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DIY Thankful Chalkboard & Easy Chalk Hand Lettering Cheat!

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You know what I realized not too long ago?  I don’t have ANY Thanksgiving decorations!  I know, what kinda craziness is that!  We’ve got Halloween and Christmas fully covered, and I have some generic fall items, like my shabby chic ‘Happy Fall’ door hanger and my ruffled felt candy corn pumpkin, but nothing that screams THANKSGIVING.

Thankfully (haha, did you see what I did there?), I came up with a quick and easy solution to my holiday decor dilemma.  It’s also my first attempt at a real chalkboard project!  Yep, I’m branching out from my love of digital chalkboards and gave the real thing a try….with a helpful little shortcut though.  Because hellooo….I’m Miss Ugly Handwriting.  Now chalk lettering by hand doesn’t intimidate me….as much, at least. ;)

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been

[There are affiliate links in this post, and many thanks to the wonderful folks at ConsumerCrafts for sponsoring today’s fun!  All opinions are of course 100% my own.  Gotta keep it real.]


DIY Thankful Chalkboard


Here’s everything that I used for this quick and easy DIY Thankful chalkboard:


The Chalkboard Sign

This is the super cute chalkboard sign that I’d be using.  It measures 10.5″ x 24″, and since it has a rope for hanging as well as a little tray at the bottom to hold a piece of chalk, I knew it would be a perfect interactive piece of holiday decor!

And since Thanksgiving is almost here, what better way to celebrate than having our family randomly jot down little things we’re thankful for??

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


Beautifying the Chalkboard’s Frame

I first taped off the edging of the chalkboard with some painter’s tape, then gave the frame a couple coats of metallic gold craft paint.  I thought this would be a nice way to jazz up the natural wood.

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


Seasoning the Chalkboard

Once the paint was fully dry, I removed the painter’s tape and got to seasoning the chalkboard.  This was so the board wouldn’t look so brand spankin’ new, and also so the chalk will write a little easier when it comes time to add our notes.

All I did was rub the long flat side of a piece of white chalk over the entire surface….

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


….until everything was fully covered (and as you can see, quite dusty).  Then I went outside (because of the aforementioned dust), blew off as much of the excess chalk that I could, then wiped the whole thing down with a paper towel.  Voila!  Instant seasoned chalkboard.

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been

***Prepare for lighting change!***


Transferring the Text

Ok, so here’s the little shortcut I was referring to above!  As previously discussed, I have some horrendous handwriting, which is why I’ve yet to give real chalkboard signs a shot.  I just know they would turn out disastrous, so I’ve stuck to the Photoshop or Preview on a Mac varieties.  They never let me down.  (You can check out my All Things Chalkboard series for lots of proof!)

Well, all I needed for this project was a sheet of carbon transfer paper and a printed word and wham-bam-thank-you-maam: beautiful handwritten lettering could be achieved in the flesh!

Yep, I just printed out the word ‘Thankful’ in a super cute script font (I love those swirls and twirls) and taped it over a piece of carbon paper, which was also taped to the chalkboard for stability.  Then I grabbed a pen and started tracing overtop the lettering….

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


….which would reveal the perfect word on the chalkboard that I could then easily write over with a chalk pen.  If you don’t have any carbon paper, you could cover the back of your printed sheet with some pencil lead or even chalk then get to tracing, but I didn’t want to deal the mess of those methods.  This carbon paper worked perfectly and was mess-free (and it’s super inexpensive as well as reusable).

See how it looks after being traced?  So handy!

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


For this lettering, I wanted it to be semi-permanent: permanent enough to withstand any wiping off of our little handwritten notes, but not totally everlasting….I have been known to change my mind from time to time….or all the time.  I also wanted it to POP off the chalkboard and be distinctive from the thankful notes we’d be adding in regular chalk.

Enter a liquid chalk pen!  This is smudge-proof once dry but wipes off with a wet cloth.  Perfect!

It writes like a paint pen and is (as the name states) very liquidy, so it’s pretty easy to use.  This particular pen is a fine tip (as opposed to ultra fine) so I knew I wouldn’t be able to achieve the super skinny lines of my traced word, but they would be good enough….and still much better than me trying to do everything on my own without a guide.

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


The Completed DIY Thankful Chalkboard!

Thanks to a husband who got busy making dinner (he’s a good man), I don’t have any shots of the chalk pen in action, but here’s our completed Thankful chalkboard!

I added a simple little bow up top in some ivory burlap ribbon, and now our chalkboard is hanging on a skinny wall that connects our family room with our kitchen.  It’s a high-traffic area that we all constantly pass through, so I thought this would be a nice spot to hang this board.

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


Our family is pretty easy going (and my husband especially has a hard time taking anything too seriously), which is why some of our items are a little….silly?  Light-hearted, maybe?  That’s just us.  We’re of course thankful for the “big stuff” too, and you’ll notice we did include our health, home, and love.

The other stuff….well, we can be thankful for those too (especially the Cincinnati Bengals having an 8-0 season!  As a lifelong fan, I can assure you this is most definitely something to celebrate and cherish!). ;)

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


This chalkboard looks especially lovely in the glow of the Christmas tree lights at night (yes, our Christmas tree is already up!).

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Thankful Chalkboard | Where The Smiles Have Been


If You Enjoyed This….

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for lots more crafty creations, including tons of fun with digital chalkboards!

All Things Chalkboard Series!


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


How To Make Your Own Chalkboard Poster on a Mac


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


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


Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.

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