The Secret to Chalkboard Calligraphy

Chalkboards are a trendy and fun addition to your home or event; they can give direction, add a personal touch to your space, and label just about anything. There’s no doubt that they’re cute and helpful, but the real trick is writing on them. We weren’t all born with the calligraphy bug, so we’ve put this simple how-to for “faking chalkboard calligraphy” (and print!) together to ensure you’re prepared for the next event on your calendar.

diy7 (1)

Chalkboards are great for:
– Writing an inspirational quote to hang in your space
– Labeling food and drinks at a party
– Menus and place settings at a dinner
– Labeling herbs in your garden
– Seasonal signage in your home
– Labeling organizational bins
– And a million different things for big events like a wedding or baby shower

diy5Shop Dutch Tulip Crates here

diy3Shop Essential Wire Baskets here

diy1Shop our Galvanized Trivet (used in place setting as a charger) here

Finding the perfect size and shape chalkboard for your space is key. We’ve put together a collection of our favorites from the Market here.

So, now that you’ve picked out the occasion you’re writing for and the chalkboard you’ll be using, here’s what you’ll need:
diy4This is our favorite chalkboard! It’s the perfect size for quotes or a menu. Get it here

Either classic chalk or a chalk pen. We use the chalk pen brand “Chalk Ink” in this tutorial, but any craft store pen will do. If you’re having trouble deciding which to use for your project, know that classic chalk is great for temporary projects you’ll want to easily erase. It also has more of a classic chalk “look” to it than a pen. Pens tend to look slightly “cleaner” and last more permanently than chalk.
Scissors or a knife for sharpening if you opt to use classic chalk. (Proceed with extra care!)
A Magic Eraser. The Magic Eraser completely erases any marks, mistakes, or chalk residue.
A piece of scratch paper cut to the size of your chalkboard for spacing practice.

Whether you prefer to write on your chalkboard in print or in “calligraphy cursive” is completely up to you, but for those of you who’d like to try your hand at calligraphy, here are a few tips for beginners –

1. Calligraphy is not as fluid as classic cursive. Each letter you write should be an individual character, so don’t try to connect them fluidly like you would, say, your signature. Try to write one cursive letter, and then pick up your pen. Start the next letter by “connecting” it to the letter before it. Practice makes perfect.
2. After you’ve written and connected your letters, go back with your writing utensil and “darken” your downstrokes. So sketch over your word again, and anywhere your pen would’ve moved downward, thicken the line. Your upward strokes should remain thin.

diy-STRIP Lets get started with our chalkboard art –
1. Begin by grabbing your scratch paper and a regular pen or pencil to practice your spacing. This gives you the opportunity to practice the font you’ll be writing in and map out your spacing.
2. If using classic chalk, this is an opportune moment to take your knife or scissors and sharpen it. You’ll get the best result using chalk that has a pointy end rather tan a blunt or squared end.

diy2 2. After you have your spacing worked out and your chalk sharpened, pick up your chalkboard. Grab a piece of classic chalk to very lightly trace your letters onto your chalkboard, mimicking the spacing you just rehearsed. Remember, you can always erase if you don’t like the look of it.
3. Go over your traced wording with your pen or chalk until it has the thickness and “style” you prefer. If you are printing rather than using cursive make it funky and fun, or look up print fonts to replicate.
4. Add any flourishes, a laurel wreath, or flower branches you’d like. This can add character or fill extra space.

And that’s it! Easy as pie.

chalkboard calligraphy from Magnolia Market on Vimeo.

Don’t be intimidated by calligraphy or chalkboards in general. All it takes is a little patience and the realization that a chalkboard is completely erasable. That’s the beauty of them! You can’t mess up, so just keep trying until you get it right.

Remember to tag @magnoliamarket on Instagram if you try your hand at chalkboard calligraphy! We’d love to see your work!



How the Market Came To Be + Joanna’s Favorite Waco Places

Twelve years, four kids, three companies, and a hit T.V. show later – Chip and Jo have long since discovered their knack for renovation and love for a beautiful home in need of a little TLC. The story less told is that of the Magnolia Market, their tiny retail store off of Bosque Boulevard in Waco, Texas.

Even before they were married in 2003, Chip had already jumped into the remodeling business and Joanna quickly began helping wherever she could. It didn’t take Joanna long to realize she had big dreams of her own, and Chip pushed her to follow them each step of the way. After a lot of prayer, discussion, and weighing the risk against potential gain, the little shop on Bosque was purchased, and Joanna was the proud new owner of The Magnolia Market.


Steadily, the Market gained attention, and people began seeking design advice from Jo. Joanna laughs at herself now, thinking of those first years when people would ask questions about how to decorate a mantle or what to do with an awkward wall. She’d give her advice off the cuff – making it up as she went along. After all, she’d studied communications at Baylor University, and wasn’t formally trained in design. But after a lot of practice and fine tuning, she developed a style – the style that has now captured a national audience.

After Chip and Jo had their first two kiddos, they made the tough decision to scale back and focus on their home renovation business, so Joanna took a leap of faith. Trusting God with her story, she closed the Market’s doors to raise her little ones. Together, Chip and Jo focused their energy and talents flipping and renovating Waco homes; Chip doing the renovation, and Joanna – the design.

Fast forward to 2014. Amidst the filming and airing of the first season of Fixer Upper, Chip and Jo decided to reopen their Little Shop on Bosque. They hired one employee to run the shop, and stocked it full of Jo’s favorite decor items. Today – just over a year later – the Magnolia Market is employing about 100 Wacoans, sees thousands of visitors from all over the U.S. every week, and has an online store with a warehouse stocked full of Joanna’s hand picked product.


The Shop Today – July 2015

CCT7A woTiY SGq3J VOY9L ZUzqh f8M7bKd3yDC1k6EThe Magnolia Market has an exciting future ahead. The Silos renovation, where the Market will be moving, is slated to open this fall. But in the meantime, the “Little Shop on Bosque” (as we so lovingly refer to it) is open for business every Monday through Saturday from 10-5. If you’re considering visiting Waco, don’t hesitate! The Little Shop on Bosque will be retired as our retail space after the opening of the Silos, so time is running out to experience this little piece of Magnolia history.

While you’re in town, Chip and Jo would love for you to visit some of their very favorite local stops. Whether you’re looking for entertainment, good eats, or Waco landmarks – download the “Joanna’s favorite places in Waco” map and get plenty of options for each: Download map here


A huge thank you to each of you who’ve stopped in over the past year to check out our retail space. We appreciate you so much, and Chip and Jo are overwhelmed and humbled by the support shown by all of you who’ve planned entire road trips or weekend visits dedicated to visiting us in Waco. Whether you were in for a girls’ weekend, or you are a faithful and patient husband who made the trip with your wife – you are all so appreciated! And if you haven’t made it to Waco just yet, we hope to meet you very soon!


Outdoor Craft for the Kiddos

Little ones love discovery, scavenger hunts, and crafts where getting messy is completely allowed. This fun outdoor craft for the kids was put together with those three things in mind. These DIY “Dinosaur Eggs” inspire learning and initiate fun – the perfect summer afternoon craft.

kc2 We created this craft with your little archaeologist in mind, but as you can see, you can substitute dinosaur toys for ‘precious gems’ and other little surprises!

kc3 Here’s what you’ll need:
Small plastic dinosaurs, gems, or other small toys.
Glitter gravel (available at any craft store)
Fine glitter (optional)
1 cup coffee grinds or potting soil
1 1/2 cup of flour
3/4 cup of sand
3/4 cup of water

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly add water and knead with your hands until the mixture is like bread dough in texture.
Note: you may need to add more flour to make the dough a little firmer.
3. Place some of the dough in your hand and then lay dinosaur on top.
Cover the dinosaur with the mixture and form into an egg shape, securing the dinosaur inside.
4. For the jewel rocks – Place some of the dough in your hand and lay the gems in the middle. Sprinkle glitter gravel around gem and cover with more of the mixture securing gems inside. You can also sprinkle some glitter on top of the egg for a little more sparkle.
5. Lay “eggs” and “rocks” on a baking sheet to air dry for two to three days or bake in the oven at 150 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes, or until you poke them and they’re no longer soft. Make sure you monitor the eggs while baking.


You can have a “Dinosaur Egg Hunt” by hiding them in a sandbox or around the yard for the kids to find. When they’re found, they can be broken open with your hands, or with parental supervision, a mallet will also work. These also make fun party favors! Wrap them up in clear bags and tie with a ribbon and a cute tag explaining what they are.

The point of this activity is to inspire the kids to play and imagine – so let them have fun with it, and really take the opportunity to soak in these playful moments. After all, they won’t always be entertained by dinosaur eggs hunts and crafting with mom and dad. This is where the sweet memories are made. Enjoy!