helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

I have to admit that when I started planning (aka: pinterest-ing) my wedding, burlap and chalkboard EVERYTHING was exploding my mind’s eye of the vision of our wedding day. The result: A lot of burlap flowers and a whole lot of chalkboard signs.

Now, DIY chalkboards are not cheap. But they are sooooo cool AND the way they look just adds a certain feel to that “rustic chic” wedding. I had plans for chalkboards for the sign at the road saying “Smith/Stevens Wedding”, one to announce that seating wasn’t by sides, one to list the menu, one to request no photography at the ceremony … and my favorite … an arrow/stake sign that would point to all the events of the day.

I skipped over any concept of buying a single chalkboard and rummaged through my own stash of old picture frames that were old and unused, scoured the garage sales for large and ugly picture frames and/or mirrors and made a pit stop to the craft store to buy arrows that were made of wood (and a piece of wood my hubby cut and made into a stake to attach them to).

Now here’s the trick – you buy chalkboard paint at Lowe’s Home Improvement Store in the paint section and use a spongy brush to apply. (Also can be bought online at Amazon, of course). I bought the big 1/2 gallon of this stuff and it was under $10 and I have a LOT leftover.

8oz found on Amazon.com for just under $9 .... you can get 1/2 gallon for under $10 at Lowes .. FYI
8oz Folk Art Chalkboard Paint from Amazon…. you can get 1/2 gallon for under $10 at Lowes .. FYI

 

Painting wood and glass ... we also painted cardboard, a refrigerator door (for the keezer) and mirrors.
Painting wood and glass … we also painted cardboard, a refrigerator door (for the keezer) and mirrors.

You can paint ANYTHING with this stuff! Okay …. most things …. like mirrors, glass, wood, and yes, even cardboard and a refrigerator door (did all of these!).

An old tall mirror I had turned chalkboard to use as a reception "itinerary" (note the handmade burlap flowers!)
An old tall mirror I had turned chalkboard to use as a reception “itinerary” (note the handmade burlap flowers!)

And, if all you have is a big giant frame and no glass or wood or mirror (or don’t want to ruin that), just paint cardboard with the chalkboard paint and nobody will ever know the difference. Honest truth!

I also decided that, since I didn’t want anything to smudge (as chalk does) and I wanted it to be dark and clear and crisp, I wanted to actually paint the chalk on. My plan being that after the wedding, I can just repaint over the words with chalkboard paint (I have more than enough!).

The chalkboard arrows - in progress - after being painted, ready to have the writing done
The chalkboard arrows – in progress – after being painted, ready to have the writing done

So on Amazon I found liquid chalk that’s meant for dry erase boards BUT you can use it on chalkboards … but the only difference is that it won’t come off your chalkboard like it does a dry erase board. And they come in LOTS of colors!

Amazon.com - liquid chalk, available in lots of colors
Amazon.com - liquid chalk, available in lots of colors

My Arrow piece was by far my favorite … painted, added some decorations, and wrote on each arrow after my hubby nailed the arrows to the stake.

The finished Chalkboard Arrow Sign/Stake
The finished Chalkboard Arrow Sign/Stake

I found about 5-6 frames at the dollar store for $1 each to use/paint (I also painted the frames with spray paint), and spent $5 on larger frames found at garage sales, $8 on wood, $10 on paint, $2 for the sponge brush and then the remaining ones were all things I already owned and wasn’t using. The liquid chalk was under $5 for a white, yellow and purple with free shipping. I paid under $40 for ALL of the chalkboards at our wedding —final count was about 15 chalkboards total (I had tiny ones I used for signs for the food and drinks, too).

So, what would have really been a huge strain on our budget, was just a weekend (or two) of painting and writing. Ta-da!

Share this post:

About Jennifer

Jennifer is a 30-year old Professional Photographer & Federal Employee living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Aside from planning a wedding, she spends time with her fiance racing autocross and running her own business and traveling. Jennifer is engaged to John, the "boy from church youth group" who, after 13 years apart, found one another again and are now planning their intimate and budget savvy wedding for 8/31/13 at her mother's log home in the woods.

Connect with Jennifer
  • Elena

    Thanks for this post! I want to do a similar thing with chalkboard paint but had been told it would be better to make my own since the paint is expensive. Sounds like one container went a long way!