Pottery Barn Knock-Off – DIY Chalkboard & Fun Font

I love Pottery Barn.  I don’t always love their prices, though.   That’s why I’m always looking to make super easy, super simple DIY Pottery Barn knock-offs.

Here’s the picture that caught my eye in their latest catalog featuring Halloween decorating:

Isn’t it fun?!  I love the whole vignette.  Several things caught my eye but particularly the large chalkboard.  I also love the cute Halloween font on the board and figured I could make my board look just the same — the perfect background for my Halloween decorating.

You Can Do It!
The whole chalkboard and spooky printing is very easy.  Seriously, you don’t need mad artistic or DIY skills to make the chalk board or copy the handwriting freehand.

Again…here’s Pottery Barn’s:

Here’s mine:

Pretty similar, huh?!
The Pottery Barn chalkboard costs $169. Mine cost a fraction of that and I actually like mine better! Love that.

Making the Chalkboard
To make the chalkboard, I bought a large open-back frame from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off. 

I’ve had the frame for a long time (I used it to frame something else a few years ago) so I’m guessing I paid around $25 for it at the time.  It’s a very large frame…something like 30″ x 40″.  Yours doesn’t have to be this big.  Pottery Barn’s comes in a couple of sizes. The largest is 36″ x 48″.

To fill the frame I went to Lowe’s and bought a large piece of hardboard. 

It’s very affordable.  You can get a 4′ x 6′ piece for around eight bucks.  I could make several chalkboards with a piece that size.  You can also get smaller pieces for just a few dollars. The nice people at Lowe’s cut my hardboard to my exact measurements and even cut a few extra sizes for me.   
Then I came home and primed the board, then painted it with 3 coats of chalkboard paint with a sponge paint roller.  (I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of these steps, but I know you all know how to paint!)

I already had the paint so it didn’t cost me a thing.  A quart-sized can of chalkboard paint will set you back around around $11 or so, maybe less. 

Make Chalkboard Paint Yourself
You can also make it yourself with any latex or acrylic paint.  I’ve found several recipes online.  A Beautiful Mess gives you a recipe using tile grout.  Martha Stewart also has a recipe on her website.  Just google it and you’ll find several, affordable methods.

Once everything dried I put the finished chalkboard into the frame (just as you would with a mat or picture).  Then I took a piece of chipboard (cardboard) that I bought at Hobby Lobby for just a few dollars and stapled it to the back of the frame and then taped it at the top and bottom.

Voila!  Done!

Given that I already had most of the supplies this project only cost me around $10.  LOVE it!

As for the printing.  I simply kept the PB catalog by my side when I copied the text and the spider webs. 

I discovered that the trick to doing the web and the font is to go over the text several times so the web doesn’t compete with the text.  It was very, very easy…if you can draw a line, you can copy this font.

There you have it! 

In the coming weeks I’ll show you some of my other DIY Halloween projects.  Like the Arsenic bottle, the skulls and a white pumpkin that also looks like the ones found at PB.  More super simple, super cheap projects! 

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10 Responses to Pottery Barn Knock-Off – DIY Chalkboard & Fun Font

  1. StarTraci says:

    I love this! I will be borrowing this idea and I am now realizing sooner than I think!!!


    P.S. Nice to meet you at #bbcdal!!!

  2. Very neat idea! visiting thru DIY project parade party.

  3. You totally nailed it! I love chalkboards and that is a perfect Halloween font!

  4. You totally nailed it! I love chalkboards and that is a perfect Halloween font!

  5. Wow….you did a GREAT job! LOVE IT

  6. I’m obsessed with PB but not their prices! I’m loving this idea and for only $10?! SOLD! Thanks for the inspiration!

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