Saturday, May 30, 2009

Making Clipboards

A couple of people have asked me for directions on how to make the clipboards I made last year as gifts for the Seniors. Here's a brief How-To:

These clipboards were a fun project and were easy and inexpensive to make. The kids seemed to like them but of course, I’m sure they appreciated the check under the clamp more than the clipboard itself! A couple of the kids have told me that they actually used them a lot when they were doing their homework in bed.

The clipboards I used were from Walmart and cost 85¢ each. They measure 13½ inches by 10 inches. Last year when I made so many, I did them assembly-line style and it was a big timesaver.


Cover the metal clip with masking tape to protect it from the paint.

Spray paint the clipboard. Once the paint has dried, flip it over and spray paint the back side. I used black paint, but any color will work.

Now the fun part! Decorate the clipboard using anything that doesn’t have much texture to it so that the writing surface remains smooth enough to write on. I used crackle paint, patterned paper (glued on with Mod Podge), stamps and embossing powder, stickers, stencils, paint, distressing ink and rub-ons. You’re limited only by your imagination!

(TIP: Since I used patterned paper on most of mine, I made a template out of notebook paper so that I could use it as a pattern to cut the patterned paper out.)

To Use Crackle Paint:
After the base coat of paint has dried, crackle the front of the clipboard to gave it a distressed look. You can find crackle mediums at craft stores. To use it, apply the crackle medium over the base coat of paint using a foam brush and let it dry. Once the crackle has dried, paint a contrasting paint color over the crackle medium. As the top coat dries, it will crack and cause the bottom color to show through the cracks. The brands I used are “Plaid” FolkArt Crackle Medium or Delta Ceramcoat “Crackle”. Both work equally well. You can use any colors that appeal to you. On most of my clipboards I used patterned paper cut to fit the center of the clipboard with crackled paint around the edges.

I tried to personalize each clipboard by using patterned papers that represented the person’s interests (soccer, basketball, music, ballet, etc.) I also used rub-ons or stickers to spell out their name.

Once I had the clipboard decorated, I used a clear spray to seal and protect it. I didn't even bother wrapping the clipboards - I just put a card with a check in it under the clamp.

Feminine Finishing Touch:
On the boards I made for the girls, I tied an assortment of ribbons around the clamp.

Here are pictures of some of the clipboards that I made:


Angie said...

Thanks for posting this Martha!! I have seen a couple of these but not all, they are so beautiful, even with the how to I don't think I could make them as awesome as you have.

cabinsuzi said...

So do you put on the stickers, stencils, etc after the paint/crackle/paint or after the base coat? I am confused. Any info would be great!

Martha said...

Yes - after the base coat.

First do the base coat of paint and then either leave it as is or use the crackle paint on it.

After that, add whatever you want - patterned paper, rub-ons, stickers, stamps, etc. It's fun to just go crazy with it.

The final step is adding Mod podge or clear acrylic sealer to protect it all.

If you make any, I'd love to see them!