DIY Chalkboard Labels

DIY Jar LabelsIf the weather the past couple of days is anything to go by, then spring has finally arrived! Which, in my life, means it’s time to begin Spring Cleaning. First on my list is my itty bitty kitchen, and what I really need in there are some chalkboard labels for my storage jars.

A while back I posted a tutorial on making stencils in Photoshop and included a set of printable stencils that I had created. For this project, I used stencil #1.

DIY Chalkboard Labels


Contact paper (or thick paper will work)

My stencil (or one of your choosing)

Chalkboard Paint

Glue (dealer’s choice – I used Elmer’s)





Step 1: Cut out your stencil and trace it onto a piece of contact paper. If you need to use regular copy paper, that will still work, though your label won’t be as sturdy.

Shape my file makesThen cut the stencil out of the contact paper.

Cut out Shape on Contact Paper

Step 2) Start painting. Load your brush with paint and don’t be stingy. Start in the middle and use short strokes to work your way toward the edges. Keep your strokes moving in the same direction. I worked horizontally.

It takes some patience on the contact paper because of the glossy finish, but the paint will hold.

Start from the middle and work outIf you start seeing gaps in the paint, just use very gentle strokes to smooth them out. If that doesn’t work, add more paint to your brush and go over them again.

Step 3) Keep painting. Once you have an even layer of paint over the label, pick up just a bit more on your brush and paint long strokes over the label from edge to edge. Add paint to your brush if you start to see gaps in the paint again.

Covered Contact Paper

This picture gives you an idea of the strokes and the amount of covering you want to have.

More brush strokes

If you see areas of the label with more paint than others (like the glob in the picture above near the right edge), use your brush to smooth the paint out. You want your final layer of paint to be thin and evenly distributed with no visible gaps or bubbles.

If you’re using regular copy paper or card stock, you’ll have an easier time of the painting step. Matte paper takes the paint much better. However, keep an eye on the copy paper because it has a tendency to curl up as it dries, which the card stock and contact paper don’t share, thank goodness.

Plain Paper Curls

Step 4) Let it dry. Once you’re satisfied with the coverage, set your labels in a dry place where they won’t be disturbed. They’ll need to sit for quite some time because it will take longer than the packaging says for them to dry. My labels took 3 hours to dry fully, and my paint is supposed to dry within an hour.

Step 5) Condition your new chalkboard. Take a piece of chalk and rub the side of it all over your new chalkboard label. This is called “conditioning” the chalkboard.

Condition the PaintWipe the label clean with a paper towel or tissue.

Step 6) Affix your label. I added a very small dot of Elmer’s glue to each corner point of my label for an extra strong hold on my jar. But the contact paper should stick just fine.

If you’re using copy paper or card stock, consider using glue dots or something similar rather than wet glue. Wet glue can make the paper wrinkle on your jar if you use too much.

Center the label on your jar and carefully smooth the label into place. If you’re using glue, run the side of a pencil gently over the label to squeeze out any excess and wipe away.

2 jars staggered


Finished Stencils copy


All done and so pretty!


K & G in Monterey 2






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  1. Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Great project, and great tutorial!

    Thank you so much for sharing at the Oh What a HAPPY Day party.

    Holly at Not Done Growing
    holly recently posted…Oh What a HAPPY Day Link Party!My Profile

  2. Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea! I’m going to try this.
    I’m visiting you today from Wow Me Wednesday. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Burlap Ruffle Wreath
    Megin recently posted…Burlap Ruffle WreathMy Profile

  3. Posted April 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Very nice, think I might try this on some herb pots!
    Diana recently posted…I want Candy!My Profile

    • Posted April 11, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      That’s such a great idea, Diana! Some windstorms here in SF blew my little herb pots to smithereens. I might do that for the new ones. Thanks for coming by!

  4. Posted April 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Cool! I have tons of extra contact paper. I might have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • Posted April 11, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Contact paper is a miracle worker, I swear! Lol Thanks for coming by, Kelly!

  5. Posted April 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    How cute are those Kaitlin…love this idea!! Thanks so much for dropping by and linking up…have a lovely evening!

    Michell @Prowess and Pearls
    Michell recently posted…Doing YOU WELL Wednesday #12My Profile

    • Posted April 11, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

      Hey Michell, thanks for hosting! So glad I ran into your site on SITS!

  6. Posted April 11, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Found you on the “oh what a happy day party” I was wondering how to do exactly this & I’m so excited to have a how- to, thanks for sharing!! Now I can have pretty pantry jars!!
    krista recently posted…Wellness Wednesday- Someone to Watch Over MeMy Profile

    • Posted April 11, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Hi Krista! I’d love to see them when you’re done. :) Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Posted April 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    such a cute idea! i really need to make labels for my kitchen to keep everything neater. thanks for following on bloglovin – following you back!
    jackie jade recently posted…Co-Host – The Bloglovin’ CollectiveMy Profile

  8. Posted April 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    What a cute DIY, I keep meaning to try out chalkboard paint (and i had no idea you had to condition it, good to know!) Thanks for stopping by my blog today, I’m looking forward to reading more of yours and just started following!

  9. Posted April 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about doing chalk labels vs. the ones I currently have :) Thanks for the tutorial:)

  10. Posted April 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Found you from the tuesday link up. I’m a new follower and I love these labels. Very talented! I look forward in reading MORE! Nice to meet you.
    Debby recently posted…Sat nite date niteMy Profile

  11. Posted April 12, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Awesome site. This is something that I will try.

  12. Posted April 12, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    So cute! I have been wanting to make jars like this for a long time! I think you just gave me that last bit of inspiration that I needed! Thanks for sharing!
    Leslie recently posted…One Year AnniversaryMy Profile

    • Posted April 12, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Leslie! I’d love to see them when you’re done :) Thanks for coming by

  13. Posted April 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful tutorial. I use jars to store a lot of things. This would be the coolest label. Thanks so much for sharing. :) I’m dropping by from the Aloha Friday Blog Hop. Hope you can drop by too.
    Kelly Blackwell recently posted…Yay My First Aloha Blog Hop!My Profile

    • Posted April 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Kelly! I’d love to see them once you’re done if you try them out. :)

  14. Posted April 15, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing @ Seasons of a Homemaker. Please share with friends so we can enjoy a big party!!
    Abigail Cappel recently posted…Seasons on Sunday No TwoMy Profile

  15. Posted April 17, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Oh, indeed SOO PRETTY!!!!!!!!! I love them (and need them too!) My jars are presently all labelled differently (different lots of canisters acquired at different times… hence…). Some uniformity makes sense!
    Fine Craft Guild recently posted…OPEN NOW :: Linky Party 63 + Features ::My Profile

  16. Posted April 17, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing this super tutorial over on Tutorial Thursdays.
    I look forward to seeing what you have been up to this past week :).
    Natalie recently posted…Warmer Wednesdays :)My Profile

  17. Posted April 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Love this! I pinned it :o) Thanks for sharing!

  18. Posted April 19, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    OMG. LOVE this. Great tutorial. I have seen those labels and they are pricey. Am all about DIY and saving money. Thank you so much for linking up at Creative Geekery’s THE Pin It Party. Hope you will swing back next week! XO, ellie
    ellie @ creative gee recently posted…summer bucket list must-have apps!My Profile

  19. Posted April 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Awesome idea lovely I am definately going to try this out. Raquel. :)
    Raquel recently posted…Dangerous Dark Chocolate MuffinsMy Profile

  20. Posted April 21, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks for linking up at THE Pin it Party! Hope to see you back next week!
    Kristin @ OneOrganic recently posted…We deserve better too.My Profile

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