Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Free Faux Chalkboard Signs Tutorial {Plus a Free Printable}

A few weeks ago I shared a fun little chalkboard sign I made by using an old picture frame and painting the back with chalkboard paint and then writing with chalkboard markers.  One of the hangs up I had with the sign is that my fancy handwriting and chalkboard lettering leave much to be desired.  The feedback I received from all of you fine people made me feel much better...I'm not in this bad lettering boat alone.  


So today, I thought I'd share a fun and free ways to make faux chalkboard signs.  You read that right...these are not the real deal, but they look like the real deal.  They do not require any chalk, chalkboard paint, or handwriting.  All you'll need is a computer, an internet connection, and a printer. Sound like it's your kinda project? Yeah, me too.

Okay, the first thing you're gonna do is open up my favorite free online photo editing and design program PicMonkey.  I have a major crush on PicMonkey.  Scratch that I'm in love with PicMonkey and I know as soon as you start using it you will, too!  So go on, click the monkey to get started.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

So here's the deal...once you open up PicMonkey you're going to select 'Design'.   Pick the size of the design you want to create - you can pick a pre-determined size like 5x7 or 8x11 or enter a custom size.  I have to say this tutorial has me all crazy...I'm editing screen shots of PicMonkey in PicMonkey. 

Now it's time to make the faux chalkboard.  Click on the 'themes' tool at the bottom of the left sidebar.   Then select the 'School U'  theme.

Scroll down until you get to 'Boards'.

Then pick your favorite chalkboard - there are several options.  It will fill the background of your design.   Be sure to hit 'apply'.

Are you ready to add some fun chalkboard fonts? Scroll up to 'Penmanship' and pick your favorite chalkboard font.

Not all of the chalkboard fonts are available with the free editing program.  The little orange crown indicates while design elements and fonts are only available with PicMonkey's Royale Upgrade.   If you're on the fence about upgrading, I can say this...a few months back I upgraded to the paid Royale Package so I could access all of PicMonkey's awesomesauce and it cost me about $33 for the year.  I can't even get half a tank of gas for that price.  I have created everything from my family's holiday cards to my business cards with PicMonkey.  In other words it's definitely worth every penny.

Even if you decide not to upgrade to Royale, you can add all kinds of cool elements to your chalkboard sign with the free version. 

Okay, sorry, I'll stop gushing over the monk.  Once you're finished with your design hit 'Save' and download the design your hard drive.  (Please note, PicMonkey does not save a copy of your design so once you close out your design from the program, you can no longer edit it.)   After it's saved, just navigate to the file on your computer and print.

I made a faux chalkboard menu board for a Christmas party we had this year and it was a hit.   Here's how the digital design looked...

...And here's what it looked like printed on my home printer. Even people who were right on top of it didn't realize it wasn't a chalkboard at all, but just a printed piece of computer paper.  

And because I love you all so much, I have created a free printable version of my chalkboard bathroom wall art.  You can download and print your faux chalkboard sign here.


Click here for the full tutorial on making chalkboard signs the old fashion way.

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

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1 comment:

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