Due to the popularity of our DIY Last Day of School Chalkboard Photo Tutorial, our DIY Easter Bunny Photo Tutorial, and our DIY Mother’s Day Photos, a lovely mama in our Facebook Group asked if we would put together a tutorial for “first day of school chalkboard” photos! These chalkboard photos are the perfect way to commemorate the kickoff of the school year, whether you are doing “in-person” school or distance/virtual learning or even a hybrid approach! Make sure that you pin this tutorial here so that you can make matching “Last Day of School” chalkboard photos at the end of the school year! Plus, pin this first day of school printable tutorial here!!! Finally, make sure to follow us on Pinterest and in our Facebook Group so that you don’t miss any of our fun activities! Bonus points for sharing your first day of school sign photos on Facebook… I love seeing what everyone makes with our photo tutorials!
How to Make a Free, Editable First Day of School Chalkboard Photo on Canva
First, we will make a personalized “chalkboard” to document some facts about your child, because these “snapshots in time” are always fun to look back at.
DIY First Day of School Chalkboard Questions
Have your children fill in the following blanks. I am going to assume you know the grade they are starting, their age, and the year they will graduate from high school. However, if you are making this for a friend or someone else, make sure you collect that information as well!
- My teacher is _____________
- I Love ______________
- I want to be __________ when I grow up
Next, signup for a free account at Canva.com. I have only tested this method on the desktop website of Canva.com, but you may certainly try it on Canva’s mobile app. If you do try the app, please leave a comment below or in our Facebook Group to update everyone on how it works! I imagine that the process will be similar, but I prefer their desktop website over their app.
There are three choices for chalkboard themes and colors available here. Pick out your favorite from the following list and save it to your computer.
- Blue / Green Chalkboard Image
- Pink / Purple Chalkboard Image
- Red / Green / Yellow / Blue Chalkboard Image
How to Upload Image to Canva
Login to Canva.com and click the “Create a design” button in the upper left corner of the screen. Select “Custom dimensions” and enter 2550 px for the width and 3300 px for the height.
Click on the “Uploads” option on the dark gray sidebar on the left. Then you can drag and drop the chalkboard photo that you downloaded into the “uploads” area. Another option is to click on the “Upload an image or video” button to select your chalkboard photo.
Next, drag your chalkboard image from the “upload” section to the white design area. Only drop the image when you see it has filled up all of the white space. Alternatively, you can manually resize the image to fill up all of the white background.
Now you are going to customize the chalkboard with text! To make it super simple for you, here is an image showing the font name and colors that I used for each text area! Obviously, feel free to use any font or color that you want. The word before the dash (like “Grade”) tells you what section I used the font for and the word after the dash (like “Architects Daughter”) is the name of the font.
Canva’s Fonts for Free First Day of School Chalkboard Photo
UPDATE: the “my teacher is” section uses the “favorite subject” font which is called Sunday!!!
How to Add Text to Image in Canva
Here is an example of how to add text. Let’s add the graduation year by doing the following.
- Click on the “Text” menu in the dark gray sidebar on the left.
- Click on “Add a heading,” which will insert a text box into your image.
- Enter your graduation year into this text box.
How to Change the Font in Canva
- At the top of the screen is a white menu bar. Click on the first drop-down menu on the left (where the “hand cursor” is pointing in the photo below). This is how you select the font.
- Since we are adding the graduation year, we see in the font chart image (shared above) that we should use the font called “Engagement.” So select “Engagement” as your font.
How to Change the Text Color in Canva
- Next, we want to change the color of the text. Look again at the white menu bar at the top of the page (where you clicked to change the font). This time though, click on the letter “A” with the rainbow bar underneath it.
- Then, click on “New Color” (where the “hand cursor” is pointing to in the image below).
- For the color, enter the hexadecimal number (from the font chart image above). For example, in the photo below I entered #3e78a3 for blue text. The hexadecimal number is entered into the text box that the “arrow cursor” is pointing to in the image below.
- Then, drag the text to the right spot on the chalkboard image and resize it to look as you please!
- Repeat these steps until you have filled out the chalkboard to customize it for your child.
- To download it when you are done, click on the arrow pointing down. It is next to the “Publish” button on the top menu (as shown in the below image).
Now you have your chalkboard image! If you have an awesome color printer and very cooperative kids, you can just print it out. Then, have your child hold their DIY end of school chalkboard and take a photo.
However, what if you only have a black and white printer? Or if you are out of color ink? Or if your kids will never hold the paper straight (making it impossible to read the text in any photo)… not that I have ever experienced that or anything… then, let’s keep going!
How to Add a First Day of School Chalkboard Photo to Your Kid’s Photo
The trick to editing your first day of school chalkboard photo, is to start with a good photo of your kids! I highly recommend giving your children a piece of paper to hold. Take a photo with them holding the paper. Then tell them that you are going to remove the paper, but they should not move their hands. Tell them to stay super still like a statue! Then take a photo of them pretending to hold a paper. It should look something like the photo below.
There are two options at this point. One is super easy, and if you are not OCD, you should probably pick this choice! Your result will turn out something like the following.
If the above photo is driving you crazy because her finger tips are not in front of the chalkboard, then skip the rest of this section. Instead, scroll down to the “How to Photoshop Your Kid’s Fingers In Front of an Object” section below.
If you are not as OCD, then your job will be simple! Just do the following.
How to Add an Image to an Image in Canva
- Create another design at Canva.com that is the same dimension as the photo that you took of your child above. My phone takes images that are 3024 px (width) by 4032 px (height), but your phone or camera may be different.
- Upload the image of your child and drag it onto your white workspace until it fills the background.
- Then, upload the image of the custom chalkboard that you made above and add it to your image
- Resize, move, and even rotate the image of the chalkboard until it is placed within your child’s hands.
- Download it and share it with your friends and family (and with us in our Facebook Group!) Don’t forget to share this tutorial with your friends so that they can make their own first day of school chalkboard photos too!
How to Photoshop Your Kid’s Fingers In Front of an Object
If you want to go the extra mile to place your child’s fingers in front of the chalkboard, then this section is for you! Here is an example of what it will look like in the end (just in case you are on the fence about taking the easier path above!)
Move your customized chalkboard image (that you made above) from your computer to your phone. You can do this in many ways including via email, Google Drive, or whatever is easiest for you!
Download CyberLink’s PhotoDirector App here on your mobile device (you do not need to upgrade to the premium version, the free version will work just fine for this tutorial!).
Open the PhotoDirector App and click on the orange “Edit” button to select the image of your child pretending to hold a piece paper.
How to Make a “Sticker” in PhotoDirector
Scroll to the right on the menu bar at the bottom and select “Cutout” (the option with a duck icon).
From here, zoom in on your child’s hand and highlight just the four fingers (not the thumbs), as shown in the photo below.
If you find that too much was highlighted in red, click on the hand with the minus sign next to it. This will remove “red highlighting.” The hand with the plus sign next to it will let you highlight more. You can also adjust how particular the tool is by clicking on the button with a circle around a green dot. The huge white arrow is pointing to this button in the image above. If too much is being included when you highlight something, adjust this setting to the left. Conversely, if not enough is being highlighted each time, then adjust this setting to the right.
Once your child’s fingers (and NOT their thumbs) are highlighted in red, click on the “Cut” button in the menu at the bottom. You should then see a photo of just your child’s fingers on a transparent background, as shown in the image below.
Click on the checkmark in the upper right corner. That will save your child’s hands as a “sticker” to be used in the next step. When it asks you if you want to add a background image, select “No.”
How to Add the First Day of School Chalkboard in PhotoDirector
Now, click on the orange “Edit” button from the home page of the PhotoDirector App again. This time, reopen the original image of your child pretending to hold a sign.
Scroll to the right on the menu at the bottom and select “Add Image.” From there, select the customized chalkboard image that you moved to your phone. If you don’t see the image, try selecting “More” in the upper right corner.
Next, you want to place the chalkboard in between your child’s hands. You can adjust the size and rotate it as necessary. It is a good thing if the chalkboard is covering your child’s fingertips. Do not worry, we will take care of this in the next step.
Once the chalkboard image is perfectly placed, click the check in the top right corner of the app.
How to Use Stickers in PhotoDirector
Now scroll all the way to the right on the bottom menu bar and select the “sticker” option. You will see a bunch of emojis show up in the menu, you are on the right path! Click on the green duck icon (where the big white arrow is pointing to in the image below).
This will show you all of your stickers! Select the sticker of your kid’s fingers. Now resize and move your child’s fingers until they are placed perfectly on top of the chalkboard. Make sure to line the fingers up with the rest of your child’s hands and arms in the photo. Though, I imagine if you are OCD enough to take this path (versus the easier path above), then I don’t need to tell you that! I tend to be very OCD about photo edits, so you are not alone, my friend!
Once you have everything just right, click the check in the upper right corner. Then click the “disk” icon in the upper right corner. Ta-da! Your masterpiece is saved to your phone! Now share that awesome, customized, end of the school year chalkboard photo with everyone you know! Don’t forget to share this tutorial so that they can make their own too! And, of course, please make sure to post it in our Facebook Group!