because I don’t have Photoshop and wanted to save my work and come back which you can’t do in Preview. I saved as a PDF and it worked out great! The best part was your tip on having it printed as an engineering print. They now offer colored engineering prints for $3 at Staples. So much more affordable then printing as a poster!

  10. This has been so helpful with making a poster for my daughters 1st birthday, I was just wondering if you know what font you have used for the word ‘chalkboard’, I wasn’t sure if you had written what it was called anywhere or not, and if you did, I wasn’t able to find it :(. I absolutely love it and would really like to use it on mine! Thanks :)

  11. Hey Christine
    Thank you so much for this helpful Tutorial .
    Iam just wondering what do u call those character faces outline/border like hello kitty or mickey mouse that they usually add to the chalkboard and customize it .
    I couldnt find it as a font or dingbat

  12. Christine,

    Thank you so much for this amazing tutorial. I just spent two hours reading it and playing on Photoshop (seriously, I was terrified and didn’t know where to start but wanted so badly to create something of my own!) and it’s now WAY past my bedtime and I know I’m gonna regret it when my son and daughter wake me up at the crack of dawn, but I’ll be waiting for the bedtime again tomorrow so I can get back to the computer and play. Your tutorial is SO detailed (I love that) and so well linked. I really appreciate it!

  13. Hi! So I figured out from reading the comments section how to do the vertical dotted lines. I was wondering if there was any way to alternate the color of the dots? I’ve seen it done on other posters, but since this dingbat is a line of just dots, they would all be the same color right? Is there another dingbat that is just one individual dot I could just key a bunch of times in alternating colors? Thanks! Love your tutorial!

  14. I am new to this chalkboard sign stuff and I cant even figure out how to download the fonts! I was using and I clicked on install. I looked at my download folder and the fonts are there but when I go to a word document program, they are not there so I tried to do it again but it said they were already installed. help please!!

    • Hey Tricia! If you had Word open before you downloaded/installed the fonts, you’ll need to close out of Word then reopen it so the new fonts will load in the program. Usually that fixes things!

  15. Hello! On your son’s poster, I have a question about the vertical dotted lines as well. How did you extend the length of the dots and keep them in their original shape and size? When I tried to extend the length of the dots, it stretched the shape of the dots and made them look weird. I would love to extend their length and keep their original shape, any advice would be appreciated thanks! I’m so excited my god-daughter’s poster is almost finished! Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Hi Tiffany! Yeah, I know what you mean about the changing of the shapes from circles to ovals as you change the width/height. You’ll need to either increase the total size of the character (either by using the text size number or clicking and dragging on a corner box to keep the proportions equal….not just the length). This will of course make all the circles larger. I can’t remember exactly what I did since I made my son’s poster a year a half ago, but I think I typed two different dotted lines then aligned them next to each other and erased the extras I didn’t need. I hope all that makes sense! :)

  16. Hi Christine!
    I just wanted to let you know that you can print engineering prints in color at Staples! I get them printed all the time for my Etsy shop! A 24 x 36 in color is $5.89 Hope this helps everyone!

    • Wahoo, Jenna! That’s awesome that they offer colored ones now for such a reasonable price! I’m currently making a poster for my niece’s second birthday and I may have to give one of these a try….thanks so much for sharing! :)

      • NANCY CANTRELL says:


  17. How come no tutorials explain how to put the print onto the chalkboard?? that step is crucial yet no one mentions it…

    so i print the poster out at staples then????????

    isn’t getting it on the actual chalkboard THE MOST important part????!

    • Sorry all my tutorials aren’t helpful for you, Trist. I do this in my free time. I’m not sure I follow your complaint though. These are for *digital* chalkboards (hence Photoshop) so the chalkboard IS the print, and I explain how to add all the text and embellishments to the print above. Once you add everything to the chalkboard background, save it, print it out if you want, then either frame it, add it to some foam board, or display it another way.

  18. So awesome.

    I have so many questions but was hoping to find out how you got the tooth font blank (to insert a number)? I only see the JLR Toofy Grin font has letters inside of the teeth. Thank you!

    • Hi Liz! If you check out the font’s character map here, it shows the blank tooth as being the period (.) key. Then just add your number in whatever font over top. Hope this helps!

  19. I just made my chalkboard, it turned out super cute, but when I went to print it it said it was low resolution and that it would be blurry when printed. Can anyone help?

    • Hey Eliana. Did you make sure the chalkboard background you started out with was large enough for your desired print size? If not, it will become pixelated when trying to print it at a larger size. Sometimes too I’ve noticed that when trying to upload a file to a store online to be printed, it will show up blurry in the preview. So I’ll run to the store and have them upload it directly into their system with a jump drive and it prints just fine. Hope this helps!

  20. Hi there,
    I see you were using a mac….can photoshop be used on an HP??
    love the tutorial and would love to desogn one myself….
    thanks in advance for your help!

  21. Hi,

    This tutorial is so great! I am making a one for my 1 year old and her birthday is this week! so I am cutting down on time! :) I cannot figure out how to type font on top of the dingbat fonts.

    • Hi there, Karla! Do you mean how to layer one font on top of another? Are you using Photoshop? All I do is just create separate text boxes, then move and position of one so it’s over top of another, and change the color of course so you can see it. On the Layers menu on the right, just click and drag the top layer so it’s above the dingbat layer and is therefore moved to the front of your image. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!

  22. This tutorial is freaking awesome! I was toying with the idea of trying to make one of these myself but had no clue where to start. This took the stress out of the process so I could enjoy making a fun poster for my son’s first bday. Every step was easy to follow, photoshop was so much easier to use then i would have imagined, and i am now addicted to fun fonts :) Thanks so much for making this such a do-able project. I love my finished product.

    • LOL, wow, thank you Kristin! This is such a nice comment, so thank you for taking the time to leave me such a sweet message! I’m so happy to hear I was able to help you create something special for your son! :) And have fun with your font addiction! ;)

  23. Hi! Amazing tutorial! Thank you. I’m planning on attempting one for my little guy. What did you mount the big engineer print poster on?

    • Hi there, Liana! Thanks for the kind words! For my son’s poster, I just used spray adhesive and mounted it to a foam board, then gave it a little colorful border with some washi tape. Worked like a charm!

  24. I can’t quite figure out the cropping method. I have my poster completed (thanks for the amazing tutorial!!) but when I try to crop, I’m still only getting a portion of my poster in my specified measurements.

    • Hey there, Brittany! Have you first selected all of your layers and adjusted their sizing so they fit within your newly cropped image? I usually select them all at once (aside form the background layer) and then resize them quite small so I’m certain no parts will be chopped off while cropping, and also move them towards the center. Then I crop the background to whatever proportions I need and resize all the other layers to fit. Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any other questions! :)

  25. What font was used in your son’s birthday board fro the phrase “boots and pants”? I’m trying to make a first day of pre-k board and that font is exactly what I am looking for! Thanks!

  26. hi! Your blog and chalkboard tutorial is the best:)
    how do you make the dots going vertical that i see on all the chalkboard signs (that separate the words)

  27. Where can you get disney things to add to your poster and the disney font?

  28. Hi, thanks for sharing this awesome tutorial! What size is the poster that you printed for your niece?

  29. Hello! I am making one of these for my daughter but I cannot find where you got the TOOTH symbol. Is it a specific dingbat? Thanks!

    • Hey Kelsey! Yes, the tooth is a dingbat. I shared the font info in my post with all my favorite fonts to use with birthday chalkboards. You can find a link to the post above and in my All Things Chalkboard series.

  30. Hi there!

    Silly question but if I am putting the date on my baby’s first birthday poster, which date do I use? She was born on August 5, 2014 but obviously, her first birthday is August 5, 2015. Which one should I use?



    • Hey April! I think it’s really just personal preference on which year you use. For my son’s poster, I left the year off and just put the month and day. For my niece’s, I put the date of her first birthday since it was an Alice in Wonderland themed party and the poster matched….it just looked better that way. I’ve seen others include the actual birth date though. It’s really whatever you want! :)

  31. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I am going to try and make my daughter’s first birthday board. I am hoping to have a minnie mouse stenciled head in the back ground- any idea on how to do that part?
    Thanks for all the helpful info!

    • Hey there, Jennifer! There are several different ways to get a Minnie Mouse head on there. You could find an image online and paste it into your project (just make sure it has a transparent background, or you can use the Select tool to remove a background). If you’re not looking for anything too fancy, you could of course also make your own head using the Shape tool. Or you could find a digital paper that works and use a Clipping Mask to “cut out” a shape of a head. Hope that’s not too confusing. :) I’m certainly no Photoshop expert though, so I’m sure there are other ways too. Have fun making your daughter’s poster!

  32. Jayshree says:

    Hi there! I was wondering what is the font used in the word ‘chalkboard’ in the first picture? I LOVE it!

    • Hi Jayshree! That font is called Heartwell…’s one of my favorites too! :)

      • Hi!

        I really love to get my hands to a Heartwell Font. But I clicked the link and I can’t download it :(
        Hope you could help me.

        Thanks so much!

      • Hi!

        I would really love to get my hands on a HEARTWELL Font. I looked for it online and I can’t seem to find a free font even if it says so.

        I would really appreciate it if you could extend your file to me.

        Thanks so much!

        • Hi Angie! I don’t have a link to Heartwell above. And yes, it’s not a free font. I purchased it. It would be against the terms of use to transfer the file to another user so I can’t send it to you either. If you want it you’ll need to purchase it yourself. Sorry!

  33. Amanda Hornsby says:

    Hi again! I’m a little confused about the cropping process, could you help me? Do you crop the chalkboard layer first to the size you want, then highlight all the other layers and just crop them to fit? Also, how do you know what resolution to set?

    • Hi Amanda! You can crop the chalkboard to size first thing if you know what size you’ll need your final design to be printed as. I usually don’t, so I leave the chalkboard background as its full size, then once I’m ready to print, I’ll highlight all of the other elements (text, dingbats, etc.) and adjust their sizes so they’re smaller and all fit well within the chalkboard (I do them all together at once so they keep the same proportions and spacing). Then I’ll use the crop tool to crop the chalkboard to size, then rehighlight all the other elements and enlarge/move them as need to fit. Hope this makes sense, haha. :) You can set the resolution by creating a new file (and dragging your chalkboard in there if needed) or going to Image–>Resize–>Image Size….this will adjust the size too though.

  34. Amanda Hornsby says:

    After downloading new fonts, how to you get them to pull up in photoshop??

    • Hey Amanda! You’ll just need to install the fonts into your font folder. They usually come in a zip folder that you’ll first need to unzip, then install the font file (usually a .otf or .ttf file). Once you have them installed, they should show up with the rest of your fonts in Photoshop or any other program (you may need to restart Photoshop if you installed the font(s) while you had it open). Here’s a quick guide for downloading and installing: Hope this helps!

  35. These are creative tips you’ve posted Christine! I’ve always wondered how my multimedia arts friends havedone their tricks in wordart. This seemed like a hassle when I was starting in photoshop but because of your post I have something to experiment with. Again, thank you!

    • Yay, glad you are going to have some experimenting now, Elle! That’s my favorite way of creating things….it’s so fun learning a new skill! Thanks for stopping by, and let me know if you have any questions! :)

  36. Thanks you for all your tips on making my own chalkboard! I just made one for my sons birthday and it looks amazing!! There is no way I would have known where to get the fonts and dingbats without this tutorial. Thanks again!! I used pages (for Mac) though as I was more comfortable with this program.

  37. Shenna says:

    Love this tutorial. I am attempting my first chalkboard poster for my son’s first birthday! I downloaded almost all of the dingbat fonts, and I was wondering which particular font you used for the lines. Specifically under the date/favorites on the Alice in Wonderland poster? That looks like a good general line for boxing and separating!

    • Hey there, Shenna! So happy to hear you’re enjoying this tutorial and attempting to make one for your son (and I’d love to see it when you finish it if you don’t mind)! I like to use Bergamot Ornaments for a lot of the lines in my chalkboard posters. The specific one you asked about is the | key (above the enter key)….I just rotated it so it was horizontal. Hope this helps and feel free to ask me any more questions if you got ’em! :)

      • Thank you so much for your quick reply. I am so grateful for your help. This is such a tedious process so far. I would love to show you my final product! I don’t have a MAC or photoshop, trying to use a free program and am having the hardest time getting everything to work cohesively. Didn’t like Picasa or, so now I am using MS Word and it keeps changing my dingbat font back to Times New Roman, specifically with the ‘ key in Bergamot Ornaments (dotted line). ;( Praying I can get this poster made before the party! I am determined :D

  38. Your post is great! A verry well written tutorial. I think many people will fiind this useful. Thank you for sharing at Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party! I will featured this as one of my favorites this Monday.
    Have a great week!

  39. Cool. Thanks for joining the Small victories Linkup. Please join again.

  40. These are so cool!! Wish I had something like this when my boy was younger (he’s now 11 and a half )! I kept stumbling over your niece’s poster: Onederland…I read O Nederland (it’s where I live) and I couldn’t think of WHY you would put that there *looks a bit ashamed now*…Then I got it! Silly me :0) It is fun to be able to use other colors then blue once in a while, indeed ;0) Love your detailed tutorial!! Maybe a poster for myself as I am turning 40…Thanks :0)!!!

    • Ha, Judith! That’s toooooo funny about the O Nederland! I seriously went back and forth over and over again between Wonderland and Onederland…ultimately we decided to go with the latter since it was her FIRST birthday. It does look a little strange though, haha. And you should totally do one for your 40th birthday!! How fun would that be?! I’m going to do one every year for my son’s birthday…..well, that’s at least the plan for now. ;) Thanks so much for checking out these parts!!

  41. These chalkboards are the cutest! Love a detailed tutorial, thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for sharing at Talented Tuesday Link Party! Hope to see you again this week!

  42. Gricelda says:

    I love this tutorial! Thank you. How did you make the green and blue flag banner at the top of the poster (Happy 1st Birthday)? Which font/dingbat is used? Thanks again!

    • Hello Gricelda! I’m so happy to hear you found this tutorial helpful! I actually plan on writing up a post about how to make cute little banners like this in PS because I get asked that question A LOT. That particular font is KG A Little Swag. You can get the different colors either by selecting each individual character and changing its color, or doing different layers.

  43. Hi there, visiting from Small Victories Sunday. I love that you put pictures in to show how to do this! I am a visual person and this makes things so much easier when I can see pictures. Thanks for sharing :)

  44. What a cute, creative idea! :-)
    I would love for you to share this over at my new link party Making Memories Mondays going on now!

  45. WOW!! Just love this! As someone who is not very handy at this sort of thing, I appreciate the detailed instructions!


  1. […] in case you haven’t already seen this, HERE’S a tutorial I have for making birthday chalkboard posters. Let me know if you have any more […]

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