DIY: Christmas Mantle Chalkboard Sign

You may have recently seen that we gave away an awesome sign.

I originally bought all the supplies to make this for myself. This idea was based off of Shanty-2-Chic’s FALL sign.They have a great tutorial for how to make the FALL sign. We had to alter ours a bit and obviously used some different items.


Hot Glue Gun
Wood Glue
Nails/Screws (drill if you are going to use screws)
9″ MDI letters from Hobby Lobby
4- 1″x3″x6′
paint brush

To get started…First, cut all your 1″x3″s down to 14″ or have your husband do it like I did 🙂 You will use 4 of these for each letter so start separating.


We put two shims on the back of each set of 4 for extra strength and used a combination of nails and screws depending on what we had available and in what length. We put glue on the back of the shim and glued it to the set of 4 boards and then nailed it in. You want to keep everything 3/4″ or shorter for this so it doesn’t go through the wood.

Next, get your stain out. We have stained enough things in the last 6 or 7 years to know….the best stain product is by far Cabot. It has sealer mixed in it. The finish is silky smooth. It’s amazing. I’m not even being paid to say that…but if anyone knows a Cabot representative feel free to send em’ my way. For this project, we used one of the colors we had on hand…Aged leather.


The stain dries pretty quickly. While you are waiting you can paint your MDI letters. I normally roll chalkboard paint on but for some reason I thought spraying would be a good idea…it worked but I prefer rolling.

IMG_3674 IMG_3673

Once you are done with that and your stain is dry go ahead and sand. Plug in your hot glue gun to warm it up! We took an orbital sander and lightly sanded the whole thing which gave it a nice worn, vintage/distressed look. Some of our boards (2 or 3) had white paint specs on them. These would have sanded off super easily but we chose to leave them to add to the character.


To attach the MDI letters we hot glued them on.


This is where things got tricky. If you choose to use the word MERRY, be warned. The 9″ MDI letters from hobby lobby are about 12.5″ wide for an M so it hung off our wood. This is where I grabbed a hand saw and made it fit. My husband says I am part of the brute force and ignorance club. sigh.  You would never know because the M has these long accents. But they turned out great and I got excited! Look at the E. So cute!


Line up your decorations! I bought a couple packages of decals and some ribbon at Hobby Lobby at a 50% discount. We had some twine on hand. I lined up my decorations and got ready to play.


Decorating was  a lot of fun and I just went for it. I did something different on each letter. Made some bows, used the glue gun, and went to town. The pictures do not do this justice.

m e r2 r Y

When everything was done I seasoned the chalk board letters by rubbing chalk on them and wiping them off.


ALL DONE! I love how this turned out. I decided to give this away because I thought my mantle wouldn’t fit it with my other decorations but when I put it up to take pictures I realized it fits fine and will make one for myself next year!


Cost depends on what you have on hand. But here is what we paid for things…

Hot Glue Gun- on hand
Sander- on hand
Wood Glue- on hand
Nails/Screws (drill if you are going to use screws) – on hand
decorations- $9 for decals and ribbon after 50% off, twine was on hand.
shims- $1.57
stain- on hand, this stain is $12 for a quart
9″ MDI letters from Hobby Lobby- $2.49 each x 5 = $12.45
4- 1″x3″x6′- $3.28 each x 4 = $13.12
paint brush – on hand
chalk- on hand

Out of pocket, this project cost $36.14. Obviously, if we had to buy everything it would be quite a bit more so cost will vary depending on what you have. But even for $50 or $100 its still a great Christmas decoration and adds height to your mantle. I can’t wait to make another one for myself!

Let us know if you have any questions or if you plan to make one! We would love to see it!