You Won’t Believe How Easy and Inexpensive This DIY Chalkboard Sign Is!
With only 3 supplies and $5 or less, this DIY chalkboard sign is the easiest way to update your home decor!
Happy New Year, friends! I had so much fun decorating for Christmas this year, but by the time the new year hits, I’m ready for it to all come down and start with something fresh.
In between Christmas and spring I default back to my regular decor, which includes lots of neutrals, greenery, textures and florals.
However, I do like to sprinkle in some Valentine’s Day decor here and there.
That’s where the idea for this DIY chalkboard sign was born! I love decorating my entryway table for different seasons and holidays…and Valentine’s Day is no different!
I love layering frames, signs, photos, etc on my entryway table, but this time I wanted something big to layer. I wasn’t willing to pay a lot for something that was just going to be in the background, so I set out to make my own!
I decided on a chalkboard because I knew I could make it easily and inexpensively…and there are SO many ways to use it!
I love how it turned out, and I can’t wait to show you how easy it is to make a chalkboard sign yourself!
DIY Thrifted Chalkboard Sign
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Before we get started, I want to cover a few quick things about this DIY chalkboard sign tutorial.
Here’s what this post is:
- a “beginner” level DIY
- an easy way to repurpose a picture frame
- a step-by-step guide with plenty of pictures to guide you
Here’s what this post is not:
- a time consuming DIY
- an expensive DIY project
- difficult to complete
DIY Chalkboard Sign Supplies & Costs
You only need three main supplies to make this chalkboard sign, and you could possibly already have all of them on-hand already!
- Picture Frame
- Depending on the size you’re going for, this may be something you already have tucked away in the back of your closet (I know I’m a notorious frame hoarder). You could even use an old mirror! I was wanting something big, so I hit up my local thrift store and grabbed the biggest framed photo I could find! And it was only $5!
- Note: If you’re shopping for a thrifted picture frame, be sure to pay attention to the style of the frame. Remember, paint can cover up anything…just be sure you like the style or design of the frame.
- Chalkboard Paint
- Note: This is chalkBOARD paint…not chalk paint. There’s a major difference! Chalkboard paint is usually with the cans of paint and spray paint, while chalk paint is usually carried in the craft section.
- You can find chalkboard paint in a can that will need to be painted on with a paint brush, or you can even find it in spray paint form. I used the spray paint chalkboard paint because I already had it on hand. If you’re purchasing it, you can expect to pay about $5.
- Paint for the Frame
- I’m a huge believer in using what you already have on-hand, so I used a pinkish spray paint that was already in my garage. You could also use chalk paint or acrylic paint to paint the frame with a paint brush! If you’re going for a more neutral look, you could even sand and stain the frame (just make sure you make this your first step).
*Additional supplies needed: paper, painter’s tape, chalk
Total Cost: $5 (Remember: depending on what supplies you already have on-hand, this price could vary.)
How to Make a Chalkboard Sign From a Thrifted Picture Frame
Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, let me show you how easy it is to make your own chalkboard sign (for wayyyyyy cheaper than you would pay at a store).
Step 1: Cover the Glass with Paper
We’re going to start by painting the frame, so you’ll need to cover the glass with paper so you can freely paint the frame without worrying how much is getting on the glass.
To cover the glass, you can use printer paper, scrap paper, newspaper, or in my case…old wrapping paper.
As you’re covering the glass with the paper of your choice, use painter’s tape to secure the paper to the glass.
Remember: It’s ok if a little of the glass is showing since any paint that gets on the glass will be covered with the chalkboard paint. But we don’t want a bunch of it showing.
Step 2: Paint the Frame of Your “Chalkboard”
Now that the glass is covered with paper, you can easily paint your frame!
Again, I used spray paint, but you could also use almost any other kind of paint. Those $0.50 bottles of acrylic paint would be a really affordable option.
I spray painted 3 coats, letting the frame dry completely between each coat.
Note: If you’re here, you probably know how to spray paint! But just remember that light, even coats are the key! I always get impatient and try to spray paint too close for more coverage on the first coat, but you’ll get a runny mess that way! Just take your time, be patient, and plan on at least 3 coats of paint.
Step 3: Tape off the Frame of Your “Chalkboard”
Once your frame is completely dry, you can remove the paper covering the glass.
Because now it’s time to cover up the frame portion so you can paint your glass with chalkboard paint.
Once your frame is completely dry, cover the entire frame with painter’s tape.
Note: I chose to wait until the next day to cover my painted frame with painter’s tape. Mainly because I wanted to be sure it dried completely. In another project, I got in way too big of a hurry and applied painter’s tape over spray paint that needed a few more hours to dry….and the paint peeled right off with the tape.
Now this time, make sure you are covering the entire frame with painters tape. No part of the frame should be showing! We don’t want the chalkboard paint to get on any part of the frame that you’ve already painted.
Related: Affordable Entryway Tables
Step 4: Paint the Glass with Chalkboard Paint
Whether you’re going the paint brush or the spray paint route, your chalkboard will need at least 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint. Again, use even coats and dry according to the paint manufacturers directions in between coats.
Step 5: Remove the Tape from the Frame
Once your chalkboard paint is dry, you can now remove the painter’s tape from the frame.
You may need to touch-up a few areas, depending on how well you covered each portion with paper and/or tape.
Step 6: Use Chalk to “Decorate”
Now that you’ve successful turned your picture frame into a beautiful chalkboard, you can now add whatever you’d like to your chalkboard!
There are so many options for this!
Since I was using my DIY chalkboard sign as a layering piece on my entryway table, I didn’t want add any words to it. But I did want to give it a used “chalkboardy” feel.
To do this, I just rubbed the side of a piece of chalk all over the chalkboard and gently “erased” it with a towel to give it a used look.
Here are some other ideas for how to use your DIY chalkboard sign:
- layering piece (like I did!)
- write your favorite quote, verse, or seasonal phrase
- use as a weekly menu board for your family
- if you want a more polished look, use a die cutting machine to add vinyl wording or pictures to your chalkboard
- leave blank and hang a wreath in front
I also love how easy it is to change the color of the frame as your style or the seasons change.
To paint your frame a different color, simply repeat steps 1 & 2 to give your chalkboard sign a completely different look!
How Easy Was it to Make This Chalkboard Sign?
There’s not many things more satisfying than an easy and cheap DIY! Especially when it looks high end!
Here is how I have mine displayed for Valentine’s Day.
I chose a color that would easily transition into spring, but I can already see myself repainting the frame red for Christmas! How pretty!
This DIY chalkboard sign would add the perfect touch of decor in so many ways:
- Home Decor
- Baby Showers
- Playroom Activity Board
- Kitchen Menu
I’d love to know how you’re using your thrifted chalkboard sign! You can leave me a comment or you can find me on Instagram, where I’m hanging out daily and sharing all sorts of quick projects, DIYs, decor, and tips that don’t make it to the blog. I’d love to see you there!
If you enjoyed this easy DIY, check out these other simple and inexpensive DIYs:
- $2 Paper Doily Table Runner
- $1 DIY Paper Scroll Wall Decor
- DIY Yarn Wall Hanging in Just 20 Minutes
- Upcycled Glass Jars for Bathroom Storage
- DIY Wood Bead Wreath