Chalkboard Seating Chart *Template Download*

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Two years ago, when I first became aware of the chalkboard craze, I found a beautiful vintage frame at a garage sale, bought some cheap bead-board, and created a large framed chalkboard.  It looked so beautiful hung above the blue couch I reupholstered in my college room!  After I left the University, I knew the framed chalkboard had not yet seen its last days of usefulness… I would use it for a wedding seating chart!

Originally, I had planned on asking my friend to write out every name in a white ink pen (she has very cute handwriting, unlike mine)….  Yikes!  Talk about daunting… Although she graciously offered to do it, the more I thought about it and the repercussions of making a mistake or calculating the spacing off, I realized I would need to figure out another way.

While perusing pinterest looking at other chalkboard seating charts, I came across one for sale on etsy that looked printed.  I clicked on it and realized it was a pdf for sale with a chalkboard background.  Hmmm…. it was then that I recalled that a lady at Mr. Fancee’s home church told me about a deal at Staple’s where you can buy huge black and white ‘engineer prints’ for under $7. 🙂  So I set out to design my own printable chalkboard seating chart in Microsoft Word. (One of my favorite places to design because of my ridiculous collection of fonts!)  In the end it turned out incredible, without any stress involved.  We got so many nice compliments on it, and it was seriously so simple!  Below is a tutorial for how to create your own (faux) chalkboard seating chart.

If anyone is interested in using the template I created for our chalkboard seating chart, I’ve provided a download link below.  First, please download and install the necessary fonts to preserve the formatting.

Fonts:

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DIY Chalkboard Seating Chart (in Word!)

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1. Compile your Guest List

Make sure you have them sorted alphabetically and know which tables you have them placed at.  You can do this right in the Word Document, or in Excel and just paste in a ‘text only’ version.

2. Configure your Document

Open up Word and set the document size to a ratio that works with your chosen frame. (You can do this under page layout / size / more paper sizes / custom size)  For instance, my frame was 2′ by 4′ so I set my document at 9″ x 18″.  Ultimately all that matters is the ratio because Staples will scale it to your desired size.

3. Insert Chalkboard Background

I downloaded this free printable.  After you download and save, insert the photo into your Word doc and Stretch it to the edges of the document.  Next, right click and set the image wrap to ‘behind text.’

4. Add Text

Start entering in the wording as you would like it to appear.  Use text boxes for the introductory wording on top.  Then, in page layout / columns select the number of columns you will need for your chart.  I did three.

Make sure to use the ruler on the top and left side of the document to position the columns how you like them.

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4. Download Free Chalkboard Fonts

You can really use any font you want for this project, but some especially help with the chalkboard effect.  This site provides a very helpful collection of chalkboard fonts, background, ornaments, and tips.

Personally, I used Chalk Hand Lettering Shaded, Senandung Malam, Bergamont Ornaments, Handwriting Draft, Decadence, and Handy George.

Also, I used a banner from the Graphics Fairy.  It took some manipulating… (I’m sure there is a better/easier way to do this) I edited it in Picassa and used the duo-tone processing (I think it’s in creative kit) to make the banner lines white and the background some other color.  Then, after putting it in Word, I used the ‘set transparent color’ tool (under picture tools / format / color ) to create a transparent background leaving only the white banner.

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Here is mine after Picassa editing: (you can copy and paste it into your document and use the method above for transparency)

seating banner

(click image for higher resolution)

Here it is again with the wording inside.

Please Find Your Seat

(click image for higher resolution)

5. Format and Number

Once you have all of the fonts set as you like them, add periods after the names and then their table number.  I don’t have a great trick for aligning them all.  I just did my best and eyeballed it.

6. Save as a PDF and Print

Save the document as a pdf so none of your formatting is lost in the printing process. Then take it on a flash drive to Staples and ask for an engineer print in your needed dimensions.  When you get your print back, attach it to the cardboard backing of the frame (or in my case, duck tape it to the beadboard) and attach the frame.

My Chalkboard Seating Chart

Now you have a beautiful and personalized chalkboard seating chart with no handwriting woes!  Best of luck 🙂

Below is a ‘pinnable’ version.  Feel free to share or comment!  Also, if you are interested in using my template, you can download it by signing up below:

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Seating Chart the Easy Way!

46 Comments:

  1. I love this seating chart! But I’m having trouble downloading the template to my Mac. Any suggestions? Please and thank you!

  2. Does this blow up to a bigger format very well? I am thinking of taking it to a printer, but dont want to spend the time on it if It wont blow up larger….

    1. Hi Courtney, yes it does. I printed mine on a 24×48″ paper, and it looked great! Take it Staples and get an engineer print, they’re super cheap and will blow it up for you without losing resolution 😉

      1. Hi! Okay so i have finished my document. I went to upload it to the staples webiste and it cuts off after the C for engineer print! AH I am horrible with technology. Any suggestions?

        1. Don’t feel bad, I had the same issues on the website lol! Just take it in and tell them the exact dimensions you want it. Then they can figure it out 🙂

  3. After downloading the template, there is a = and + sign right above the names and in the middle of the names and wedding date. How do I get rid of that = and + plus?

    1. Jenna I think the issue may be that you didn’t download the Bergamont Ornaments font. The = and + signs are in that font will show up as flourishes framing the date. Good luck!

      1. I am having an awful time attempting to download the Bergamont Ornaments. Is it possible to get this chart without those flourishes otherwise I cannot get the + and = off the template and cannot use this?

        1. If you move the “John & Jane Doe” textbox over, then move the “please find your seat” text box over, you will be able to select the boxes with the ornaments and delete them.

  4. I love the seating chart! I am just about ready to print mine. I’m having one problem, however. When I save the word doc as a PDF, the diamond on the left side of every letter is cut in half. I have tried playing around with the margins and moving the letters over, but no matter what I do, the diamond is still cut in half. Any suggestions??

    1. Hi Tara, I know exactly what you mean! When I was first designing it I had that same problem and tried lots of different things to make them be whole or just disappear. Unfortunately I never was able to solve it and just printed it as is, maybe they look like arrows? lol I think I tried adding the other half of the diamond as a pic, and changing to a different version of the font from the download page. The problem is, each letter has a half diamond on each side so the next letter completes the shape.. Let me know if you figure out a way 🙂

  5. I love this seating chart! This is an awesome post. I love it, and so does my fiance, because I was driving him crazy trying to figure out a seating chart for our wedding! 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Hey there! Thank you so much for this! I downloaded the fonts and everything but I wanted to adjust and make it into 4 columns since I’ll be printing on 18 x 24 but I can’t for the life of me, figure out how to add the columns. It just won’t allow me to do it. Any suggestions? 🙂

    1. Hi there! To make four columns you will want to go to the Page Layout tab in your Word doc. Once you have your text selected, click ‘columns’ then ‘more columns’. From the pop-up box you should be able to select four columns 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle, you’ll want to select the text box, click the ‘format’ tab near the top of your word doc, select ‘text effects’, then ‘transform.’ There you should see the half-circle option. Best of luck!

  7. Hi there, thanks for posting!! I do have a quick question. Did you leave the file as Word when you took it to Staples? I am have having issues with the font. Whenever they bring up the file on their system to print, it automatically reverts to basic block or Arial fonts. I assume this is because they do not have the same font downloads we used for this file? Any suggestions? I cannot save it as PDF or JPEG because its too small that way and looses resolution. Any help you can provide would be really apprecaited!!!!

    1. Hi Mareka, I saved mine as a pdf and had it printed at Staples. Bringing it there in Word will not work because they will not have the special fonts you downloaded. I personally didn’t have an issue with losing quality or resolution. If you experience that, perhaps your Staples would know a few tricks on how to preserve quality.

  8. Thank you so much for this! You saved my butt. My fiance had been stressing over the seating chart design and with your help I was able to complete it in one morning, and save a lot of money too! You’re doing the Lord’s work here

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! Congratulations on the upcoming wedding 🙂 I wish you both all the best!

  9. Hi There,

    Firstly, thank you so much for this!

    Secondly, I’m trying to save the document as a .pdf but when I convert it, it gives me an error message of “unable to convert to pdf. At least one font has license restrictions and cannot be embedded into a pdf.”.

    Can you please help?

    1. Hi Sneha! Oh wow, I’ve never experienced that before. I’m not sure which font it might be, but maybe you could try saving as a test version and changing each font to times new roman until you figure out which one is causing the issue. Perhaps one of the fonts was updated since I used them to include restrictions.

  10. This is awesome, thank you! I downloaded all of the fonts, but the “Please find your seat” didn’t transfer. What font is it? Thanks!

  11. Hi there. Two things- my numbers don’t line up right. the elipses keep wanting to go to times new roman. And, how can I get all of this to go to two pages so the heading stays the same? Or is there a way to make 4 columns?

  12. I have to thank u so much for your beautiful idea. My daughter’s wedding is next weekend and I pinned your idea a year ago. I finished my chart last night. It is gorgeous. I can’t thank u enough.

  13. I’m having a similar issue that was addressed above where I can’t see to get the “Please find your seat” to wrap properly. When I click on the text box, above “format” it says “Text box tools” and it doesn’t say text effects anywhere when I click on it. I’ve clicked on everything that I have available and nothing has text effects or transform in it.

  14. I used your chalkboard seating template to create the table seating chart for my daughter’s wedding last June. Rather than seat guests by their last name, I did quite a bit of editing to the template to seat guests by table number. When finished, I converted the file to a .pdf, copied it to a flash drive, and took it to Office Depot where they blew it up to fit a lovely 22×26 ivory picture frame that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I couldn’t have done any of this without the info you provided here and just wanted to say THANK YOU.

  15. When I try to convet this to a PDF the banner and captial letters came up as a white square. I think I downloaded all the fonts and I attempted to put in a new banner with the transparent mode you talked about but I couldn’t get it to work; do you have an suggestions?

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