Fun with Chalkboard Fabric

I’ve never met a person who didn’t love chalkboard paint.  With this ingenious invention, you can turn anything – from glass to walls – into a chalkboard in mere minutes.  Now that it comes in an array of colors, you can easily match any color scheme or decor.  What will they think of next?

Well, I’ll tell you – chalkboard fabric!  I’m sure chalkboard fabric has been around for a while now, but I’ve just discovered it as of a few weeks ago.  I saw it in the JoAnn circular and rushed to the store to pick some up.  It must be new to them, too, because the ladies at the cutting table had no idea what I was talking about.  I eventually found it in with the utility fabrics.

For $5/yard (before my 40% off coupon), I had my hands on something new that I couldn’t wait to make into a new creation.  I made a few placemats for Zack so that he could use his sidewalk chalk indoors without us going into the 100-degree Texas heat this summer.  Then, I decided to use it to make some tags to label the baskets on the changing table in the nursery.

Like a chalkboard, the chalkboard fabric is easy to use.  You have to “prime” the fabric, by rubbing the chalk on the surface.  Then, you erase that rubbing with a soft cloth and you are ready to write or draw!  You continue to erase with the soft cloth.  If you want to clean the surface, you can wipe it with a wet cloth or even put it in the washing machine on the delicate cycle.  Once it’s dry, “prime” it again and you are good to go!

My tags were incredibly easy to put together, so I thought I’d share my technique in case you wanted to replicate it:

1. I ironed some fusible fleece interfacing onto the back of a large scrap of accent fabric I am using in my room.  I had some of the thick craft interfacing left in my stash (yes, after all that, I still have a stash!), which gives the fabric enough thickness to lay flat without curling on the edges.

2.  I decided to make the finished size of my tags 4 inches by 3 inches, so I drew out with a pencil and straight edge as many squares of that size that I needed for my baskets.  I cut them out with my pinking shears (zig zag scissors) so that I didn’t have to worry about fraying edges.

3.  I cut the chalkboard rectangles to be 1/2 inch smaller than the first rectangles, so that made them 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches.  I used my rotary cutter and straight edge to make sure that my cuts were straight.

4.  I put a touch of glue from a glue stick on the back of a chalkboard rectangle and applied it to an accent fabric rectangle.  The glue helps hold it in place so that it doesn’t shift when I applique.  I then used my sewing machine to zig zag stitch the chalkboard fabric onto the accent fabric.

5.  Because my handwriting on small surfaces with chalk is so horrendous, I used a white ChalkInk marker to write out the labels.  ChalkInk is a new-to-me product, but I know lots of you already have it and love it.  It looks like chalk when it’s dry, and you can wipe it off with a wet cloth when you need to, just like chalk.  I’m so glad to have these markers in my craft room now.

6.  I simply pinned the tags to the lining of my baskets and used a bit of 50-cent a spool ribbon (I used white and cream) to tie little bows to hide the safety pins.

I’m so pleased with how the tags turned out, and they were SO easy to create!  I love that they are fabric, too, and I didn’t have to go through the hassle of actually needing to use messy chalkboard paint.  Chalkboard fabric is definitely a no-fuss, no-mess solution.

(This is as much of a nursery sneak peak that you are getting for now.  I promise that it’s almost done.  I just need another weekend to tie together a few loose ends, so hopefully I can have a big reveal for you next week!  Although it doesn’t seem like it from my blog posts, I have been so busy working on it for months now.)

What would you create with chalkboard fabric?  And are you running to the fabric store to pick up some today?


We have TWO winners from last week’s Fantsy Facade giveaway!  The first person to win a $100 gift certificate to Fantsy Facade is commenter #29, Michelle B in Florida!

The second winner is commenter #26, Kay H in AZ!

Congrats to both of our winners!  I’ll be in contact with you soon to get you connected with Susan.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. That is absolutely adorable! I need some of this fabric.

  2. OMG! This is awesome!!! Thanks Lindsay!!

  3. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but of course I’m going to get some!

  4. What?? Wow, had no idea they made it out of fabric! Will definitely get some now. :)

  5. Thank you Lindsay! I am so excited to go get some of that fabric and the chalk ink and try it out. Can’t wait to see the baby’s room and how you finished the crown molding.

  6. I love this! Thanks so much for the post, I didn’t know about the chalkboard fabric or the chalk ink.

  7. I am just imaging little kids playing wiping all those nice lables off! My kids empty the chanetable bins regularly. Cloth wipes are the perfect size for doll blankets.

  8. Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy says:

    Wow, I have never heard of such a thing ever! What a great idea!! And so many possibilities to use it!! And those tags are soooooo cute!!

  9. I love it! And I love it even more that you are using cloth diapers! I LOVED using them for my younger two kiddos (the oldest was a different story…long before getting the “right” kind), and they potty trained so much earlier than their peers!

    • I didn’t CD my son, so this is totally a new experience for me. I am very excited about it, though! After the whole Pampers chemical burn news, I thought it would be in our best interest to use cloth.

      • I didn’t CD my first either butI did my second. I LOVED every moment of it and still look at a few of his customized CD’s and wish I could have another fluffy bum to use them on!

  10. Love the fabric and organizing, it looks great!
    I just got back last night from a cross border shopping weekend, wish I’d known about this find! Mind you I spent enough at JoAnn’s yesterday.
    Next time.

  11. Well of course I know chalkboard paint. And I have used stick on chalkboard plastic. But I had never heard off or seen chalkboard fabric. I don’t think that has crossed the ocean yet.
    The sneak peak makes me want to see more!

  12. In. love. Too fab!!! They are really adorable, Lindsay. So excited that you’re having a girl. :) :)

  13. Annelise says:

    Must get fabric, I will be thinking about this all day now. Is is soft enough for table cloths?

  14. Wow even more of a reason to ask for a sewing machine for my birthday. I would love to re-do my linen closet with baskets just like that. It would stop my eyes from crossing every time I open the closet. What a great idea…and the nursery, from what I can see 😉 looks so peaceful!

  15. I love those tags, and that would be a great way to keep the changing table organized. DH never seems to remember what goes where so I’ve been thinking about some sort of labels for a while now. I also love that you are using cloth diapers. We have been using them on our DD since we brought her home from the hospital. She has such sensitive skin that she gets diaper rash from a lot of disposables and the cloth really is easy once you get the hang of it. Good luck, I hope it works as well for you as it has for us and thanks for the great idea for the erasable labels.

  16. Chalkboard fabric?! How cool is that? I definitely have been living under a rock!

  17. I LOVE it…in fact, I was at JoAnn’s last week trying to find some and they had no clue as to what I was talking about and looked at me like I was a crazy lady. haha! I guess I’ll try again at a different JoAnn’s, or just order some online.

  18. cloth diapers. good for you. we did cloth, too, and strongly recommend it to EVERYONE.

  19. how cool??? i just picked up a coupn at joann for 50 percent off- am going to have to get some of that!

  20. This is the first I’ve heard of it too! Cool idea. Hmm, wonder how I could use chalkboard fabric?

  21. Chalkboard fabric? Who knew!? Would be running to the store if it weren’t 11 pm!!!

  22. This is such a fun fabric! I love what you’ve done!

  23. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as chalkboard fabric. Super cool!

  24. Annette says:

    Now THAT is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a LONG time. My wallet is not thanking you right now, but I am. :)

  25. Melissa says:

    Just found your website, so I am not up to date. When are you due? I am expecting a girl in September, although this is not my first! I have nine kids and this baby will make ten: five boys and five girls. Oh, and I cloth diaper, too. Good choice!

  26. Wow, I am so excited to run out and get me some chalk fabric! I love your labels. Would like to see your placemat that you made too!

  27. Too cute!

  28. Melissa says:

    I saw this post the day it went up, and while I thought it was terribly cute I didn’t think much about it. Well, I was tired of the kids mkaing the changing table a total disaster when putting away the diapers, covers, and wipes. So while I did not run out and get chalkboard fabric (which would be cool) I DID make labels for all the baskets. EVERYTHING is labeled now and there are NO excuses for not putting things away properly. Thanks for the idea.

  29. Love it!

    My sewing machine isn’t working, so I was thinking I would use fusible interfacing to attach the two fabrics. Is the chalkboard fabric heat-safe? Hmm if not I bet I could use craft glue.

    Didn’t know about the chalkboard pens – genius!

  30. Lindsay–I just found your blog googling chalkboard fabric. I bought three yards of it to make a chalkboard with (I homeschool my older three children). It’s good to see what else you’ve done with the fabric–It’s really cute. Thank-you!

    Erin in TX

  31. Love the changing table! Where did you find your baskets?

  32. I just wanted to thank you. I found chalkboard fabric just over a year ago and have been making placemats with a pocket and a 9×10 piece of the chalkboard fabric to be rolled up and taken in the car or used at a restaurant to keep kids occupied.. I ran out of the fabric and went to get more only to find out they had purchased it for a special teaching project and no longer carried it. You let me know I could get it at JoAnns and now I have access again. Thank you so much!! Love your blog!!


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