We Lived Happily Ever After: DIY Chalkboard Rhino Art

Friday, May 15, 2015

DIY Chalkboard Rhino Art

I thought it would be great to start off this series with the DIY that was the design inspiration for the whole space. When I found out I was having a boy, I decided rhinos would be the theme (elephants and baby blue is overkill!) But I also wanted it to feel industrial, so a chalkboard rhino silhouette was the perfect combination!

So to start off, I am super cheap, and I LOVE to turn junk into amazing things. So for the canvas, I used an old piece of plywood. We probably picked it up off the side of the road to tell the truth. 

It had lots of grainy wood texture which was perfect for the feel I wanted in the room.

I gave it several coats of good old latex paint.

Next I made a sketch of my rhino & started transferring it onto the board.

It wasn't the easiest thing to do free hand, but with the help of a magic eraser I eventually got the shape I wanted.

Next you need some chalkboard paint! You can see the Chalkboard Recipe I used HERE. It's super duper easy.

I started painting the edges first.

The silhouette method I used is more of an ex-ray approach. 

You need to paint in reverse, leaving white lines for definition.

Here he is all finished and drying. If you need more white lines, you can always paint them over the chalkboard paint afterwards.

Next, you need to prime your chalkboard. Simply rub chalk all over the surface. If you don't do this all over the whole surface, then your chalk won't erase properly.

Next, just wipe the excess off with a damp cloth.

I did a little bit of "shading" around the edges with some chalk. It gives it a less "flat" appearance. You can also use water to darken areas as well.

Fingers work great for getting in the grooves for this 3D shading technique!

I even had June help me out! :)

And here is my baby bump & the finished product. I was probably 20 weeks pregnant with Jason when I made this guy.

I just absolutely, positively LOVE it in the finished space. Since we moved into our new house two months before he was born, I had to keep it in storage for months, so it felt awesome to finally get it up on the wall!

 It has to be one of my favorite things about Jason's new room (okay, the whole room is my favorite part, haha!)  I just LOVE how it looks above his dresser. And the cute baby bear sleeper from restoration hardware was too cute not to hang on his closet door! 

We thought about framing it with reclaimed wood, but decided it looked awesome as is. Pretty cool what you can make from nothing, right? I am totally into designing on a budget/for nothing. :)

All the new posts from this series are listed below:


  1. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for all of your freebies! This is exactly my style!:)))