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Charming Chalking

By Sara Naumann, Hot Off the Press

Chalking is a super way to add a touch of color to your scrapbook page— the subtle color can transform a piece of patterned paper into a three-dimensional work of art. Even better, it’s easy to do and inexpensive!

Never used chalk before? Have a set but don’t know quite how to use the chalk? We turned to the scrapbook specialists at Hot Off The Press for tips, techniques and ideas on chalking. 

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Ask your chalking questions on the Forum. 
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 Related Resources
• Scrapbooking With Chalks
• Chalked and Detailed Pumpkin Border
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Hot Off the Press: Paper Pizazz

Basic Chalking:

Opt for photo-safe decorating chalks like those from Craft-T Products—they contain extra, concentrated pigment and are acid-free. Because chalks can break, use care when handling them. Don’t throw away any broken pieces though—they can still be used. Store and protect your chalks in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Included with most chalk sets are sponge applicators; clean eye shadow sponge applicators or cotton swabs may also be used for application.

Craf-T’s chalks are so good, in fact, that Hot Off The Press even attached a set of chalks to the front cover of their book, Chalking Cut-Outs. The book is a kit of patterned cutouts, instructions and chalks. The scrapper only needs to cut her cutout from the book, then follow the directions for chalking. The projects below are all patterned cutouts and chalks from this book. 

Before You Get Started:

Practice adding and blending colors on a separate sheet before applying chalk to a cutout; learn what colors work well together and what shades you can achieve. Use a light touch for a soft look or apply chalk more heavily for intense color. For the “fluffy” look of a snowman, Santa’s beard or a teddy bear’s soft fur, use a circular motion when applying the chalk.

Samples with Instructions:

Pretty Little Piggie - Focus: Shading

Wicked Witch Hat - Focus: Highlighting

Charming Christmas Tree - Focus: Penwork

Blending Colors:

You can blend colors two different ways: on the cutout, or on the applicator itself. 

Blending colors on the cutout: First, apply one chalk color to the cutout, then another color over the top of the first. Subtle and multiple colors can be achieved, using two or three colors together, such as red and orange, orange and yellow, or red, orange, and yellow.

Blending colors on the applicator: Dip the applicator in one chalk color, then in a second; rub the applicator on the cutout, creating a new color. For instance to shade red, first apply brown to the applicator, then red; as they’re applied to the cutout, the two colors mix to create burgundy.


If you happen to make a mistake, an artist’s white plastic eraser will remove any excess chalk without leaving any marks, and will also clean up any stray chalk marks or mistakes. Chalk may also be added again after erasing.

Setting Your Work

To keep the chalk from smearing or migrating, use an acid-free spray fixative such as Blair No Odor Spray Fixative. Never use hairspray to seal your chalks, as it is not photo safe and may discolor your photos and pages over time.

Hot Off The Press is the creator of Paper Pizazz Chalking Cutouts, a complete chalking kit filled with patterned cutouts, instructions, hints and tips—plus there’s a set of 9 chalks and two applicators attached to the cover. A super value! Stop by www.paperpizazz.com to see!

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