DIY: Free-Standing Rustic Chalkboard Labels & Tags

DIY: Free-Standing Rustic Chalkboard Labels & Tags

We had several dishes, desserts and drinks at our last dinner party and we wanted our guest to know what was on the menu without them having to ask so I sat down and made these unique free-standing chalk boards to label everything and then some adorable little tags for the drink glasses and mugs.

I wanted them to be universal so I could move them around and be creative but also classy, full of rustic charm, looking as if they were made by a professional and I wanted them to be something I could use over and over again.


Not only did this turn out to be a fantastic way to label the many food dishes we had prepared with a charming flare, they made for some stylish place setting that our guest just adored. I gave them each a tag with from their place setting to take home with them.


Believe it or not, these are easy and inexpensive to make and they will keep the children entertained while the adults enjoy their dinner and conversations. Just give them a little colored chalk and a damp napkin and they’re creative juice will come alive.


Also these make great house-warming gifts and so much more!


 What you will need:
I bought everything from Hobby Lobby- keep your eyes out for 50% off days and you can use the 40% off coupon for one full priced item on their site). All prices listed are not discounted.


1. PRE-CUT WOOD – Round or Square .79¢ each
(Square measures – 5 1/4 inches long  and 2 1/2 inches tall. Round measures – 4 1/2 inches long and 2 3/4 inches high).

2. WOODEN TAGS WITH HOLES IN ONE END – $2.99 a pack. (Sometimes some of them don’t have holes so you have to drill them yourself.) I bought extra and made extra of these to give out as gifts to our guest.

3. FINE GRIT SANDPAPER to smooth (I already had some around the house)




5. SPRAY CAN OF BLACK CHALKBOARD PAINT (if  you are using the round wood you will need small bottle of paint to do some free hand painting) – $4.99


6. SMALL PICTURE STAND – $1.99 each (stands 3 1/2 inches tall and opens 4 inches wide)Stand

 7. WOOD BURNING TOOL- $14.99 (I used the 40% off coupon on their website and paid only $9.71)



9. SMALL CAN OF POLYURETHANE – $4.99 (This is not a mistake here, you need to paint the small edges because they are too small to spray).


10. REALLY SMALL PAINT BRUSH to paint the edges (I had one of these around the house)


11. PAINTERS TAPE (I also had this around the house)


12. DECORATIVE CORD – $1.99 per pack and there are several different colors in the pack (I failed to take a picture of the pack. but you can see the cord below on the finished tag).


13. CHALK OR CHALKBOARD PEN (Chalkboard pens are awesome and come in different colors)


Steps to Make Your Chalkboard Labels and Tags

1. Sand wood including the edges and wipe off wood dust with damp rag and then let dry. This is important because  you want your chalkboard labels to be smooth. Even the pre-cut wood needs sanding.

2. Stain the backside of chalkboard labels and tags and the edges. The edges of the tags will most likely already be stained. I used a Q-tips to place the stain along the edges of the labels but be careful not to use a lot of stain because you don’t want it to bleed on the front side of the wood. You don’t need much stain on the wood itself, I put a small amount on a rag that I wrapped around the tip of my finger. To get the color you want, you may need more than one coat.

3. With the painters tape, cover up the area that you don’t want painted (around the edges) of the chalkboard labels. For the round, well really oval, so sorry, I failed to take a picture of this also but I pulled the tops off of my small tissue boxes and put them together. (Hey a girl does what she has to do!) They made the perfect shaped oval that I needed to trace on the wood – totally worked like a charm! Then I painted free-hand where I wanted the chalkboard paint on the wood.

4. With the wood primer, prime the front side of the labels and tags (two coats).


5. With the chalkboard paint, paint the front side of the labels and the tags (if you find any roughs spots when you run your hand over the wood the first time, sand again before painting again). (Two coats – 3 if you have to re-sand).


6. After the paint is dry, pull of the tape off of the wood. Don’t worry if you  have a little bit paint bleed around the edges, this will add to the rustic look.

7. Now burn the edge of the labels in a design of your choose. I played on a blank piece of wood first to see what I could create and what I liked. There are several different bits that came with the wood burning tool so be creative and master your design. Have fun with it.

8. With the small paint brush, paint the polyurethane over the edges you just burned on the labels. Be careful not to get the polyurethane on the chalkboard paint.


9. With the Spray can of Polyurethane, coat the BACKSIDE of the labels and tags. Two coats my be needed. Let dry, write the name of your dish on the tag and place on stand.

10. Now to finish the tags, cut off a piece of the cord and run it through the hole and tie a small bow. I double tied mine to be sure it wouldn’t come loose.

11. For the tags again, cut off several pieces of the different color cord. Make sure they are all the same size. (I used three cords per tag) and run them through the hole. Once done, tie the ends of the cords together on each side.

12. Wrap the tags around your coffee cup or glasses or if you’re using cloth napkins, use them to wrap around the cloth napkins, this gives such a classy look. I will do this at our next dinner party.

Haven made a tag for each one of our friends to take home, I saw one of them using his tag as a book marker in his Bible and another is using hers to decorate the pencil and pen cup on her desk. I’m so happy that they liked them!


I know this is a long post but I wanted to give you as much detail as I could in case you want to make your own. I am so happy with the way these tags and labels turned out. It beats paying $71 for a set of two.


If you decide to make your own let us know how they turn out. We’d love to see them. If you have any questions or tips to share, please feel free. Enjoy everyone.


Want to see more DIY Stuff on Kerri Chronicles? Check out:
DIY Seal the Gap Between the Counter Top and & the Stove.


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