Are you ready to make your own farmhouse welcome sign?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always feel like sawing my own wood, gluing together a frame, and basically starting my own wood factory.

So in this post, we are going to buy a pre-made, framed farmhouse chalkboard.

Then we’ll learn how to design a printable on our computer and transfer the design ourselves.

Sound good? Let’s get creative…

This article is the sister guide to the

Beginner's Guide to Transfer Your Chalkboard

Since I share a lot of how-to ideas with creative people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links with resources I love — this means if you click on a link and buy, I will earn a tiny bit of chalk money which I promise to use to create even more design inspiration. 😁

1. Load up on Supplies

Before you get started, here’s a list of things you’ll need to make your own awesome farmhouse sign:

Not too long of a list right?

Don’t forget:

You don’t need all the supplies to read and learn — just grab what you can and put your DIY hat on.

2. Choose a Location, Style & Sayings

Now it’s time to do some farmhouse brainstorming.

Before we get started designing your chalkboard, we need to decide on 3 things:

  1. Where to put your sign (i.e. the room)
  2. The right size & style chalkboard to buy.
  3. The perfect saying (i.e. the text you choose).

Let’s walk through each one.

Where to Put Your Sign

The room you want to hang your sign will ultimately determine the chalkboard size you’ll want to buy AND your saying.

For example:

If you want to put your sign in your kitchen, you’ll probably want a smaller sign because of your limited counter (or wall) space.

And your saying will much more likely revolve around a food topic or a kitchen verb like ‘gather’ or ‘share’.

Make sense?

So first and foremost, settle on your signs final destination — choose a room and reserve a lovely little nook inside it. 👍

Here are 20 popular room ideas:

  • Barn
  • Mud/Utility room
  • Garage
  • Breakfast room
  • Basement/Bonus room
  • Master closet
  • Rooftop patio
  • Game room/Playroom/Bowling alley
  • Laundry room
  • Master bedroom
  • Foyer
  • Guest room
  • Jack and Jill bedroom
  • Nursery
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Bar area
  • Living room
  • Back patio
  • Front door porch

Now let’s talk about sign dimensions and style.

Chalkboard Size and Style

Choose a sign size that fits the space you have available in the room you chose.

How do you do that?

Use the simple ‘45% Width Rule’.

All you do is multiply the width of your available wall space by .45 (45%) to calculate your sign width.

So, if you have 60 inches in horizontal space, aim for a sign with a width of 27 inches.

Super simple.

This will give your sign just enough surrounding space on each side, to keep your sign the center of attention.

PRO TIP ✩

Many sign surveyors (including yours truly) calculate and price signs based on the diagonal width dimension — use this handy chart calculator to find your sign size.

Farmhouse Styles

To make things simple, farmhouse sign styles generally fall into 3 groups:

Style NameSignature Style
VintageAntique furniture and old items
RusticWeathered wood + modern minimalism
Farmhouse ChicModern minimalism + urban influence

Here’s an easy way to think about this:

All farmhouse signs are rustic.

Rustic is natural, aged, organic. It’s all about exposed wood and frames, giving you that ‘country feel’ in our modern age.

Farmhouse Chic, on the other hand, is just the extra step, introducing urban influences, like metals and solid colors.

No matter what term you hear — ‘rustic’, ‘vintage’, ‘chic’, whatever — the farmhouse style you use should include a wooden frame that matches your existing home decor.

So, pick a matching wood frame color and a sign background color (black, white, etc.) that fits your family’s personality.

It’s that easy.

PRO TIP ✩

You don’t have to be Elsie De Wolfe — choose a wooden frame style that makes sense. If you have a lot of white in your home, choose a lighter frame with a white background. If your home has darker colors, go the opposite route.

The Perfect Saying (or Quote)

Are you ready for the fun part? Deciding on a saying is super cool.

Why? Because you get to show off your personality and just be YOU!

The first step is to choose the room you’re going to hang your sign (we did this earlier 😉).

Now depending on your answer, choose a relevant saying.

Here are some quick ideas by room:

  • Front Porch, Foyer, Family Room — choose a family message with your last name, the year (or date) you were married or ‘established’, a blended family message or a family motto.
  • Kitchen — ‘Gather’, ‘Share’, ‘Food is Love’, ‘Stay Awhile’, ‘Coffee is Life’, ‘Watch Me Whip’ (more).
  • Laundry Room — ‘Wash, Dry, Fold’, list of laundry rules (more).
  • Bathroom, Powder Room — ‘Good Morning Gorgeous’, ‘Wash Your Hands’, motivational messages (more).
PRO TIP ✩

Search Pinterest boards for ‘family quotes’, ‘laundry room quotes’ or ‘wine quotes’ — you’ll find a ton of unique sign ideas. Also, search Google Images for some hidden gems. 💎

Grab a sheet of paper and jot down your favorite sayings.

Set your list aside for the next step. Good work.

Now let’s put your ideas into action.

3. Design Your Own Printable

Now let’s design a chalkboard printable on your computer.

We’re going to use a free Canva account — a super easy-to-use graphics software.

(Also grab the chalkboard you bought and your list of sayings from earlier.)

How to Make a Chalkboard Printable on Your Computer

Here’s how you make a printable on your computer:

  1. First, measure the width and height of your chalkboard (in inches). Jot them down.
  2. Fire up your computer and log in to Canva.
  3. Click the Create a design button > + Custom dimensions.
  4. Select in from the drop-down > Enter your chalkboard dimensions (step 1) > Create new design button.
Restaurant Sign Collection Crazy Cajun
  1. Click the T key on your keyboard to create a text box, or select Text on the left toolbar > Add a heading to add a text box to your canvas (drag the corners of your text box to enlarge it).
how to add text to Canva
  1. Click on your text box and type in your favorite saying or quote from your list.
  2. Now search for a font family — click the font drop-down in the top toolbar, then type in the left search bar. For farmhouse signs, I recommend searching for ‘cursive’ and ‘contemporary’.
PRO TIP ✩

Also try searching for fonts by topic or adjective — like ‘handwriting’ or ‘farm’. Or even types of styles, like ‘serif’ or ‘thin’.

  1. Make your font as large as you want it by dragging the corners of the text box.
  2. Move the text box to its final position and use the edit options in the top toolbar to edit any other text attributes — letter spacing, color, etc.
  3. Add any artwork.
  4. Now save your final version to your computer as a PDF (with a white background). Click Download in the top right corner > PDF Print > check the Crop marks and bleed checkbox > Download button.
PRO TIP ✩

Change the canvas background color to black and your text to white to preview what your design will look like on a chalkboard.

  1. Open your PDF > File > Print, to open up the print options box. Then make the change the following settings:
    1. Click on the Poster tile box.
    2. Set the Overlap to 0.5 inches.
    3. Check the Cut marks box.
template pdf settings
  1. Select the Print button to print your design.
NOTE 📌

When you select ‘Poster’, you are printing your design in its life-size version (the dimensions you set in Canva), so expect multiple letterhead-size printouts that you’ll tape together.

PRO TIP ✩

When it’s time to initially measure your chalkboard but you don’t have measuring tape lying around, try using the Measure app on your iPhone and do some virtual-reality measuring!

How to Make Farmhouse Chalkboard Art

Art is a great way to add some color and personality to your signs.

Here’s how to add art to your Canva design:

  1. In the left toolbar, click Elements > search by topic in the search bar. For example, I searched for ‘french bulldog’.
  2. Click on an image you like that’s super simple and will be easy to trace/transfer your chalkboard.
  3. Resize your image by dragging the corners of the image box (you can also try rotating it).
    Move your artwork to the right or below any messaging — your text should always be the focal point of your sign, first and foremost.

See? Becoming an artist isn’t that hard. 🤣

But guess what?

You’ve done it!

You just made your own printable, that you can now reuse as a template on all your chalkboard creations.

But we’re just getting started…

Now it’s time to learn how to transfer your design to the chalkboard.

PRO TIP ✩

When deciding on artwork elements, make a copy of your canvas and replace the original artwork with another choice to compare — sometimes your second choice is better. 😉

4. How to Transfer Your Printable

In this step, we are going to transfer your printable design to the actual chalkboard, using the transfer paper method.

So grab supplies 6 thru 9 (from the supplies list).

Let’s do this:

  1. Grab your printouts and cut each one along the cut marks around the perimeter of the sheet.
  2. Lay out your cut pages (design-side up), piece together your design puzzle, and tape the pieces together. Flip your template over and set it aside.
  3. Now for the secret weapon — Saral transfer paper. Tear off a sheet large enough to cover your chalkboard canvas.
  4. Tape the sheet chalky-side down onto your board, to secure it into place.
  5. Grab your printable sheets (aka ‘template’, that you’ve taped together) and place it design-side up over the transfer paper.
  6. Line your template up over the board where you want it, press it as flat as you can, then tape it down along the edges to secure it too.
  7. Using a pen (preferably a white gel pen), trace over your printed letters to create chalk outlines underneath on the board.
  8. Peel back a corner of your template/transfer paper sandwich, and confirm your outlines are transferring to the board and you’re pressing hard enough.
  9. Now trace over any artwork — trace as many lines as you can over images (that’s why it’s important to choose a simple image).
  10. You’re done! Remove ALL the paper and inspect your transfer lines. You should have an awesome outline now to get started lettering.
NOTE 📌

The reason why a white pen works best, is because you can see your tracing history over your printed letters (which are black).

PRO TIP ✩

For single pen strokes — usually on small, thinner fonts — just trace once down the center of each printed character. Take your time tracing to get it right.

Grab your chalk markers.

Our farmhouse sign is about to come alive…

5. How to Write on a Farmhouse Chalkboard

So you’ve successfully transferred your printable outline to your chalkboard.

Now what?

Let’s make it pretty and learn how to letter our final design.

(You’re going to need your chalk markers for this one.)

  1. Lay your chalkboard flat on the ground, preferably in a well-lit area.
  2. For any headings (large text), use the chiseled tip chalk marker to trace over the transfer outlines, since you can alter the thickness of each stroke.
  3. For any subheadings (smaller text), use the bullet tip marker to trace, since you have precise control of each stroke.
  4. Finally, use your finger (or an eraser) to remove any leftover transfer dust.
NOTE 📌

Chisel tip markers allow you to make thin & thick lines. The bullet tip, on the other hand, will keep all your strokes the same size.

PRO TIP ✩

On cursive text, widen your downstrokes to give it the faux calligraphy, farmhouse feel (check out the video).

Congratulations!

You made your first farmhouse sign.

There’s only one step left… let’s move your chalkboard into its new home.

6. Finishing Your Farmhouse Sign

It’s time to seal the deal.

In this final step, we are going to seal your chalkboard — with a polycrylic spray — to prepare it for the real world.

Then all we need to do is hang it, and our mission is accomplished. 🚀

How to Seal Your Chalkboard

Seal your sign by following these steps:

  1. Let your sign dry completely.
  2. Then put it outside.
  3. Grab your sealer can and spray an even coat over the entire chalkboard area of your sign.
  4. Use a cloth to dab any extra wet spots or drips.
  5. Let your sign dry again, for at least an hour (before you attempt to move/edit it).
NOTE 📌

Always follow the instructions on the spray can — you may have to wait longer for it to dry.

How to Hang Your Chalkboard

Earlier you chose the perfect room for your farmhouse sign.

Now let’s attach it to the wall and put the finishing touches on our project.

Here are a few tips when working with picture-hanging hardware:

  • For lightweight signs, use two Sawtooth Hangers on the top two corners of the back of the wood frame.
  • For heavy farmhouse signs use 75 lb. D-ring Hangers.
  • Always try and hang your signs from studs in your wall frame.
  • If you can’t find a stud in your wall, you should always use Drywall Anchors for signs that are even slightly heavy.
  • Always check the packing instructions for any picture-framing hardware you buy, and specifically look for any weight restrictions.
  • Use the nails provided with any hanger kit — don’t just use any long screws lying around the house or you may penetrate the frame.
PRO TIP ✩

Studs are the wooden beams that are used to build your house’s frame, commonly 16 to 24 inches apart, located behind your drywall. To find studs, tap the walls with your knuckles and listen for a solid sound. Everywhere else in between will sound hollow.

7. Video Summary

Want the quick version?

Watch the video to see how to make a farmhouse sign from start-to-finish:

Guess what?

You are now a certified farmhouse powerhouse.

Now go create something amazing and tell us all about it!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, check out the next FAQ section or ask in the comments below. 👇

8. Bonus FAQs

Need help making your farmhouse sign? Check out these answers.

Start

Where can I buy farmhouse chalkboards?

You have a lot of options: Amazon, Etsy, Hobby Lobby, Wayfair, Restoration Hardware, and Local Businesses. 😉

Can I reuse my transfer paper?

Yes. You can use each sheet up to around 50 times (at least in my experience).

Does the transfer paper have to match the exact dimensions of my board?

No. Just make sure your transfer sheet covers the area where you want to make tracing marks (see what I’m talking about in the video above).

How many images should I put on one sign?

That depends on your sign size — aim for 2 images per 24 inches of diagonal width.

Why do I even need to ‘finish’ my chalkboard sign?

To increase its life. The weather, people, accidents, etc. are all likely candidates to destroy your signs before you know it. So make sure to give it a protective coating.

Will the spray damage my wood frame?

No. You don’t need to cover or protect your frame from the spray.

Can I nail sawtooth or d-ring hangers into plastic frames?

No — only use them on wood frames. Plastic frames will crack and break. Your best bet is to screw a hook or hanger directly into your wall.

How much weight can a sawtooth hanger hold?

20 pounds max (and that’s assuming you’re hanging from a stud). If you just have one sawtooth, definitely place it in the horizontal center of your frame backing, or better yet, use two sawtooths on each top corner.

9. Leave a Comment

What’s on your mind?

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Comments help our community learn (and help me keep this guide super-updated 😁).

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