DIY Gatsby Chalkboard Sign (with free cut file)
I love making event decorations that set the tone for my party theme. Signs are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do that. So when I hosted my roaring 20’s party, I decided that a DIY Gatsby chalkboard sign would be a great way to welcome my guests. And “A little party never killed nobody” was the perfect saying to get the party started.
Now that we’ve been through the party planning, the invitations and the entrance decor for my Gatsby party, it’s time to start working on the DIY decorations for inside the party.
Making signs that fit with the theme of your party is an easy and inexpensive way to decorate any event.
Fortunately, the Great Gatsby has a lot of sayings that make great party signs.
This one that says “A little party never killed nobody” was perfect for the entrance to my party.
I made it on a large chalkboard and stood it on a stand right inside the door so you couldn’t miss it.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not that great at hand lettering. So I used my favorite sign-making tool (my Cricut) to create a stencil out of adhesive vinyl. It sticks to the chalkboard so it’s easy to color in the letters without worrying about the stencil moving. And then peels right off to leave just your perfectly-written letters behind.
Keep reading to get my cut file and get all the details on how to make this DIY Gatsby chalkboard sign.
This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But we only recommend products we would use ourselves. For more information, click here to see our disclosures.
To start this DIY Gatsby chalkboard sign, you’re going to need to get the template file(s) from our resource library.
If you’re already a subscriber to our newsletter, you’ll find the password for the resource library at the bottom of every email. If you don’t have a password yet, you can request one by signing up below.
- chalkboard* – I used a 24″ x 48″ chalkboard panel
- 2″ wide painter’s tape
- gold chalk marker*
- re-positionable adhesive vinyl*
- transfer tape*
- 12″ x 24″ Standard grip mat* – I like to use 2 mats for this project, but it will work just fine with only 1 mat.
- Cricut scraper*
- Cricut weeding tool*
- Cricut fine-tip cutting blade – This is the standard one that comes with the machine
- Cricut machine* – Mine is a Cricut Explore Air 2, but you can use any type of Cricut (or other die-cutting machine) for this project
How To Make The DIY Gatsby Chalkboard Sign
1 | Create The Frame
Since I was using a plain chalkboard panel for my sign, I drew a gold frame around the outside to give it a little pizzazz.
To do this, stick 2″ wide painter’s tape all the way around the outside of the chalkboard.
Then cut small pieces of the painters tape and line them up so they touch the inside of the tape that is already on the board. These are spacers that will help you line up the inside tape layer.
Add two vertical pieces of tape that go from one end of the board to the other touching the spacer tape to keep it evenly spaced.
Then add two horizontal pieces of tape that go from one side of the board to the other using the spacer tape to keep it even.
Remove the spacer pieces of tape.
Use the gold chalk marker color in between the pieces of tape.
Leave the tape in place for now, since it makes it easier to get the text centered on the board.
2 | Cut The Vinyl
Note: If you want to see a video of how to make a chalkboard sign using your Cricut, watch this one I did for my DIY speakeasy party chalkboard sign. While the text on the sign is different, the process is exactly the same.
To start making your DIY Gatsby chalkboard sign, get the cut file from our Resource Library.
Open a new project in Cricut Design Space.
Upload the file to your project (if you’re not sure how, click HERE to see our tutorial on how to upload files to Cricut Design Space).
The text is in 2 layers because it is longer than 24″, which is the biggest mat available.
So you’ll need to cut 2 pieces of vinyl. But since this is just going to be used as a stencil, it won’t make any difference to the finished product.
Cut the first piece of vinyl to about 12″ wide and 20″ long. Then load it onto a 12″ x 24″ Standard Grip Mat.
Have your Cricut cut the text on to the vinyl.
If you have 2 mats, you can cut the next piece of vinyl right away and do step 3 with both mats at one time.
If you only have 1 mat, do step 3 before removing the vinyl from the mat. Then repeat steps 2 and 3 with the second piece of vinyl.
3 | Remove The Letters
Stick the weeding tool into the top corner of the first vinyl letter.
Then pull it back to remove the letter from the backing.
Repeat this process for all of the letters on both pieces of vinyl.
Cut a piece of the transfer tape that is large enough to cover all of the text on the vinyl
Stick the transfer tape over the top of the vinyl.
Tip: Since the transfer tape is really sticky, I only peel a little off the backing a little bit at a time to keep it from sticking everywhere.
Then adhere the transfer tape to the vinyl by going over it with the Cricut scraper.
Peel the vinyl with the transfer tape off of the mat. The transfer tape helps to keep the vinyl from curling too much which makes it easier to put down straight on the chalkboard.
If you only have one mat, repeat steps 2 and 3 for the second piece of vinyl.
4 | Draw The Text On The Chalkboard
Lay out the two halves of the stencil on your chalkboard, making sure they are centered.
Peel the backing off the vinyl so that the sticky side is exposed. Note: The easiest way to separate the vinyl from its backing is by using the weeding tool to lift a corner of the vinyl away (like you did with the letters above).
Stick the vinyl to the chalkboard making sure that it is centered, and that you have the words in the right order.
Go over the entire surface of the vinyl with the Cricut scraper to make sure it has stuck securely to the chalkboard (especially for the small pieces like the middle of letters).
Carefully peel off the transfer tape by starting in a corner and slowly pulling it straight back.
If any pieces of the vinyl come up with the transfer tape, put the transfer tape back down and go over the area again with the scraper. Then continue to remove the transfer tape.
Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles in the vinyl that are around the edge of the letters.
Now the black vinyl is ready to be used as a stencil.
Fill in the letters using the gold chalk marker.
When you’re finished, peel off the tape and the black vinyl.
And your sign is done!
I put it on a stand just inside the front door, so it was the first thing everyone saw as they came in. And it definitely set the tone for the party!
Other Roaring 20’s Party Decorations You Might Like
- Gorgeous DIY Feather Centerpieces: How To Make Ostrich Feather Centerpieces (+ 7 variations)
- Speakeasy Party Entrance Decor
- Great Gatsby Party Decor
Have comments or questions on our DIY Gatsby chalkboard sign? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on January 3, 2020 but was updated with new content on November 15, 2021.