How to Use Scrapbook Chalks
by Susie Cortright
Chalking is a quick, inexpensive way to add creativity, color, and character to
your scrapbooking layouts and other papercrafts.
With a simple set of chalks, you can add highlights and shading to your paper
piecings, diecuts, punch art, stamping, lettering, cardstock, patterned papers,
Chalks create professional, custom looks with surprising ease.
Here's what you need to know:
What kind of chalk should I use?
It's best to stick to chalks that were designed for use in scrapbooking. You
won't want to use artists' pastels unless they are specifically labeled
What tools will I need?
A variety of tools create a variety of effects. Use cotton balls for all-over
soft color, Q-tips and/or specially designed foam applicators (which look like
eye makeup applicators but which you'll find in craft stores) when you want
When using Q-tips, make sure to roll the swab around in your fingers to tighten
the cotton so you don't get wisps, which can take the color where you don't want
One favorite chalk application tool - believe it or not - is a tampon. I got
this idea from Creating Keepsakes, and decided to try it. A tampon provides a
wonderful firmness and width for all-over color. And when it's time to change
colors, you can just clip off the used portion and start again.
How is the chalk applied?
Experiment on a piece of scrap paper and see what kind of effects you can
achieve with these simple tools and a palette of chalks.
Start with a light touch and add more color as you wish. Also, start with the
lightest color and layer your darker colors on top, where appropriate for
If you are going to be chalking a diecut or other embellishment, make sure you
use extra caution when you are gluing because the chalk will stick to the glue.
If you get a little wild with your glue, use your Un-du before you use your
Here are a few ideas to trigger your own creative imagination:
* Fill in - or simply outline - a stenciling template with chalk.
* Use chalks to create just the right color on photo mats or other
embellishments. Chalk will even tint ribbons and fibers for a perfect color
* Create a rubbing of an embossed diecut by applying the chalk directly to paper
that is placed over the diecut.
* Apply chalk to the torn edge of cardstock paper, vellum, or diecuts for a
shabby chic look.
* Apply chalk to crumpled paper. The chalk will be most prominent along the
Can I fix mistakes?
It's surprisingly easy to fix chalking goofs, but you will need a chalk eraser
(available at craft stores.) You can always add chalk over a spot that you've
erased, but fix mistakes quickly: Chalks become permanent more quickly than you
Do I need to "set" the chalk?
The pigments in scrapbooking chalks become permanently set in the paper several
hours after application, so a permanent fixative generally isn't necessary if
the layout is going to be in a page protector.
If you apply your chalks with a light hand, they shouldn't migrate, and you can
lightly swipe away any loose chalk with a clean cotton ball, or remove extra
chalk by placing your page face down and rubbing gently.
You can also use an acid-free spray fixative - available in craft stores - to
help ensure the chalk doesn't smear or migrate, but be careful not to spray the
That's it! Have fun, and don't be afraid to experiment. This is where the
artist in you is allowed to come out and play!
Susie Cortright is the founder of momscape.com and Momscape's Scrapbooking
http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking. Join her scrapbooking club here:
http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking/scrapbook-club or learn more about
starting your own scrapbooking business on Susie's team: