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DIY Fall Mantel Chalkboard Projects Using Homemade Chalkboard Paint

Yesterday I shared with you my new Harvest Themed Autumn Mantel and medical affliction of Mantelitis – and today I am back, as promised, to share how I DIYed the little chalkboard (and faux chalkboard) projects you saw on the mantel…DIY Fall Mantel Chalkboard Projects

First things first…. the faux chalkboard bunting.
A super easy and reusable DIY project…

I started by creating a cardstock template for my pennant flags and then used it to help me cut them out. I then glued the pennants together from behind using some jute twine, much like I did for the mini faux chalkboard bunting I created for my Harvest Wreath.


Next I cut pieces of thick black cardstock slightly smaller then the burlap pennants and used (low-commitment) double sided adhesive strips to attach the cardstock to the burlap:


Before actually attaching the cardstock to the burlap I wrote my message using chalk…


Once attached they look adorable… and the advantage of this method is that you can easily switch out the cardstock to change the message come the next “season”….

early fall mantel with diy faux chalkboard and burlap bunting at thehappyhousie

early fall harvest mantel with faux chalkboard burlap bunting at thehappyhousie

faux chalkboard and burlap bunting for early fall harvest mantel at thehappyhousie


Now for some REAL chalkboard paint projects –

I made both the U-Pick chalkboard sign and the large arrow using DIY Chalkboard paint made from craft paint. I began by mixing my black craft paint with some plaster of paris and water. I didn`t feel like measuring this time, but the proportion I usually use is two parts paint, one part plaster of paris, one part water. Dissolve the plaster thoroughly first in the water and then mix with your paint.

To create the little U-pick sign I simply painted a wooden plaque that I picked up at Michaels with a few coats of my homemade chalkboard paint… Once painted I seasoned it by rubbing chalk all over the whole board and then wiping it off. That way the first thing I write on it won`t leave a permanent etching on the chalkboard….



Super easy and a cute addition to the mantel!

u pick chalkboard sign for early fall harvest apple mantel at thehappyhousie


Lastly, I made the large arrow out of black foam board. I started by printing out an arrow to help me design the front and back portions…. then used a ruler to connect the two parts to create a longer arrow then I was able to print.


I traced the shape onto my foam board using a pencil, and then cut it out using a rotary cutter on my mat. You could likely also use an exacto knife. I am not going to lie – cutting foam board is a bit of a nightmare. It is very difficult to keep smooth edges, so be prepared to move very slowly and carefully with this part!


Once it was cut I gave it a few thin coats of my homemade chalkboard paint, allowing it to dry thoroughly between each coat so as to not oversaturate the foam board and cause it to peel.


Then season and wipe off…


I love the chalkboard finish on the arrow; I think it helps tie all the different chalkboards on the mantel together nicely…. what do you think?

fall harvest mantel with apple buckets pear crates faux chalkboard bunting at thehappyhousie

Have you ever made your own chalkboard paint? How did you do it? What did you use it on? How did it turn out? I am going to try it out on a much bigger piece tomorrow- and will be back to let you know how that went on Thursday (for our Fall Get Your DIY On $20 Thrifted Challenge). I will also soon share with you how we DIYed this “faux mantel” from a thrifted cabinet.

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Also- don`t forget to link up your projects for the week tomorrow at Work it Wednesday! It goes live at 7am PST!! I can`t wait to see what you have been up to!


Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn`t built in a day. Enjoy the journey.


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  1. Hi Krista, Just found you via Tatertots and Jello. Love your fall mantel and your chalkboard bits were great. I am usually not a fall kind of girl but I loved how you incorporated your happy, bright colors instead of going the traditional route. I love your happy style and am a new follower. Stop by and visit sometime when you get a chance.

    1. Hi Carrie! I love adding a few fall-ish colours but definitely need to maintain some blue and green in there… all year round!! I will definitely stop by, thank you so much for your visit and comments!

  2. How silly of me, I never thought of making my own chalkboard paint, I didn’t even think it was possible! I still have left-overs from one can I bought not long ago, but when that finishes I’m going to try your “recipe”. Thanks Krista 🙂

    1. Hi Cristina! It is basically the same recipe as homemade chalk paint except that you don’t distress and wax it after- though you can sand it lightly to smooth out the finish. And always prime or prep your chalk surface first by going over the whole thing with chalk and then wiping it off!!

    1. Oh Shannah, I would love to! With this mantelitis affliction I am not sure if I can overcome the desire to…I might start redoing people’s mantels even if they haven’t asked me to! Great way to lose dinner invites out:)

  3. Love this project. It’s so cute! I just painted a wall with chalkboard paint and I love it, but I have some leftover to use on another project to. I’m loving that arrow. I may just try my hand at foam board.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    1. You should Tricia- but man is it tricky. Not the material to use if you want or need perfect crisp edges because that sneaky stuff is hard to cut without sort of bending it down at the edges… patience is your friend there! Me, I am not exactly a perfectionist – I take convenience and ease over perfection any day. You can’t really tell if you don’t study it under the microscope!!

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