How to Build, Buy, or Borrow What You Need to Get Started Chalk Drawing

Posted: August 16, 2020 | Updated: August 16, 2020
Created by: Ms. Sylvia

If you would like to take up the beautiful challenge of integrating chalk drawing into your learning environment, here are 5 things you’ll need to get started:

1. A chalkboard

I have two chalkboards, currently. The largest one I found in a dumpster and shamelessly saved for myself. The second one I found without a frame in a thrift store, then nailed into one of my great-grandmother’s picture frames.

You, too, might stumble upon a chalkboard like this. However, you can also easily make a chalkboard using chalkboard paint. I prefer the charcoal-colored Rust-Oleum® Chalked Ultra Matte Paint (, but there are many brands available. I have a friend who painted directly onto her wall to create a chalk wall, but would also recommend finding or purchasing a wood plank in your desired size. Finding a beautiful frame for it enhances the beauty, but isn’t necessary.

2. Chalk in a variety of colors

My preferred brand of chalk is Prang and I like to order the Ambrite 144-piece set, which lasts me for years.

I prefer the rich brown in the Mercurius Blackboard Chalk 12-piece set, but rarely use the other chalks from that set.

If you are an experienced chalk artist or find other brands that suit your needs while you explore, I would love to hear from you! Of the few other chalk sets I have tried, Prang and Mercurius have been my consistent go-to brands.

3. Microfiber cloths

Though I know people who prefer a wet and dry cotton cloth, I am a huge fan of microfiber. They’re easy to come by in my household and they do a great job of moving and removing chalk as needed. When a microfiber towel gets fully saturated with chalk (sadly, this is a messy and dusty art), it holds better than other towels, which means less dust on my floor.

4. Water

Chalk is messy. There’s no way around it. Though you don’t need water for the drawing itself, it would be irresponsible of me not to warn you that even in this era of concentrated and careful hand-washing, your post-chalk washing is going to take longer than your usual routine. Have water and soap on hand and be ready for some chalk dust under your nails anyway. Use some of that water to take care of the persistent chalk that gathers under your drawing, as well.

5. Dedicated time

With practice, you can create a beautiful and simple chalk drawing in a very short amount of time, but your drawing will always be best if you are able to give it your full attention, even for interrupted 5 minute stretches at a time. Though that can be a rare commodity in these quarantine times, see if you can find moments for just you and the chalk. Giving my drawing my full focus for however long I am able is meditative and a form of self-care. This one’s not required (many former colleagues can attest that multi-tasking CAN yield a fine chalk drawing), but it’s a wonderful treat.

Keep in mind that “dedicated time” doesn’t need to be solo time. Your child can draw on paper what you draw on the chalkboard for a guided drawing lesson. A guided drawing can be added to over the days. For example, a simple drawing of a tree might get a flock of birds to roost in it on day 2, or a swing to hang from it on day 3. A child reading a book might appear underneath the tree a week later… there is no end to the possibilities! You can either surprise your children with these changes by sneaking them in while they are asleep or otherwise occupied (which is a wonderful exercise in memory-- do they notice what has appeared?) or you can involve them in the process of adding to the drawing. Objects could appear as you build a story together. Sometimes, developing drawings together is what allows us to find the time -- and allows us to develop meaning together.

Enjoy discovering the art of chalk drawing. I will continue to share what I create, imperfect though it is, and hope you will send some of your drawings to us, too!