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DIY Shopping List Chalkboard – with Free Silhouette cut File!

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Wow – it has been forever since I shared a tutorial, hasn’t it? Guess I’ve been busy or something! Anyway, today’s tutorial was inspire by my husband. He kept asking for a shopping list chalkboard to hang in the kitchen. We don’t keep anything on the fridge (expect our ‘no budget budgeting’ sheet for the month), so we don’t have a running notepad to keep track of what we run out of or need to pick up at the store. We kept not buying a chalkboard and he kept being sad we didn’t have one, so the other day I pulled out some crafting supplies and made a DIY shipping list chalkboard!

DIY shopping list chalkboard with free silhouette studio file

This chalkboard is super easy to make – you only need a piece of wood, something to hang it with, chalkboard paint, and a paintbrush. I also used a bit of permanently adhesive vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo to make it a true “shopping list” chalk board! Unfinished wood seems quite popular right now, so I recommend just looking for an unfinished wood sign like the one I used at your local craft store. It’s so much easier than breaking out the power tools to make your own!

Materials needed to make your own chalkboard:

  • An unfinished wood sign or plaque, or a piece of wood or plywood. I got mine at a local craft store, but this unfinished plaque on Amazon is basically the same minus the twine.
  • Twine, if you don’t have any attached to your sign, and a drill to make holes for attaching the twine
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Vinyl and downloadable “shopping list” cut file (totally optional!)
  • If you’re adding vinyl letters, you’ll also need vinyl (I use this matte permanent vinyl), transfer paper or contact paper, and a burnisher.
  • Medium grit sandpaper, optional (I used 120)

supplies for making your own memo chalkbaord

Haha, yep! That paintbrush has been used before!

To make you shopping list chalkboard:

1. If you have an attached cord, like I did, go ahead and untie it if you can. This makes painting so much easier!

remove cord hanger

2. Sand away any rough spots, splinters, or sharp edges. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but my sign was looking pretty “fuzzy!” The smoother the sign, the better the chalkboard paint will look. If you need to make holes for your twine, go ahead and drill them now, too. If you don’t have a drill, I really can’t recommend using a staple gun here unless you have thick wood and small staples – I tried stapling something to a different wood plaque and the staples stuck out really badly on the other side!

3. Apply a thick, even coat of chalkboard paint. Try to make your strokes with the grain instead of across it to really get the paint down in any cracks that weren’t sanded totally smooth.

after first coat of paint

4. Allow the paint to dry, then apply a second coat. (I’ve found chalkboard paint almost always needs a second coat! See some wood peeping through in the photo above?).

5. If you’re applying the “shopping list” title, go ahead and cut it out using your Silhouette. In case you missed the file link above, you can download it from Google Drive here. It is not saved as a font – it’s an image that is ready to cut using vinyl settings. Allow the paint to dry fully before applying the vinyl. You can help the paint dry with a hair drier! It’s not just for hair anymore. =)

7. Weed your vinyl.

shopping list vinyl cut out

8. Apply transfer tape and burnish it in place with your scraper. Alternatively, you can use clear contact paper and a card, like a bank card, instead of official transfer tape and a scraper tool. Whatever you have on hand and works for you! Apply firm, even pressure across the transfer medium to help the vinyl letters stick.

9. Then left up the transfer tape carefully, making sure to bring the vinyl along for the ride, and position everything where you want it on the sign.

burnish lettering in place

10. Burnish the letters in place again, then carefully remove the transfer medium. For more detailed instructions on this process, please see my tutorial for making your own pallet sign. =)

11. Carefully burnish the vinyl in place a final time.

shopping list chalkboard

12. Thread your twine through the holes and tie it off again so your sign is hang-able.

DIY shopping list chalkboard

13. Use and enjoy!

DIY Shopping List chalkboard with Silhouette studio file

I think my husband didn’t even fully realize what was happening and was sort of surprised when I presented him with the chalkboard! It was a rainy weekend day and we were just sitting around home, so he was playing a bit of Xbox. I told him I was finally making a shopping list chalkboard, but I don’t think he expected the project to be as quick and easy as it was! Which then, of course, had me thinking about how I could have found time to make it for him like two months ago when he asked for it… Better late than never?

Have you been putting off any projects lately, even if they’re small?

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • D. Renée Wilson May 18, 2016, 03:18

    I really need to do this! I am always forgetting something b/c I didn’t write it down.
    (But first I guess I need to write a note to myself to buy chalkboard paint.)

    • Natashalh May 20, 2016, 10:41

      I don’t know how I missed seeing your comment the other day! I’m totally with you – it took me a very long time to remember to buy chalkboard paint.

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