The Cub’s First Birthday Chalkboard Poster

It seems like everyone is doing a first birthday chalkboard poster (and smash cake) for their little one’s bash, so of course, I wanted one for my little man.  I actually started working on it when The Cub was about seven months old, and just added things and tweaked it little by little here and there until it was finally complete.  And it was so easy too!

First Birthday Chalkboard Poster

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How to Make a Birthday Chalkboard Poster

If you’d like all the juicy details on how I made this poster, you’re in luck!  I’ve finally been able to find time and put together a full tutorial for making one of these bad boys…..check it out here!

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


First, I did a Google image search for a chalkboard background and downloaded one that had a large resolution (there are plenty of free ones out there in different colors and varying amounts of chalkiness….if you’d like more details on how to find one, check this out!).

Then I downloaded A TON of free fonts.  Like a bazillion.  I wanted most to look like (sort of) real chalk handwriting, and some that were whimsical and fun, and others that were dingbats that I could use for the frames, brackets, and images (like the tooth and cake).

Check out my list of some of my favorite free chalkboard fonts as well as some awesome dingbat fonts for chalkboards as well!

Free Chalkboard Fonts    Awesome Free Dingbat Fonts for Chalkboards

You can even turn your very own handwriting into a font for free, too!



From there, I fired up Photoshop Elements and just played around with the different tidbits of info about The Cub.  There was lots of editing, but then again I could probably play around with it forever, continually making adjustments and tweaking this or that, never fully satisfying my OCD tendencies….

Once again, I’ve since put together a full tutorial for how to make a birthday chalkboard poster!

I made two versions…..a black and white version that I printed out and used as a decoration at his party, and then a colored version with his updated height and weight statistics.  I also changed a few items in this version as well….how did I forget to include his love for the Big Bang Theory’s theme song and TV remotes???  Silly mommy.

First Birthday Chalkboard Poster

Here are both versions. I think I like the colored version better, just because bright colors make me happy. But the black and white version fulfilled its purpose beautifully.


The reason I left it as black and white for the party was because I wanted to print it as an engineering print, which can only come in black and white.  I had it printed at Staples as an 18″ x 24″ by uploading the file to their website and selecting my local store for pickup.  It was ready the following morning, so The Cub and I hopped in the car to get it….and it was only $1.85 (including tax!).

If I had printed that same size in color as a poster print it would have been much, much, MUCH more, probably at least $25 or so.  No way was I spending that!  So the colored version will be printed out as a measly 8″ x 10″ at home and awarded a page in his baby book.  Maybe I’ll frame one and hang it is his room as well.

The plain Jane black and white version worked just fine for The Cub’s party though.  I had some foam board on hand already, so I just trimmed it down to size and used some spray adhesive to attach the print.  I had also purchased some super cute dinosaur washi tape since The Cub’s party was dino theme, so I used that to make a simple and colorful frame.

First Birthday Chalkboard Poster

Here’s the actual poster from his party. I can’t believe I don’t have a picture of The Cub next to it!!


Dinosaur Washi Tape

Isn’t this just the cutest washi tape??


First Birthday Chalkboard Poster

Our little family at The Cub’s first birthday party. (There’s a dino growing out of my head!)


Here’s another first birthday chalkboard poster I made for my niece….hers is in the style of Classic Alice in Wonderland!

Classic Alice in Wonderland First Birthday Chalkboard Poster


No Photoshop?  No problem!

Are you wanting to make a chalkboard poster for your little one’s birthday?  Do you have a Mac but don’t have Photoshop?   If you answered “yes” to these questions, then fear not….you can make your own chalkboard poster using Preview!  I even wrote up a tutorial showing you just how easy it is, and you can check it out here.

How To Make Your Own Chalkboard Poster on a Mac


I just LOVE this poster for The Cub’s first birthday.  I love how it’s solely about The Cub and is his personality in print.  All him.  These are the little things that we can look back on and smile at years from now.

It will be fun when he’s older and asks “What’s ‘Boots & Pants’ mean??” and I can tell him about a Geico Insurance commercial that used to air on TV that had a talking pig sitting poolside who beat-boxed “Boots & Pants” over some dub step music, and that would make him break out in the biggest smile and do the cutest little head shimmy from side to side.  See, little things.

Thanks so much for stopping by!






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. Love this tutorial it has been great!! I have a quick question about the type of font you used on your sons? The font at the bottom where you described his favorite things. I would love to use that on my sons. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  2. Great Blog! Wondering where you had it printed? and what size you would suggest?

  3. Karen Holden says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! I’ve just finished creating a birthday chalkboard for my son’s 1st birthday….and it’s thanks to your site and blog that I did it!!

  4. Where can I find the blank tooth at?

  5. Hi,
    Your blogs are very wonderful, detailed and useful.
    It has inspired me to create chalkboard for my daughter,s bday.
    Can you please eloberate on how to add particular symbols from symbolic fonts and write text on those?

  6. Hello! I LOVE your posters! I am working on my daughters but I cannot find what Dingbat you used for the TOOTH image!? Please help!

  7. Ashleigh says:

    I loved this because my son’s name is Rowan and his nickname is also Ro-Ro LOL!!

  8. Thanks for doing these tutorials! Not only was I able to complete the project and have exactly what I wanted, but I also learned a lot of new things about my Mac. Thanks so much!

  9. love your website and I am having trouble figuring out how to make the Happy First Birthday Banner for up at the top. How do you make the banner big enough to fit all of the letters because the dingbat seems to only have a few of the flags and I don’t know how to add onto it so it looks like one banner. PS I lovey our work.

    • Actually I figured that out bu now (since I am new to Photoshop and only downloaded it to do this project) I cannot figure out how to add text to the banners.

      • Hey Judy! Sorry to hear you’re having troubles! Have you seen my tutorial for adding banners to chalkboard posters?

        That goes into great detail. I’m not sure what dingbat font you’re using so I can’t help you with specifics for that. Most include the regular alphabet and numbers already on the banners….you just have to type the key like you normally would. Most also include blank banners if you want to type a different font than what is provided in the dingbat (that’s described in my banner post). Check out my other post and see if that helps, and let me know if you have any further questions!

  10. Hey there, I just came across your blog while searching for DIY posters, your tutorial is fantastic! I’ve just completed most of a poster to commemorate what will be my husband’s first half-marathon, will fill in the blanks once the race is done. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks, and tell you how I’ve enjoyed reading through your blog.

  11. Hello Christine!

    Thanks for this amazing tutorial! I used some of your ideas and I’m building my daughter first bday chalkboard poster but in Excel! Just curious but which is the font and character you used for the favorites? I mean on the fancy boxes ‘foods, books…’? And also which is the font for the fancy boxes there? Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Hey Fabi! So glad you’re finding this information useful! The font you asked about is called Mountains of Christmas, and the boxes those words are on is KG Flavor and Frames. Hope this helps!

  12. When you print the colored version at home, does printing the chalkboard background totally eat up all of one black ink cartridge? And what type of paper do you print on at home? Thinking for my daughter’s room.

    • Hey Christy! I have an Epson printer which does tend to eat through ink like crazy, but I don’t recall this project using up a ton at all. I like to print them out on photo paper (either glossy or matte) just because it’s a little thicker and more durable. Plus the image tends to be crisper, which is nice since these projects use all that text. Good luck decorating your daughter’s room! :)

  13. I love your birthday posters! Anyway you’d share the file so I could just edit over what you did? Your layout is so perfect! I’d pay you for the file if you want!

    • Hey there, Lynette! I’m so happy you like this poster! It took me quite a while to get a layout that I was happy with….there were just so many little tidbits I wanted to share about my little man! I’m terribly sorry, but I can’t share the file with you, or sell it either. I don’t have commercial rights for most of the fonts, and I’m thinking about starting to sell these kinds of posters in the future. I hope you understand. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. […] Melissa! Are you referring to the tooth dingbat I used for my son’s first birthday chalkboard poster? If so, that one’s called JLR Toofy Grin. I just changed the shape up a bit. Hope this […]

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