If you've ever had to pay for custom signage before, you know this stuff can be unusually pricey.
And, with all the set up involved in parties, weddings and other events, the last thing you need to be spending money on is signs that will direct people for a day and then disappear into the abyss.
That's why we decided to test out three different ways to make DIY chalkboard signs on a budget. Keep scrolling down to see how we put these chalkboards together, and then check out our Intro to Chalk Lettering Online Class to learn how to fill them up.
Trust us — you don't need any advanced DIY or lettering skills to pull these off.
DIY Borderless Chalkboard
This first DIY chalkboard is by far the easiest. With the magic of chalkboard spray paint, you'll have a board that's ready to go in no time.
Spray three coats of chalkboard spray paint onto one side of your MDF board, letting each coat dry in between.
Make sure to do this outside and put down kraft paper, cardboard or newspaper to protect the surface you're spraying on top of.
Let everything dry fully for a few hours before adding your chalk lettering on top. Seriously, that's it for number one. Moving on to chalkboard number two!
DIY Picture Frame Chalkboard
This second DIY chalkboard uses something you likely already have sitting around the house: an empty picture frame. This one is actually even faster than the first board (and turned out to be my favorite of the three), because there's no dry time involved!
Materials: Empty picture frame with glass panel Chalkboard contact paper Scissors Pencil
Grab an empty frame and a few other supplies, and you're halfway there already.
Remove the glass panel from the picture frame and set the frame aside.
Unroll the chalkboard contact paper so the paper backside is facing up. Then, lay the glass panel on top of it. Trace around the glass panel in pencil, and then cut along your pencil lines with scissors.
Peel up the first two inches of the paper backing on your contact paper sheet and line it up with the top of your glass panel.
Carefully peel away the paper backing a couple inches at a time, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go.
Remember you can always stop and carefully peel it back up, but try to go slow and you'll end up with a beautifully smooth surface like this.
Place the covered glass back into your frame, contact paper side down, and close up your frame as you would normally.
When you flip your frame over, you should have something that looks like this.
Pro tip: using a white, colorful or metallic frame works best here because it'll pop against the matte black chalkboard paper.
DIY Chipboard Signs
This third and last piece is a fun way to upcycle leftover chipboard (like the back of an old sketchbook) and add some small, simple signage to your party decor.
Materials: Chipboard (the thickness of the back of a sketchbook) Chalkboard spray paint Pencil X-ACTO knife Ruler Cutting mat
Remove the chipboard backing from an old sketchbook and draw the shape of your choice onto the chipboard. We chose these cute ribbon banners, but any shape will work.
On top of a cutting mat, cut out your drawn shapes using an X-ACTO knife and a ruler for straight edges, if needed.
Spray three coats of spray paint onto your cut out shapes, letting each coat dry in between. After the last coat, let them dry completely for a few hours and then draw in your chalk designs.
Choose one or make all three styles and display them together.