Personalizing Paperweights with Text: Chalkboard Background & Fonts

Since I started PhotoWeights more than 15 years ago, I've answered thousands of questions from customers who needed a little advise to help them complete a design.  One of the most frequent dilemmas is how to lay out text when you want your paperweight to showcase quotes, names, and special sayings.

I thought I'd do a series of blog posts that show a variety of ways you can easily design and arrange text for your paperweights.  We'll start with one of the most popular styles, chalkboards.

You can find a variety of free chalkboard backgrounds and fonts online.  I'll provide you with the sources I used.  You can also search for additional resources on your own.


The foundation of this design is obviously a chalkboard background.  You can use a solid color (black, charcoal, or whichever color you prefer), or an image background like the one I used (below).  To download this background, click on it to enlarge and right click to save. (This may work differently on your computer.)


Because chalkboard art is so incredibly popular, there are scores of fonts to choose from.  These range from beautiful, handwritten fonts to more bold and boxy typeface.

FontSpace.com has a very nice selection of free chalkboard fonts.  If you'd like to view them, go to http://fontspace.com/category/chalkboard.  (This is a third-party site that is not affiliated with PhotoWeights.)


You don't need expensive, complex software to put your designs together.  I used Microsoft Publisher.

After I placed the chalkboard background onto my Publisher page, I sized it to fit the display area of the Rectangle Paperweight Kit. This is easy to do with either a scale or cropping tool

After I typed the text and placed it over the background, I played around with a few different fonts before I chose DJB Skritch Skratch for the quote and Cambria for Pearl Bailey's name.  The hearts are from the font KG Flavor and Frames Six.  (The heart outlines are the letter 'e' and the solid heart is 'z').  The hearts were sized differently and rotated slightly.

After your text and decorative elements have been positioned on the background, print a draft copy of your artwork so you can place it under your paperweight to make sure you like the way it looks.  Each time you make a noticeable adjustment, print a draft to check it again until it's just right.


I printed my artwork on a B&W laser printer using plain paper on the fine setting.  This gives it a matte look that you sometimes lose on an ink jet printer.

Need Help?

If you have any specific questions about designing text for your paperweight, leave a comment below.  You can also email me directly at susan@photoweights.com.


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