Saturday, October 20, 2012

Idea No. 25 & 26: 31 Halloween Ideas w/ Rhonna Designs: Spooky Chalkboard Art & Tips n Tricks

If you have never seen the amazing Dana Tanamachi's chalkboard art, you're missing out. I have loved her style for a long time & being the doodley, chalkboard, handwriting lover that I am....this was something I've had a lot of fun with. So, for today's segment in our 31 Halloween Ideas I wanted to show you some up close & personal bits of my Halloween chalkboards I have sprinkled all over my house w/ tons of Rhonna Designs, of course.....& 
how about 6 tips & tricks for creating your own chalkboard art.

Ideas No. 25 & 26: Spooky Chalkboard Art & Tips n Tricks
Tips: 
1. Check out format. When I start a chalkboard project, I take into consideration whether it is a vertical or horizontal area. This will make a difference on what kind of frame, writing & space I have to work with.  **Some like to sketch out their ideas...I am a freehand kind of person, so I just go to town!

2. Decide on wording, quote, or images. Shown above is a whole chalkboard wall in my home: about 4' wide from ceiling to floor. It's a large space & I knew I just wanted to fill it with a bunch of spooky words, bats, stars, swirls, phrases, etc. I start from top to bottom & just fill in w/ shapes, scallops..& have fun! If I need to erase, it's no worries...I just erase it..after all..it's only chalk!

3. Combine font styles. Above is the bottom part of that wall for a close up.  A combination of shapes, images & font styles make it interesting to the eye. 
**have fun with cursive script....loosen that wrist & get going! It adds a lot to the design of your chalkboard art!

Now...for Idea No. 26...the tricks of the trade I've learned w/ lots of practice!

Tricks:
1. Prep your board. This is called seasoning.  Once you've got a newly painted or brand new chalkboard, it's all black & purdy, right? Well, if you took your chalk & started creating your art....it would make a ghost impression & no matter how much you erase...you will see those lines. Not cool, huh? So....Season your chalkboard surface by taking a chalk piece on its side & chalking the entire surface. Erase. & you are ready to go. 

***A word about erasing.  I find a soft, old cloth works the best. PLUS I love how easily you can get into little places whilst creating your chalk art. In my opinion, normal erasers are a pain!

2.  Practice chalking.  It's chalk. So let loose, have fun & ERASE when you need to! I have to say...when I am doing a wall or board ...I have lots of do-overs & erase, erase, erase! To get back to that fresh, black board...simply dampen your erasing cloth. Watch some of Dana's Time Lapse videos...pure inspiration! You'll see how she does it!


3. Choose your chalk. Discover which kind of chalk you like to use. Regular old chalk sticks are my weapon of choice. They are inexpensive, come in a box & I can break them into the sizes I want! LOL!
But....I've found that SOME surfaces are really difficult to chalk on if they are either REALLY smooth (the chalk can just slip off) OR if they are REALLY textured....it's crazy to try to make a straight line for that!  So, I have found a more expensive tool I love called: Bistro Chalk Pens. um...yea. liquid chalk? in a pen? sooo easy, so fun! But I have found that no matter how much you season, it does leave some ghosting...so, I would suggest using it on a surface/project that won't be chalked very often. 
See the bold difference? I re-did my huge clock in my family room & decided I wanted to paint the inside of the clock w/ chalkboard paint. I won't be chalking this very often & it's super slippery, so the Bistro Chalk Pens worked great. You can erase them w/ a wet cloth, but....be prepared...it's not as forgiving as regular ol' chalk. ( I also did our vintage trailer (Dazey) door w/ this...the door is textured & I knew the quote I wanted would have to withstand rain, dirt, etc....& the pen chalk worked great!& HERE on our little fridge inside the trailer.)

**another fun tip: wet your chalk for a cool effect. Kind of like the 'liquid chalk' effect, but still lots of texture.

I've had so many questions about my chalkboard art: What chalk do you use to get those tiny thin lines? & the thick lines?
well.....I use the regular ol' chalk sticks from Crayola...or Rose Art...whatever is on sale...BUT...
to get the varying widths, I have a little secret.

now...lean in closer.
closer.

shhh..... listening?
my secret?? mix & match sizes...

 How do you get thin lines? thick lines? 

thin lines? I use an old make up pencil sharpener (you know, the wide ones) & just sharpen the ends of the sticks according to the width I want them to be....cool, huh?

thick lines? I break the pieces into the width i want, turn it on its side & draw...see the thick lines on my huge chalkboard 'S'? yup...a piece of chalk broken to about an inch & then written on the side. Now...don't get all break happy at first, because you will have plenty of pieces breaking...so, save those & use them for wider letters & larger images! 

So...there ya go...my 6 tips & tricks for creating your own chalkboard art.  
Sprinkle it all around your house for a little Halloween magic...a dash of Rhonna Designs...& you are sure to have a Spooky Halloween!



12 comments:

Andrea said...

Great tips!! Can't wait to get home and work on all my chalkboard surfaces!!! I am in awe of the way your brain works to create! Everything to touch turns into fabulousness!!!!! Xoxo

Nancy Wyatt said...

Amazing! I have the perfect spot for a chalkboard and I think I know what I want to paint next time hubby is off golfing, ha! Thanks for the tips and inspiration Rhonna!

ellie g said...

Love, love, love these tips. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I asked for my own white board and I would decorate it once or twice a week. I adored it. I need to get back to that....and try chalk instead. And you go with the make-up sharpener. Brilliance, I tell you!

jamie said...

so doing this right now!
love.love.love.
~j

Michelle C said...

This is fabulous!
I've been thinking a long time about painting an entire wall in chalkboard paint. With these tips, I'm ready to jump in!
Just one question, to really have a quality chalkboard surface, does the chalkboard paint that you find at Home Depot, etc, give a good result? Or do you have another source for chalkboard paint?
THANKS!

Zoe said...

AWESOME!! I just found an old green chalkboard at DI that I was going to put in my baby's room. Now I will at least know how to work with the chalk. My handwriting....that's a different story. ;-)

Zoe said...

AWESOME!! I just found an old green chalkboard at DI that I was going to put in my baby's room. Now I will at least know how to work with the chalk. My handwriting....that's a different story. ;-)

amy said...

genius!!! every single tip is fab! now i just need to get over my hate for the sound & feel of chalk!! (chalkophobic?!) :0

Marci said...

I am so excited that you did this post!!! I have several chalkboards and can't wait to go all *Rhonna* on them.:)

Jane said...

I have been "practicing" from your post with the blue frame....invites for our annual pizza n pumpkin carving night. Thanks for these tips! I am using black construction paper with a white signo pen for a similar chalkboard effect~ I am sadly chalkboardless~

Shannon Kornis said...

I've had good luck with Magic Eraser removing the ghost from Liquid Chalk. Try it.

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