Chalkboards are all the rage right now, and I've been using them to decorate for the holidays and parties in lots of different ways. But I've always found it a pain to have use chalkboard paint on these projects. I had a huge charity party I was responsible for decorating and I started thinking of how other black mediums would look with chalk. It needed to easy and inexpensive too! The three methods I use below held up really well and looked and reacted like a real chalkboard.
This could not have been easier! If you don't already have access to butch paper, it ~ $15 for 100ft roll that will last forever. The butch paper as chalkboard is perfect large projects, like my Selfie Wall. Test both sides of the paper and see which works best for your project. But for me, it worked as is. I also used butcher paper in the small gold photo frames. I have erased and reused a few times and the are great. (Note: I did not "season" the selfie wall and it worked great, but I usually do for all my other chalkboard projects)
2. Black Poster Board
Black Poster board worked great for me too, and available at big box stores like Target, RiteAid, etc. It is ~ $1 22"x28" sheets that will fit into poster frames you already own (I display my kids art work in large poster frames and removed them and replace it with the black poster board for the weekend. More substantial or ornamental frames would look even better). I used this method for large Menu Boards that I put on easels, and it turned out perfect! (Note: I did "season" the Black Poster Board and it made the look more authentic).
3. Plain Old Black Paint
That's right... black paint works as a chalkboard too! It doesn't HAVE to be a special chalkboard paint. I used an old can of Glidden black paint on cardboard cutouts, and that I used for directional signs at the party. FOOD, BAR, RESTROOM, etc. Plain old black paint is much less expensive than chalkboard paint, so this was a big win for me! I was just experimenting, so if this didn't work it was just cardboard I was painting so. (Note: I did "season" the plan black paint, just like you would with chalkboard paint)
4. Traditional Chalkboard Spray Paint
Below I reused cookie and coffee tins to make Christmas gifts for the kids teachers. I used Chalkboard Spray Paint on these pieces, and you definitely need two coats of paint. I filled the coffee tin with a 1/2 lb of nice coffee beans, and the others with candies. So the paint works great too :) and I'll continue to use chalkboard spray paint on projects like this.