hand lettering tips for your chalkboard

Obviously I'm a big fan of all things chalkboard. I have something like six chalkboard "things" in my home I think. Platters, framed ones, an entire wall, you name it. I have so much fun changing them up for the seasons or just as the spirit moves me. You can see a lot more of my boards here.

Let me just start this by saying no one ever accused me of having good penmanship. Never happened. I was the girl in middle school that would try and mimic my friend's handwriting because it was just the cooooolest! And I guess I haven't really stopped doing that now as an adult? I use these same tips on all of my chalkboards but also when I woodburn, paint, and do a handwritten quotes.
1. First, you need to come up with an idea (obv). You can take to Pinterest or Instagram to get your brain going or to find a design you want to emulate. I also like to go on PicMonkey and play around with their different handwriting fonts to get an idea of how I want it to look. Try mixing fonts to add interest. I personally like using song lyrics as the basis for my 'board...
2. Practice makes perfect. Whatever I post on Instagram or this blog you can bet your bottom dollar it was not my first attempt. I almost always draw it out on a scrap piece of paper first. Which leads me to my next point...

3. I do mean draw. It helps to think of it as drawing instead of writing so you can get out of your head a bit. You can break down each letter into lines or curves or what not. 

4. My favorite piece of advice I believe I read somewhere on Joanna Gaine's blog somewhere... Any time your pencil or pen or chalk is going in the down direction thicken that line. That could mean applying more pressure or just drawing your line out further and further. This gives the appearance that you are using a calligraphy pen like in days of old. If that calligraphy type is what you're going for.
5. Add your embellishments! This could be more loops that you can attach to the beginning or the end of your saying. It could be just a line above and or below the saying. You could add a floral wreath around it or some branches. Or arrows, can't forget arrows. I can't draw so good so normally I'll just do what can best be described as parenthesis on either side of my quote and then add leaves. Which is basically just a loop. Super easy.
So that's how I do it on my many many many chalkboards and other various projects. What about you guys? Have any other tips I may have missed?