DIY Faux Slate Chalkboard Photo Background

DIY Faux Slate Chalkboard Photo Background // When I first started blogging, one of my main goals was to learn how to take good pictures. If you were to go back to the beginning of WhipperBerry from the summer of 2010, You can see my photos were not exactly Pinterest worthy. Luckily Pinterest hadn't opened it's virtual doors quite yet.

One of my favorite things about bloggin is that I am constantly learning and developing new skills. I am constantly dissecting photos that I love, to figure out how I can create the same effect.  Now, with Pinterest as a major player in our social media world… Photography is EVERYTHING. One of the easiest ways for a post to go viral these days is for it to be pinned and repined on Pinterest. A post can develop some strong legs on Pinterest and really bring in some major traffic for your site. The bottom line is… If you don't have a good photo, you are missing a huge chunk of the successful blog post equation.

One of my favorite styles of photography right now is, the dark slate chalkboard look. We've seen it everywhere on Pinterest. Not only is this chalkboard look popular for printables, it's super popular for pictures as well. Here are a few examples of photos that I've created for WhipperBerry with this look…


I love how the black background helps to make colors pop and it also has a bit of texture which in turn helps the image have more depth. It also creates a fun chalkboard look when adding text to your image.  I just love it!!

Want to know how I made my background? It's super EASY and cheap! Here is what you will need…

Supply List

  • Black foam board – Any size will work, I have a couple of sets of various sizes. They range in price from just a few dollars for a small board up to about $15 for a large 20×30 depending on where you purchase them. Still nothing to sneeze at when compared to other photo backdrops.
  • Chalk
  • Old rag

Chalkboard Photo Background Instructions 

Now, this couldn't be easier. Take your foam board and a piece of chalk…

How to make a faux slate photo backdrop

Take the side of the chalk and gently rub circles around the surface of the foam board. Don't press too hard, it will dent or scratch the surface of the foam board and you don't want that to happen.

use chalk to create a faux slate photo background

Once you've covered the entire surface of the foam board with the chalk, take an old rag and use it to blend the chalk over the surface of the board. This will give the board the look of slate when photographed.

blend the chalk on the foam board with an old rag

Here's how it should look once you've blended the chalk…

the finished faux slate board

Because they are so inexpensive and easy to make, I've made several of them of them and use them for not only the background but the base of my photo set-up. I'll let you in on a little secret, Here is how I photograph all of my photos…

How to use the faux slate photo background

This is actually my daughter's bedroom, but she has graciously offered to share it with me as my photo studio as well. It has the best natural light in the house and with windows on two sides of the room I have all kinds of fun playing with the light. This set-up was for yesterday's Campbell's post, here is how the picture turned out…

Address your heart with Campbell's Soup

I am just in love with this look right now! So… I've been thinking about doing a few more posts on how I create the images for WhipperBerry, but I'm going to leave that up to you. If you are interested in more posts like this, leave a comment on this post and tell me what you would like to learn about. If there is enough interest, I will work up a whole new blogging series… So ask away!


  1. says

    I'd love to read more posts about how you photogrpah things for your blog!

    This one is great!  I am wondering, though, what camera settings you use. I have a hard trouble photogrpahing black things, like if I am making something chocolate, or cooking in a black pot.  I just got a macro lens and haven't tried it yet with black but maybe it will help.  

  2. Becky says

    Love your idea to use foamboard! I'm pretty good with photoshop and I stood on a ladder and photographed my asphalt driveway to drop into backgrounds and use as a chalkboard. It's worked great for me, but I'm going to give your idea a try.

  3. says

    This is so smart! Thank you for sharing. I'm always looking for new ways to photograph for my site too, so this kind of information is much appreciated. Your photos are beautiful.

  4. says

    Great post. thanks for sharing. I love your photography for your posts and would love to see more behind the scenes as you mentioned above. I would love to be able to take better photos for my blog.

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing this great idea. I've been looking for an easier way ( I too shot some asphalt) to try this technique. Looking forward to utilizing the idea. Thanks again. kjs


  6. says

    Love this! I would like to see more posts like this with ideas for inexpensive backgrounds. I would also be interested in posts about props and styling. Thanks (off to go buy some foamboard)!

  7. says

    It is people like you that make a better place.  Thank you for your chaulk board idea.  Reasonable and I can't wait.  I probably don't have a fancy schmancy camera like yours… I have a Nikon CoolPix P510.  I have done photography basics for over 30 years.  Just can't seem to remember alot of the ISO and aperature stuff; brain fog.  Can you help me remember those things and also, what are the standard settings I can do manually with my camera using a black setting like yours or a pure white setting.  Also, do you only use natural light or do you use lights and if you do use lights, how many do you use, what brand, and where do you place them.  Thanks for answering my million questions, and "yes" you should do a series. 

  8. says

    Talking about the power of Pinterest, I just discovered your blog from this image. I would be interested in more posts like this…I know I am a little late lol!

  9. says

    awesome idea, I just bought some black foam board at the dollar store the other day and now I'm going to find some chalk and try this!  Thanks!


  10. says

    I love this idea! I’ve been looking for some different color tiles that I can use in my photography and hadn’t found the perfect dark one. I went with my son to pick up my chalk and foam boards last night so I can make these today. They are so much easier and lighter to set up and move than my 18 x 18 inch tiles! :)

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Aryane says

    OMG You’re awesome, thank you!
    I have a very cute kitchen, but I hate taking pictures with it in the background.
    I will definitely try this!! :)

  12. says

    I’m late to this post, but SO happy to have found a link to it from The Bojon Gourmet. You are genius! I can’t wait to try this for some upcoming shoots. I was just thinking the other day that I need to get a few more backdrops. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome idea!


  1. […] make it look like a chalkboard, I used a trick I learned over at Whipperberry. You just take a piece of chalk and rub the side of it very lightly over the whole board. Then just […]

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