How to Create a Gorgeous Chalk Mural Like an Instagram Pro
From writing and designing at Hallmark to creating unique artwork for an advertising agency, Instagram star Casey Ligon has always put an emphasis on her creativity. It was only a year and a half ago that she discovered a new talent in the ever-popular chalk art, which has since launched her to Instagram fame and enabled her to start a small business. Her trademark beautiful, ethereal chalk flowers often cause viewers to mistake her work for paintings. Lucky for us, Casey sat down to show us the step-by-steps for how to create a statement chalk wall. Read on to see how she did it!
— chalkboard wall (Casey recommends Rust-oleum chalkboard paint if you’re making the wall)
— chalk (the dustier, the better!)
— damp cloth
1. If your chalkboard is new, rough it up a little with a quick, messy layer of chalk — this will give texture to your final masterpiece.
2. Drawing very lightly, sketch out one big flower as your anchor. Then lightly sketch out a bulb and a smaller flower to accent.
3. Using heavy pressure, trace back over the edges of the flowers. Then, using the tips of your fingers, pull down the extra chalk residue to create streaks that mimic the organic texture of flower petals. Repeat over all of the petals on your arrangement.
4. To form the centers, forcefully stipple the tip of your chalk onto your surface. Then lightly pull down the chalk residue with your fingers to create tiny lines.
5. Next, draw some branches and leaves around your flowers. Use the pull-down technique to add detail to each leaf.
6. Outline each petal and leaf to pronounce the shape, and clean up edges with a damp cloth as necessary.
7. If you like, add dots or stars around your arrangement to make it really stand out. And you’re done!
If your chalkboard is brand-spankin’ new and shiny black, it’s actually best to rough it up a little. Chalk residue can leave behind a nice texture that can help add dimension to your flower mural. One artful way to do it is to draw a crazy spiral, preschool style, and then erase it with a damp cloth in a circular motion. It may not look like much now, but it will leave the perfect extra detail to help your masterpiece stand out.
First, you need to create your “arrangement.” Drawing very lightly, sketch out one big flower as your anchor. Then lightly sketch out a bulb and a smaller flower as accents. A good rule of thumb is to draw a center that isn’t perfectly centered and five petals. For the bulbs, you’ll want to sketch out just three petals. Ligon stresses the importance of letting yourself make mistakes during this stage. As experienced as she is, she often has to “make herself” make mistakes in order to achieve the organic feel of real flowers. “Flowers are natural,” she says. “Once you let go, suddenly they look like flowers.”
One you’ve sketched the base of your arrangement, use heavy pressure to trace back over the outline of the flowers. Then, using the tips of your fingers, pull down the extra chalk residue to create streaks that mimic the organic texture of flower petals. Repeat over all of the petals on your arrangement.
To form the centers, forcefully stipple the tip of your chalk onto your surface. Then lightly pull down the chalk residue with your fingers to create tiny lines.
Next, draw some branches and leaves around your flowers. Use the pull-down technique to add detail to each leaf. Then outline each petal and leaf to pronounce their shape, and clean up edges with a damp cloth as necessary.
Pro Tip: To create the illusion of light, make some leaves lighter on one half than the other.
If you like, add dots or stars around your arrangement to make it really stand out. Casey uses her chalky fingertips to dapple all over the chalkboard and create round smudges. She also uses the tip of the chalk to create star-like dots, something she started doing with a Harry Potter-themed piece, and adopted as a permanent part of her process. Whatever small details you choose to include, be sure to balance it out by creating some areas of higher concentration with the speckling than others.
And you’re done! That was easier than you thought, right? Thank you, Casey, for sharing your expertise!
Will you be trying out this DIY? If so, we want to see the results! Share your final masterpiece with the hashtags #britstagram and #iamcreative so we can take a look.
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.