{Simplified} Chalkboard Drawing Tutorial

How to Draw on a Chalkboard. How to create chalkboard art.
I have long admired the AMAZING chalkboard artwork by Dana Tanamachi. It is absolutely incredible what she can do with chalk! Well, I am far from being an artist of her caliber, so I have figured out how to {easily} create a simplified knock off version using a trick I learned in middle school. The first time I ever used this grid method was with a picture of charlie brown playing baseball. How do I remember that, when I can’t ever remember where I put with my keys?

Anyhow, I thought I would share how I transferred my image into chalkboard art. If anyone is interested in using the one I designed using a fun Audrey Hepburn quote, you can copy and paste the one below into your own document. It is my gift to you : ).
First, I printed my image onto a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Then I folded it in half and half and half again in both directions to make my 8×8 grid marks. I took my ruler and went over the lines with a pencil just to make the lines a little easier to see.
OK, this is the only kind of tricky part of the whole process, but it really isn’t too bad. Chances are, your chalkboard is not the same dimensions {or ratio} as your sheet of paper. In order to make sure my drawing area had the same exact ratio as my paper, you can see in the picture below that I had to cut 1 1/2 inches off of each side. In order to figure that out, I used this equation.

So once I marked my outside lines on my board, I was ready to fill in my grid lines. In the picture below, you can see that my rectangle has two sides that are marked with chalk and the other 2 sides are the frame itself. Then I just divided my box into evenly spaced lines, creating boxes 8 wide by 8 tall.
The hard part is over!
Next, I just kept looking at my sheet of paper that I had folded up and, box by box, began to fill in my drawing. The grid lines help you to tackle your drawing little by little, ensuring you keep a good scale. On some of the areas that are a little trickier, I outlined it in dots before I filled it in with a good chalk line. This is a magical trick! It works so well!
I continued to fill in the rest of my drawing.
Now this part is REALLY important….
I had to ignore all of those little perfectionist voices in my head and just draw the darn thing.
Trust me, you are your worst critic. Your drawing won’t be perfect when you are done, but it isn’t supposed to be. It is a chalkboard drawing, and you are not Dana Tanamachi, so don’t look at it too much…. just draw! :)
When it came to the more detailed lettering, I outlined it first to get my spacing right and then added the details later. That is the beauty of chalk, you can tweak it as much as you need to.
When I filled in my letters, I just drew a little with the chalk and then smudged it, nice and evenly.
After I finished with all of my lettering, I went back and tweaked everything a little to get it the way I wanted…. And then I cut myself off after a while… I kept saying to myself, “It doesn’t have to be perfect!”
I finished by finishing off my scrolling, tweaking it a little as well. Again, I used the dotting technique.
When I was happy with my drawing, I went back through and used baby wipes to erase my grid lines. You could use whatever you want here… wet Q-Tips, wet rag, etc.  
Once I was done erasing my grid lines, I added a quick border. I felt like it made my drawing a little more complete. At this point, have as much fun as you want with it! 
Finished! It really wasn’t that hard, I promise!

If you want to keep it from getting smudged, just lightly spray it with hairspray. It will help your drawing resist smudging and washes right off with a little soapy water!

I hung it back on my wall in the entry way.
Is it perfect? Definitely not.
Could I have spent a little more time to make it better? Absolutely!
Will I? Nope.
I will enjoy her until the next season when she will get a new look!
If you would like to see a lot of fun chalkboard eye candy/ chalkboard inspiration, you can visit my Pinterest board here.
You may also enjoy these free templates {click on the picture to be taken to the post}:

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for reading!

P.S. I was trying to take pictures of the chalkboard without the glare, and Ella came running in her little walker right in front of me! This girl makes me laugh every day!


  1. says

    Wow! What a detailed tutorial. I love the quote itself and the fonts you have chosen are brilliant. Found you through Welcome Wagon at Cozy Little House.
    I am your newest follower.

    Bronwyn @ Queen B Creative Me.

  2. says

    That looks fantastic, Kristen! I don’t know that I’d be able to do something so nice on my chalkboards, but you’re right ~ it is just chalk so maybe I’ll give it a try. Your daughter is adorable!

    visiting from Feathered Nest Friday : )

  3. says

    Great tutorial. I recall my kids learning this method in school, right down to the Charlie Brown picture. Thanks so much for sharing this. I just made a huge blackboard for my dining room, and I will be using your method.

  4. says

    That blackboard art is awesome, I love it and the message is beautiful, thank you for gifting the graphic, I will love to try it sometime, thanks for the tutorial.

  5. says

    I can’t decide which is cuter—your chalkboard or that adorable little baby of yours. (No offense, chalkboard, but no one can pass up those chubby cheeks!) I’ve always envied people with the ability to make their chalkboards into works of art, but now I realize that with a little planning, I can be one of them, too! Thanks for giving my mediocre chalk skills a new lease on life!

  6. says

    good morning!!
    welcome to blogland!!!
    just popped over from Brenda’s Cozy Little House..
    Love your fantastic FREEBIe..
    know exactly what I’m gonna do with it..
    will show you later!!!
    Think I’ll follow you and see what else you are up to..
    with such a sweet baby, how do you have much time at all?
    enjoy your baby kisses filled day!

  7. says

    Great tutorial Kristen! Love the quote and graphic…thanks for sharing. I have a blank chalkboard in my kitchen waiting for inspiration :) I’m heading over to your Pinterest board to check out your other ideas! Btw, are you on Instagram?

  8. says

    Umm…you lost me when you introduced the math thing there….although your chalkboard does look very lovely, but Ella takes the cake, she is such a cutie pie.

  9. says

    I’ve seen this method before in drawing, but like everyone else, my right brain and left brain battle it out! this is amazing and I’m definitely pinning away!!! Ella is the cutest little thing ever. love those adorable toothies!

  10. says

    So….how could I NOT be delighted by your blog? Grand daughter Ella and great granddaughter Claire make me smile as well!!!
    Looking forward to reading the rest of your posts, and thank you for letting me visit!!

  11. says

    So….how could I NOT be delighted by your blog? Grand daughter Ella and great granddaughter Claire make me smile as well!!!
    Looking forward to reading the rest of your posts, and thank you for letting me visit!!

  12. says

    I found your post via Stone Gable. Thanks so much for sharing the “How To” behind your chalkboard art. After seeing your grid system and your formula, I think I could actually do this. I have my dad’s chalkboard from the 1940’s that I use for parties. I’ll have to try your method the next time I use my chalkboard.

  13. says

    Great tutorial! The math puts a strain on my brain but I’ll try your simplified method of figuring out a grid. I am ‘pinning’this so I won’t forget it. I saw your post as it was featured at Stone Gable…congrats!

  14. says

    Here from SG. Congrats on being featured. Great tutorial. I always wondered how chalkboard art became just that! Pinning this.

  15. ChrisE says

    Beautiful project! I think I’m going to have to make one of these for my mom for her birthday. But, the thing that really got me is that you included math equations in your post! I am a crafty math girl, and I’m adding you to my google reader just for that alone :)

  16. Allison D. says

    What a great tutorial! Can you share what fonts you used for the initial image you made on your computer? I love them!

  17. says

    HOLY COW…this is so amazing and I thank you for telling and showing us THE WAY. Can’t wait to try it this winter when I am inside more.

  18. says

    um, *clearing throat*, I was told there would be no math in art…? Just kidding! 😉

    I just saw your cute chalkboard art via Pinterest, and wanted to come check it out! Just darling! Algebra was never my strength, so I may be out of the loop on that part! LOL Love the tutorial. And your blog. Thank you Pinterest! :)

  19. says

    I love your chalkboard tutorial but I am mathaphobic and seeing those calculations made me seize up inside. I’ll have to have my daughter do that part. Somehow my kids are all great at math. Now I just have to decide what I want to draw!

  20. says

    What a great chalkboard and tutorial! Your little cutie patootie can steal the limelight anytime…what a doll! I’d love it if you would share this at “What We Accomplished Wednesday,” at Green Willow Pond. It goes live on Tuesday nights at about 6 PM EST. Have a great week!


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