Hello Remodelaholic readers! Colleen here, DIYer behind Lemon Thistle. I’m back today to bring you a simple wooden framed chalkboard that is a fun alternative to a wreath. I’ve also got a free printable template of my ‘welcome’ hand lettering so you can letter your own! This project is really easy to pull together with some basic tools and can suit almost any decor style.
You could use a chalkboard like this in your entry way in place of a wreath like I have, or you could hang it in a gallery wall with daily motivations, or in your kitchen for your grocery list- the possibilities are really endless! I have mine stationed in my recently renovated entry way and love how the scandi feel plays with all the other pieces I have.
How to Make Your Own Chalkboard Welcome Sign
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To make your own, you’ll need:
- 1×12 board (cut to 11 1/2 long)
- 1×2 (2 pieces cut 11 1/2 long, 2 pieces cut 13 long, avoiding joints)
- Chop saw for cutting (or have these pieces cut at the store)
- Brad Nailer with 1 1/2 inch nails or patience, thin nails and hammer
- Drill with small drill bit
- Eye hooks
- Cotton rope (found at any craft store or here)
- Chalkboard Paint & foam brush
- Chalk or a chalk marker
- Printed Template (download here)
A note about the template: We’ve provided a couple of different sizes in the download, including a 13×19 size (like we’ve used on our other large format printables here, here, here and here) so you could skip the actual chalkboard part and just print and mount the sign using the easy method Cassity shared here and then finish framing it following this tutorial. You can use the same method with any of the sizes, too.
The first thing you’ll need to do is cut your boards to size: one piece of 1×12 cut to 11 1/2 inches to make a square, two pieces of 1×2 cut to 11 1/2 inches, and two pieces of 1×2 cut to 12 inches. You could do this with a chop saw, a good ol’ hand saw, or you could have the store cut them (Home Depot offers that service no charge in most locations).
Next, you’ll want to paint your chalkboard paint. TRUST me and paint it before you assemble. I’ve assembled before painting other signs and regretted it. It’s just way cleaner this way. It took two coats of Rustoleum Chalkboard to get it nice and opaque. Let it dry completely.
Before assembling, it’s also good to season your chalkboard. You NEED to season your chalkboard if you want it to erase properly but I suggest doing it before assembling so none of that chalk dust gets caught in the corners. To season a chalkboard, you just use a piece of chalk and rub it over the entire surface in a couple different directions. Then take a cloth and rub it in really good! Wipe it clean and you’re good to go.
To assemble, use a brad nailer and attach your short side pieces first, then add your long edges. These are 1×2 on edge for that inset look. I use 3 nails or so in the short sides and on the long sides, I use 5 (adding one into the ends of each of the short edge pieces). Then add your eye hooks! Since the wood is fairly thin, it’s good to use a drill to make a pilot hole first. Then, just twist your eye hooks in and tie your rope on!
Now for the fun part… chalk board lettering! I love some freehand lettering, but I know that’s not for everyone. I hand lettered this ‘welcome’ and you can download it here to use as a template for your lettering (or, if you’d rather just print and go, follow this tutorial for the easiest and quickest way to mount printables to a board).
To use a template, just print it off, then color the back of the paper with chalk. Tap off excess then place where you want the design and use a pen to trace over the lettering.
When you remove, chalk should have transferred to the surface giving you an outline to fill in!
That’s it! I love how perfectly neutral it is while still being interesting with the added dimension of the frame and texture of the rope. I have a feeling that this guy will be making the rounds around our home!