Chalkboard Art Basic Hand Lettering Tutorial

basic chalkboard hand lettering pin


how to do basic chalkboard art hand lettering

In the past, I have often been scared about attempting anything chalkboard art related that isn’t a graphic that I can make on the computer! With the farmhouse style in constant motion in our tiny house, I found myself quickly accumulating cute decor items with chalkboards plastered on the surfaces. I was examining our home (as I often do) for new projects or furniture that seems out of place when I noticed that I had THREE empty chalkboards on display. I decided it was time to buck-up and draw something, ANYTHING on those boards.

Of course I searched on Pinterest ‘chalkboard art’ and couldn’t find exactly the tutorial I was looking for so I decided to combine a few different techniques.

Surprisingly, I was happy with the results!

This is my first “official” attempt at some freestyle lettering so bear with me, things could get rocky.

Tutorial on chalkboard art and hand lettering

First thing first, pick your weapon. 

I used a regular piece of chalk and sharpened it with a pencil sharpener. Works wonders! If you are not into the super old-fashioned, there are plenty of chalk markers that work the same way as chalk, you can even erase them!

Here’s the chalk markers I like to use.

You’ll need some cue-tips or rags to wipe the smeared chalk. Trust me, you’ll be smearing. Use water, if needed, for those pesky chalk marks that just won’t come off.

You  will need to season your chalkboard.

This will help promote a longer lifespan to your chalkboard and will make lettering a little easier to erase. Crazy to think that a chalkboard has a lifespan but it does!  Eventually, after years of use, your chalkboard will become a difficult little thing and that’s when you will know that you need to repaint it with chalk paint.

If you’re confused on the how’s and why’s of chalk painting, head over to my free course where I describe in detail the basics to get you started.

How to season: Take that chalk in your hand, turn it to its side and drag it all over your board. That’s it! You just need to cover the surface with chalk. Once satisfied with your handy work, wipe off the excess chalk.

…and it should look something like this.

Tutorial on chalkboard art and hand lettering

Kind of adds some rustic charm.

Now is the time to make a plan of action.

This is where you’ll need to figure out exactly what you want to put on the board and how. The how is extremely important because the chalk can get pretty smeared up pretty fast with multiple erasing.

Here’s what my planning looked like.

how to hand letter with chalk



Write down your quote on a piece of paper and circle, underline, whatever, the words you would like to emphasize. In this case, I thought that the two most important words were gratitude and enough.


chalkboard hand lettering


This is where I made a very rough draft of my board which is a rectangle and rearranged the words in different placements to see which one looked the best. I added embellishments to fill up the empty space as I am a huge fan of symmetry.

chalkboard hand lettering basics



So, I crossed out all the ones I didn’t like and made one final rough draft of the art I wanted to create.

Grid the sections off with a ruler.

Okay, that sounds a little more complicated than it actually is. All you need to do is use your ruler to create a couple faint lines that you can use as guidelines for your letters.

Here’s what mine looked like. (Disregard the first word on there, I forgot to take a picture beforehand)

Tutorial on chalkboard art and hand lettering


Emphasis on the light because it is H.A.R.D. to get those marks off with beautiful letters surrounding them.

Tutorial on chalkboard art and basic hand lettering

First outline of my free-handed lettering. Not too shabby, instead of a 1st grader it looks more like a 5th grader. However, I needed this to at least look like it’s in the high school range so I went over the letters again… and again… and again… until there were a ton of smears on my board and a smile on my face.

Final result?


Chalkboard art tutorial and basic hand lettering


For a first attempt, I’d say that I didn’t completely blow it out of the water but I certainly didn’t drown with shame. I have two more chalkboards to accomplish so maybe by the third it will look more college range (instead of high school). We’ll see. As I have stated in previous posts, I do not have fantastic handwriting. I would like to but it takes some serious practice and as a momma, I definitely have limited time for…practice.


Chalk art tutorial and basic hand lettering

Looks nice on my wall anyways!

(Black and white because I am trying to avoid the wall of shame — AKA, a chipped wall of a renters home.)

What is YOUR technique with chalk art and lettering? 

Tenesha's signature for The Beauty Within 31


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