DIY Tutorial: Photo Booth Chalkboard Speech Bubbles

Hello Kat & Rock n Roll Bride readers, I’m Rebecca Douglas of a Kent based wedding and lifestyle photographer who loves working with people and making and creating beautiful things!  When I’m not shooting and doing photography related stuff I love to get a make on with all sorts of materials.

I really loved the images that I was seeing from wedding photo booths and so wanted to develop these blackboard speech bubbles for guests to write messages on while in photo booths at weddings.

Supplies Needed:

♥ 3mm thick MDF
♥ Chalkboard Spray Paint  (I bought mine from amazon but you should be able to get it in craft stores or places like B&Q too)
♥ Chalk board pens (as above)
♥ A laser cutter or jigsaw
♥ Sandpaper


Step One: Cut the MDF into the shapes you want the speech bubbles to be. You’ll find there are a lot of sellers on eBay that already sell pre-cut shapes if you don’t have a laser cutter or jigsaw yourself. I’ve had a google around and there are also a lot of companies that offer laser cutting online, where you just email in your order and voila, the cut shapes are sent to you. That said a bit of elbow grease with a jigsaw and sandpaper will do the trick too.

Step Two: Set out a wide area of newspaper and lay the cut shapes out. Before you start spraying, make sure you have a big border of newspaper, or you’ll be left with a newspaper shaped outline on your garden path like mine is now sporting! (Whoooops!) When you start spraying, be sure to keep a consistent movement across the shapes as you don’t want paint to build up in one area (this will show up in photos). The can recommends that you spray at a height of 30cm from the surface which gives a good even coverage.

Step Three: Leave the shapes to dry for around 20 minutes. I used this time constructively and had a cup of Yorkshire brew and a few obligatory custard creams.

Step Four: Repeat step two. I re-sprayed the shapes twice so they had three coats in total and there was enough paint in the can for this. I had a few bourbons just to spice up my biscuit choice between the second and third coats. Once dried, I tested them out with some classic Crayola chalk.

Step Five: And you’re done! Easy!

The boards were fully tested and ready to roll at a recent wedding. I used a small Ikea table (I love it, detachable legs so it is easy to ferry about) to set up the ‘writing station’ in the room that the champagne and canapés were being served in. I invested in some chalk board pens in bold colours, to ensure the text was clearly visible.

And finally… I also made a photo booth backdrop (you can see it on my website here). I’d like to offer 10% off any Rock n Roll Bride readers who’d like to hire it for their 2012 wedding (you could use your newly-made speech bubbles in it!) To qualify, simple email me and quote ‘ Rock n Roll Bride DIY Post’ in the email.

More wedding DIY tutorials can be found here.


  1. great tutorial. i just bought a whole heap of chalk pens… and might try making these boards!

    one question, do you know the best thing to remove chalk pens? i have found just wiping the boards does not get the pen off easily at all, and i don’t want people at our wedding having to scrub and scrub to get the text off the boards!!!

  2. Ah thanks Donna, go get a make on! It is so much fun!

    And is what a good question as the pens are quite difficult to remove, but this: seems to do the trick.

    I use dishcloths that have quite a bit of texture too, the waffle style cotton ones are good. You might want to do a test with the colours on the boards as some come off a lot easier than others!

    Bex x

  3. Trina Sleper

    I wish I had seen this great idea last week as I would have used it today when I did my first wedding for a friend at church. But, a great idea anyway!!


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