DIY Chalkboard Menu with DIY Letter Stencils

Dan to Erin: “I love chalkboards. We only use white boards at school now and they aren’t nearly as fun.”

Erin to Dan: “Totally.”

Fast forward about a week.

Dan to Erin: “We need someplace to write down our weekly meal plan so we both know what’s for dinner when we get home.”

Erin to Dan: “Totally.”

*Erin thought bubble*

“Why don’t I combine the two into a chalkboard menu!”

Here’s a sneak peak at how it turned out!  Keep reading to find out how I did it.

Check out the lettering!

Check out the lettering!

Materials you need:

  • Chalkboard paint
  • Craft paint in colour(s) of your choice
  • Primer (optional)
  • Sticker paper (available at Staples)
  • Multiple paint brushes in smallish sizes
  • scissors
  • drop cloth and cardboard for paint palette
  • tweezers or a flat head screw driver (optional)

This project is relatively simple, but does take some attention to detail.

Step One: 

The obligatory before.  Remember we picked this blank board up at the thrift store for $3.

The obligatory before. Remember we picked this blank board up at the thrift store for $3.

Gather your materials.  Then paint a stripe of your “Menu” colour along the top (or wherever you want to write the word menu).

Step Two: Print out your words in large font on your sticker paper. I actually used a font called “Chalkboard”! Cut them out carefully and then position them over top of your stripe of colour.

Position your 'sticker' letters on top of your coloured paint.

Position your ‘sticker’ letters on top of your coloured paint.

Step Three:  Paint your chalkboard. Layer it on as thick as you can because you want it to be nice and even and creamy black. Pay special attention that you are covering all the coloured paint and going over the letters evenly.  I used a small foam roller for the chalkboard paint and found it work well. (Better than the brush I chose to use for the border, which you will see in a moment).

Paint right over your letters with the chalkboard paint. Two good coats at least.

Paint right over your letters with the chalkboard paint. Two good coats at least.

Step Four: Prime the border. I primed the whole thing.  Paint over the letters at the top too. Then paint the border whatever colour you chose. Obviously, I chose white.

Prime and paint!

Prime and paint!

*Like my polka dot painting pants? :P *

Step Five:  Here’s where your hands might get a bit messy and you need to focus a bit on detail.  Peel up the letter stickers while the paint is still wet.

A little bit of bleed through. Not too bad though!

A little bit of bleed through. Not too bad though!

As you can see, there was a bit of seepage, but that is easily fixed by going back over the letters with a small craft paint brush. We aren’t going for perfection here people!  Just cuteness and functionality :)

You also might want to use tweezers or a flat head screwdriver to carefully lift the sticky stuff up.  As I mentioned, the letters under the chalk paint came up rather easily.  Under the primer and white paint not-so-much. I think it’s because the roller sealed the sticker edges, where the brush did not. If I were to do this again, I’d do the whole thing with a roller.

Step Six: Admire your handy work because you’re almost finished!

Almost there!

Almost there!

Step Seven: To make sure you don’t permanently mark your chalkboard, it’s recommended that you ‘score’ it before use. That means dragging the long side of a piece of chalk all over it. I don’t know why it works, it just does.

Et voila! Ready to hang!

All done! Except it has to be hung on the wall.

All done! Except it has to be hung on the wall.

We will hang it over our newly acquired bar cart, but we aren’t going to photograph the dining room until we are totally finished hanging up the art we know we want to see in that room. So you’ll have to wait for a full on reveal.  In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at the cart and what we have in it at the moment.

A sneak look at our new bar cart!  Our menu board will hang above it.

A sneak look at our new bar cart! Our menu board will hang above it.

What do you think?  Do you like chalkboards? Have you ever painted anything with chalkboard paint?  What about letter stencils? I think I may use the whole sticker paper concept to make some art for the powder room.

Now, what’s for dinner?

Erin

What do you think? Let us know! Comments are the best :)

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