How to Make a Chalkboard Sign

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Photo by Gretchen Garcia
With a few simple ingredients, including chalkboard paint and free-standing picture frames, you can easily make your own homemade chalkboard signs.

Clearly marked prices are an easy way to increase farmers market sales. I often see tables with beautiful carrots and gorgeous greens passed by simply because people can’t read the prices. When I transitioned from a shy farmers market shopper to a vendor, I wanted to make sure people could easily read prices at my booth. I loved the look and functionality of chalkboard signs, but they were expensive, didn’t come with stands, and were hard to find locally.

My partner and I decided to make chalkboard signs out of recycled materials. We used free-standing picture frames (50 cents apiece from a thrift store), chalkboard paint ($10) and regular paint (free, because there’s always some nearby) to make signs for a fraction of the price of store-bought versions.

To begin, we removed the panes of glass from the picture frames, and then cleaned the panes and empty frames with rubbing alcohol. We then painted the glass panes on one side with the chalkboard paint and laid them on newspapers to dry before applying a second coat. Next, we painted the frames purple to match each other. After letting the paint dry thoroughly — which can take up to a week — we reassembled the frames and chalkboard panes. The results are great, and with picture frame chalkboards, you can choose whatever size you need, change prices throughout the season, and clearly display the cost of your goods!

Gretchen Garcia
Albuquerque, New Mexico