DIY Scratchboard Art Project

Published: September 27, 2012

It’s totally easy to DIY scratchboard, so let’s get down to it.


DIY scratchboard - it's incredibly easy to do •


That’s it! Mix it up and paint it on some heavyweight paper, like watercolor paper. Let the first coat dry and then slather on the second coat. I really do mean slather, too. It looks weird when you first paint it on, like it doesn’t completely cover everything. This is why you do 2 coats, and it helps if you use a wide, soft-bristled brush.

streaky paint
Yep, this is what it looks like after the first coat.

You can leave your paper white underneath, or fancy it up by covering it with oil pastels before you paint the black on.

There are, of course, tons of different tools you can use to draw/scratch with, and you really don’t need to buy anything new- you probably have a myriad of tools in your home already.


scratch board tools |


Tool Ideas

1. Forks can give you nice, evenly spaced lines all over the place.

2. Use a spoon tip to sort of gouge little bits out of the paint.

3. Is that a regular old pencil? Yep, just draw on the paint to scratch it.

4. The short edge of a metal ruler makes some cool tribal-looking marks if you gently wedge it into the paper.

5. Corn holders have fine points for fine lines.

6. It’s the spoon again- use the edge of the spoon for fatter lines.


Here’s Fen’s final product; she decided to leave the background white. This is one happy looking polar bear, don’t you agree?

Polar bear scratch board |
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6 thoughts on “DIY Scratchboard Art Project”

  1. Thanks for this post! If you want to leave it white underneath, do you have to use white crayon over the whole paper before covering it in black? Or did you just paint the black/soap mixture directly into the white watercolour paper? Thanks so much!


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