Sometimes a soft touch of color is all you need to give your page or card that little something extra. What’s a quick way and easy way to add that little boost? Acid-free chalk. You’ll love the subtle, yet defining impact chalk can have on your projects. Chalk is perfect for adding a soft edge, highlighting words or to color in a stamped or printed image.

Chalk is Acid-Free!

Decorating chalks, like those from Craf-T Products and Pebbles, are non-toxic and acid-free. They contain extra, concentrated pigment. Artists’ pastels, however, contain oils and should not be used for scrapbook pages.


Most chalk sets include sponge applicators. If you need more applicators, try inexpensive cotton swabs. Opt for the store brand—the cheapest cotton swabs work the best! Use eyeshadow or makeup sponges for chalking larger areas. Pebbles chalk sets come with a handled gripper tool and tiny pom poms for application; the pom poms are also available separately.

Another technique is to use a dry, flat paintbrush to get straight-edge shadows, or to shade across journaling or quotes.

Of course, you can also apply the chalk with your finger—probably the easiest method around!

Applying Chalk

Chalk, by nature, has a very soft look—even the darkest colors in your palette will turn delicate on your paper. You can apply it by sweeping it onto your paper, or using a circular motion. It works best on porous papers, like patterned paper or cardstock; you can use it on glossy paper but the color will be very, very faint.

Use a back and forth motion to apply the chalk on your paper; blend it with a circular motion.

Blending Colors

You can blend chalk colors on your paper or on the applicator itself. To blend color on the paper, apply one chalk color to the paper, then another color over the first.

To blend colors on the applicator, dip the applicator in one chalk color, then in a second; rub the applicator on the paper, creating a new color. For example, first apply brown to the applicator, then red; as they’re applied to paper, the two colors mix to create burgundy.

Subtle and multiple colors can be achieved, using two or three colors together, such as red and orange, orange and yellow, or red, orange, and yellow.


Use an applicator to rub the chalk around the edges of a stamped image and any areas that would normally be in shadow. For a different look, shade the center instead, leaving the outer edges without chalk.


Apply a light chalk color to dark paper or over a dark chalked area, or shade an area with a darker color, then highlight an area next to that with a lighter color.

After Chalking

After applying the chalk, shake off any excess, then place a clean piece of scrap paper over the chalked area. Burnish the paper to blot any excess—you could use a bone folder or simply rub with the palm of your hand; some people find it works well to run a brayer over the scrap paper.

Easy Erasing

If you apply too much color, a Chalk-Away Eraser will remove chalk without leaving a mark, and will clean up any stray chalk marks or mistakes. You can also add chalk after erasing. Pencil erasers will not give the same results—and they might leave a dark smudge. Pencil erasers also contain some oil.

Storing Your Chalks

Your chalks will last years if stored in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. If they break, you can still use them—so don’t throw away any broken pieces!