My sweet boy modeling his mama’s framed chalkboard.
I have a close friend who is a professional photographer. Her kids’ pictures are always nauseatingly perfect and cute. Part of that is because—duh!—she’s a professional photographer. She has a mini studio setup with perfect backdrops and natural light IN her house! Plus a FAB camera, along with detailed knowledge of its settings, as well as a mastery of Photoshop. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t hurt that her kids are freaky cute and photogenic. For real.
I’m not gonna lie: I envy her backdrop collection and setup. I have been trying harder to take the extra time and effort to do similar things on a smaller scale. I even wrote a post at Valentine’s Day about a photo shoot that I did for my kiddos and my nephew.
Aren’t they cute?
However, usually what really jumps out to me in her pictures are her PROPS. It is the little details that take a picture from drab to fab. Basket, chairs, hats, etc. The props are photo gold. And framed chalkboard signs are a pretty sweet prop.
Well, when my sister asked me to do the Valentine’s Day photos of her son so that she could send Valentines from him to his awesome birth parents (he is adopted), she wanted to know if I had a chalkboard so that he could hold a sign with a love message on it. I did not. I said sorry and hung up the phone (I had about 1 day of notice on this).
However, the next morning it occurred to me that I had some chalkboard vinyl buried somewhere within my craft stash, so I grabbed it and five minutes later we were in business with not one but TWO framed chalkboards. Read on for the simplest tutorial you have ever read in your life.
1. Grab a frame. ANY frame! It can even be one you hang on your wall. Once you have taken the picture you will still be able to use it that way! I grabbed a random frame from my dad’s closet and a wooden heart frame that I had painted bright pink for my Valentine’s Day mantle.
2. Take out the cardboard backing/insert of the frame. Use it to trace a shape onto your chalkboard vinyl OR chalkboard Contact Paper. (Can you believe that they make that now?!) Cut out the shape.
3. Peel the backing off of your vinyl or Contact Paper and stick it directly to the cardboard backing/insert of your frame. (You see…this is why it works to still use the frame afterward. Just throw the glass and the picture back into the frame and you’ll never know the difference. Except that, should you need the chalkboard again, you can just remove the glass and picture and be back in the chalkboard business!)
4. Put the frame back together, write on it with chalk, and now you are done! Voila!
Let’s take a look at these bad boys in action, shall we?
My sweet nephew holding a message of love to his sweet birthmother. (He has an open adoption, obviously.)
The heart frame chalkboard in action on my mantle. (Jazzed up and blinged out a bit, naturally.)
Easy peasy, right?! Go make some today and go crazy having fun taking pics of your kiddos! “Last Day of School!” “First Day of Summer!” “Big Boy Swimming Lessons Start Today!” “We love you Grandma!” “Happy Father’s Day!” “KIDS ONLY! All grownups keep out!” The possibilities are endless…..
Did you know that I have a Pinterest board dedicated to Photography Tips, Tutorials, and Ideas? I do! I pin tutorials and tip on there, obviously, and also beautiful pictures that inspire me to try similar setups with my own kiddos. You should check it out!