The Easiest, Least Expensive Chalkboard Photo Backdrop Ever

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A few weeks ago, I wanted a chalkboard.   So I went to various office stores, to craft stores, to Target, and NOBODY had just a basic, decently sized chalkboard I could use as a prop for some photos.  Oh, I could get them online from any of those stores, but they only carried white boards in the stores.  

But I'd made these goldfish crackers, and I had this idea of the photo I wanted to take that very day, and I didn't want to order online and wait for delivery.  My vision needed to happen that very day.  Before I forgot.  Before I lost interest.  Before the cute goldfish crackers all got eaten.

My last stop on my quest was Walmart.  Surely they'd have a basic chalkboard, I thought, with all the stuff for college-bound kids in stock right now.  No such luck.  In desperation, I picked up a piece of UCreate brand Premium Poster Board for $0.97.  For less than a dollar, I was willing to give it a shot.

Now, I've used regular posterboard as a makeshift chalk board before.  And it was...ok...for a single use.  The premium poster board felt different.  Thicker.  More sturdy.  And with a more slick, chalkboard-like finish.  So I tried it.

And oh my goodness, it worked brilliantly!  I started by rubbing the flat side of a piece of chalk all over the poster board, and erasing the marks with a dry paper towel, exactly how you'd season a brand new chalk board.  And then I drew.

And I wrote.

Grease can make spots on the black poster board, but it actually cleans up and the chalk wipes away really well.  There's a bit of shadowing, but I'd get that with a regular chalkboard, too.  That's part of the texture and the charm.  

Overall, I'm extremely happy with my less-than-one-dollar photo prop.  It's probably the most versatile and least expensive tool for photography I've ever bought!  

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido