EASY image transfer method for chalkboard art

November 18, 2014

Hello my friends! I’m back today with a REALLY simple way to transfer words or images onto basically anything! I was so excited to find this tutorial because I used to do this by stenciling it – so I would use an X acto knife to cut out each letter and then use it as a stencil and paint.

This method is SO so so much easier, and much quicker. Whoot!

I did a little holiday message on our chalkboard to show how this is done. I found this tutorial on this YouTube page so if you want a visual be sure to check that out.

I started by figuring out what font I wanted for my words. I just use Word – easy is my key word here. :) For the advent calendar I showed you yesterday I used a sharpie for the letters, but I knew I was using chalk for this one so I wanted the letters nice and fat:

transferring letters to wood

Obviously because they were so big the words were broken up on the page. You’ll want to cut them down so they’ll fit together on your surface.

The only problem with that is matching them up when you tape them to the wall or whatever else you’re transferring to:

transferring image to chalkboard

I just eyeball it. The lettering on my advent is not perfectly straight but it adds to the charm. Or something. :)

So this where the easy comes in – grab some chalk. If you’re transferring to a light surface you can use colored chalk. For a darker surface white is perfect. Just flip up your image and “color” the back:

transferring image to chalkboard

You don’t need to do the whole thing, just cover the letters.

Here’s how it looks after you’re done coloring with the chalk:

easy way to transfer image to chalkboard

You can blow the excess off – you’ll still have enough to transfer.

Then flip it back down (I tape the other side so it stays put) and then just trace your letters or image with a ball point pen:

transferring image to chalkboard

That’s IT! SO much easier! My surfaces were a little bumpy but the great thing is you don’t have to be exact. You can fix it later if you are tracing over it again. :)

Here’s a better shot of how I traced:

transferring image to chalkboard

Again, if you mess up, not a big deal.

When you pull up the paper you will have an outline:

DIY image to chalkboard

Brilliant. I was afraid all that chalky dust would be all over but it doesn’t transfer – just where you trace.


transferring image to chalkboard

So you can leave it as is – I actually love that lighter look. I wanted something that would stand out a little more for our chalkboard so I traced with a chalk pen:

transferring image to chalkboard

Then I filled it in with real chalk to get that look.

I have a couple different types of these pens – the Chalk Ink are my favorite and I am pretty sure you can only get those online. Anyone know if they are in stores now? The Bistro version is at most craft stores and they are OK, I just don’t love them as much:

chalk markers

It still takes some time but it’s nothing compared to cutting out the stencil like I used to do. It took me maybe 30 minutes to do this one?

Now that I know how to do this I may actually put some cute stuff on my chalkboard from time to time!:

transferring letters or images onto chalkboardSide note – since that year I spelled Christmas as “Chirstmas” on our cards that went out to everyone we know I’m always looking at it 15 times to make sure it’s right. Haha!! 

I love it! What a fun way to add some seasonal fun to your chalkboard! I’m not great at free handing that stuff so this is great to know. And of course the possibilities are endless with wood – you could go crazy with fonts and do fun signs or art. And it’s practically free!

Here’s how the letters on the advent came out with the sharpie marker:

easy transferring of letters onto wood

There you go! An easy and cheap way to transfer just about anything to just about anything. :) I hope this all made sense!

Have you tried this method on anything? Have you done this any other way? Do tell!

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  1. I've never used the chalk pen/markers - do they erase from the chalkboard?

    1. They do but I have to use a magic eraser to get it all off. ;)

  2. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. =) And sorry but I had to chuckle on Chirstmas. It happens to the best of us, lol!


  3. I'm wondering about being able to erase the chalk pens as well. Do they just wipe off like regular chalk?

  4. What a great method! I did a similar project this weekend but used graphite paper. It's like the paper you use on a carbon copy. I got it at Hobby Lobby. You just lay it underneath the image/words you are copying and go over it with the end of a pen and it transfers the black for you! Very similar concept except you save time on the chalk part. The sheets are pretty cheap and you can use them multiple times. They also sell white sheets for dark surfaces. I found them on the aisle by the canvases at HL. I am not good at hand-lettering so this opened up so many new pretty projects for me!

  5. Brilliant! Isn't it wonderful to discover an easy, inexpensive way to do something? I've done the same thing transferring letters onto a light surface by quickly covering the back with a pencil. . . then, when you trace, you just have a faint pencil line. I guess you could buy graphite paper for this, but a quick scribble with a pencil worked great!

  6. Very cool!! I am going to have to try this! Here's a teacher chalkboard tip... use the tissues with lotion to get beautiful and clean erasing!

  7. Do the chalk pens wipe off your wall? I have a bistro one and only used it once on the chalkboard paint because it leaves an outline. Works like a charm on black contact paper and store bought chalkboard, though. But for our diy chalk door, I only use real chalk now. Which, unfortunately, you can't get to look as good.

    1. I have to use a magic eraser to get it all off. :) It doesn't come off with just a rag like chalk.

  8. You can also use pencil, instead of chalk on the back of the paper. Just hold pencil sideways to rub/fill in where you'd be tracing.

    As for typos, it's happens to the best of us... especially when we find ourselves doing these projects at night... sometimes too tired. Yet, the next day it clearly is obviously wrong!

  9. Speaking of chalk pens: I ended up with a chalk pen from a wedding (some Pinterest project) and use it to write messages on our large bathroom mirrors! (Lists, riddles, love notes, etc.) I used to use dry-erase markers but they are a little sheer for lettering on mirrors. The chalk marker makes nice opaque letters that are really easy to read, and it wipes right off with a damp cloth. Try it!

  10. This is such a killer idea!!! I just remodeled my kitchen farmhouse style and really wanted a rustic looking sign. So I DIY-ed a "farm fresh milk" sign out of an old fence board. I had such a problem transferring the letters and ended up free-handing the whole thing, after several tries. Not really that happy with it but it's up so I'm living with it. I can't wait to do another sign and use this method with the chalk. So easy!!! Love your blog by the way!

  11. I buy my chalk ink at Michaels. I have both a set of 4 white and a set of 2 white, black and red.

  12. You can get Bistro brand at Joann Fabrics!


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