ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make a Dry Erase Board | DIY Glass Dry Erase Board

Updated on February 18, 2013

Easy DIY Dry Erase Board

Easy DIY dry erase board
Easy DIY dry erase board | Source

How to Make your own Dry Erase Board

This dry erase board is so easy, quick, and inexpensive to make you'll wonder why you didn't create one years ago! If you follow this tutorial, you can turn any picture frame into a customized, and attractive, dry erase board for your home, office, or dorm room. This project needs very few supplies, and it only takes about 10 minutes to complete - what are you waiting for?

The only materials you need for this project are:

  • A picture frame with a glass plate front.
  • The picture frame back or another piece of cardboard, cardstock, or posterboard that fits in the frame.
  • Decorative paper, such as scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or even your own artwork. Since many dry erase markers come in dark colors, light color backgrounds work best.
  • A ruler.
  • A pen or pencil.
  • Scissors or paper cutter.
  • Tape.

An 8x10 frame makes a convenient dry erase board. Unless you want a tiny dry erase board, smaller frames may not be your best bet.

DIY Glass Dry Erase Board

All of these steps are illustrated in photographs below. These photos are labeled and I do my best to write clear directions, but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  1. Remove the picture frame backing. This usually involves pulling a bendable piece of metal back or turning a metal bar.
  2. Place either the backing or the frame's cardboard insert on the 'wrong' side of your selected paper. Line two of the backing's sides up along the paper's edges.
  3. Using a pen or pencil, mark the backing's (or insert's) bottom and side edge. You can either trace the two edges on the paper, or you can make several small marks along the edge's length.
  4. Remove the backing/insert and use a ruler to measure out at least 1" from the lines marking the frame's edge. By doing this, you create excess paper to fold over the frame backing's edges. While you could simply cut a piece of paper to fit inside the frame, you would need to tape or glue it to ensure it stayed firmly in place. This would put you at risk for unsightly glue lines or visible tape. By folding the paper over, as if you were wrapping a present, you can keep the paper in place, ensure it is kept flat, and remove the risk of adhesives ruining the finished board's appearance.
  5. Cut the new, larger rectangle using a paper cutter or scissors.
  6. Center the frame backing, or other cardboard insert, on the 'wrong' side of the paper.
  7. Fold the paper's edges, as if you were wrapping a gift, and tape them in place, as shown. I suggest using regular, Scotch-style tape first, and then packing tape to secure the paper after making sure everything is lined up correctly.
  8. Make sure the glass frontage plate is in place and secure the cardboard/frame backing into the picture frame.
  9. Use your new dry erase board by writing on the glass! Dry erase markers wipe off glass just as they would a 'regular' dry erase board. You can also use permanent markers and erase the marker with nail polish remover.

Step by Step Making the Dry Erase Board

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Supplies for DIY dry erase board.Pry back or turn the metal tabs so you can remove the frame's back.Place frame back, or other sheet of cardboard, on your decorative paper, lining two of the edges up, as shown.Mark along the frame back. The frame back in the picture has been moved up to show the pencil mark.Measure to create a rectangle 1" larger than the frame back.Marked, larger rectangle.Cut along the new lines to create a rectangle 1" larger than the frame.Center the frame back or cardboard on the cut out rectangle.Fold the paper over and tape it, as you would a gift.After everything is in place and adjusted, consider securing the paper with packing tape.Replace the frame back.Back of the completed DIY dry erase board. Note that my frame had hanging points that I did not remove. These points caused the tape to look funny. Remove these attachment points for a smoother appearance.
Supplies for DIY dry erase board.
Supplies for DIY dry erase board. | Source
Pry back or turn the metal tabs so you can remove the frame's back.
Pry back or turn the metal tabs so you can remove the frame's back. | Source
Place frame back, or other sheet of cardboard, on your decorative paper, lining two of the edges up, as shown.
Place frame back, or other sheet of cardboard, on your decorative paper, lining two of the edges up, as shown. | Source
Mark along the frame back. The frame back in the picture has been moved up to show the pencil mark.
Mark along the frame back. The frame back in the picture has been moved up to show the pencil mark. | Source
Measure to create a rectangle 1" larger than the frame back.
Measure to create a rectangle 1" larger than the frame back. | Source
Marked, larger rectangle.
Marked, larger rectangle. | Source
Cut along the new lines to create a rectangle 1" larger than the frame.
Cut along the new lines to create a rectangle 1" larger than the frame. | Source
Center the frame back or cardboard on the cut out rectangle.
Center the frame back or cardboard on the cut out rectangle. | Source
Fold the paper over and tape it, as you would a gift.
Fold the paper over and tape it, as you would a gift. | Source
Source
After everything is in place and adjusted, consider securing the paper with packing tape.
After everything is in place and adjusted, consider securing the paper with packing tape. | Source
Replace the frame back.
Replace the frame back. | Source
Back of the completed DIY dry erase board. Note that my frame had hanging points that I did not remove. These points caused the tape to look funny. Remove these attachment points for a smoother appearance.
Back of the completed DIY dry erase board. Note that my frame had hanging points that I did not remove. These points caused the tape to look funny. Remove these attachment points for a smoother appearance. | Source
Easiest DIY project ever?
Easiest DIY project ever? | Source

Ideas for a Decorative Dry Erase Board

I used scrapbooking paper and a fairly basic rectangular picture frame, but you can easily customize this project by using creative backgrounds and frames.

Why not unleash your inner artist and create your own mixed media collage for a dry erase board? You can also use wrapping paper for holiday cheer or birthday party signs. Additionally, cherished 'fridge art' can find a new life as a dry erase board. I cannot recommend using fabric, however, because the added bulk will make it difficult to fit the frame back together. Also, fabric is more difficult than paper to smooth evenly across the frame backing and is more difficult to attach. If you want the board's back to have a more attractive, finished appearance, use a cardboard insert instead of taping the paper directly to the frame backing.

Whatever you choose, remember to pick a background your dry erase markers will stand out against. Because most dry erase markers are dark, light-colored backgrounds tend to work best. If you want to use a dark background, seek out lighter, brighter dry erase markers, or use a fluorescent or metallic permanent marker. If you decide to go this route, simply use nail polish remover to wipe your board clean.

You can use any frame for a dry erase board, as long as it has a glass plate front to write on. If you only have plain frames but want something a little more exciting, quickly repaint your old frame with acrylic craft paint for a whole new look! You should not use plexiglass for your dry erase board. It scratches easily - it is even damaged by household glass cleaners!

Easy, quick, inexpressive, and useful - what more could you ask for? Do you have any other suggestions for cute backgrounds or creative ways to use these little dry erase boards? Feel free to share!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      What a great and useful craft. Your instructions seem easy enough to follow. I am going to bookmark this for future use. Also voted up.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I hope you get the chance to make it - it really does take no time at all. Thanks for voting!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Awesome idea Natasha! I need and have quite a few dry erase boards, but one could never have too many:)

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 4 years ago from Wales

      So simple, yet so practical and useful! And thank you very, very much for the link! Yes, I could definitely do a background for this project!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Theraggededge- Sure thing! I love your multimedia pieces and think they would make a really cool background for one of these.

      Sunshine - I agree! Dry erase boards are so helpful, and this little guy can stand up on its own or hang anywhere. I also love how easy glass is to clean. Unless you have a very high-quality board, the white kind you get at the store eventually get kind of stained, but glass is easy to clean and you don't have to worry about it getting damaged by regular household cleaners.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      How very clever; I had no idea how they made those things. I remember when I got my first one in my classroom; talk about exciting!!! No more chalk dust!!!

      Great informational hub Natasha!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I wish! Now there are SMART boards, Promethian boards, and who knows what else that I have no idea how to use. I want a regular white board back!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a great project, Natasha. The result looks very good, and it would be very useful too! Thanks for both the written and the photo instructions.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I'm glad you find the instructions comprehensible - thanks for letting me know.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      It amazes me how you come up with so many great ideas!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I have a long list on my wall of things I haven't even gotten to yet. =)

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      Add "Write a Hub About How to Come Up With Creative Ideas" to your list, ok? LOL

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Ahaha. Why not?

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      This is adorable! In high school my room's closet doors were huge mirrors and I always used them as a dry erase board ^_^ The only thing this is missing is magnetism. I wonder if it's possible to add a layer of magnet or metal so it could be used for that as well. voted up and pinned

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Lots of inexpensive white boards aren't magnetic, anyway! You probably could put a sheet magnet in front of the board. Or, for specific magnetic spots, put a rare-earth magnet back there. Rare earth magnets are amazing!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      ooh fantastic! I just love the magnetic ones ^_^ Thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love dry erase boards. Teens really like them posted in lockers, and I can see this as a great project for them or as a gift. Really well done hub and voted up.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, teaches.

      I agree, a locker dry erase board is fun! By gluing a couple of magnets to the frame's back you could easily turn this into a locker-friendly project.

      Thanks for stopping by and voting!

    • misspennywise profile image

      Erin 4 years ago from St Louis

      very cute idea! I think I will try this when I move into my new place!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy your new home. =)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I saw this a while back on a blog and thought it was a great idea and seems like it would be easy to do.. thank you for sharing this great tutorial, your dry erase board turned out super cute!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! Yes, I saw a blog with a fabric backing, which is all well and good, but fabric is very difficult to keep flat, especially over the course of months and years. I realized paper was easier to keep in place and less expensive - a real win-win! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      I had to try this. I didn't have decorative paper so I did use fabric, but I chose a very thin material, and used hot glue to secure it at the edges of the cardboard insert, letting one edge dry before I stretched it to glue the next edge. It was probably takes a lot more time and effort to do with cloth than with paper, but I have TONS of fabric scraps so I thought I would give it a shot.

      Thanks for the inspiring tutorial, the new dry erase board is an excellent addition to my kitchen!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      That's awesome! Great idea with the hot glue. I'm always in favor of finding a way to make what I have work - I'm glad you are, too. Thanks for sharing your ideas and letting me know how your project went!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I have been wanting to do this project for awhile. Thanks for the very simple directions to follow! :)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you for stopping by! The project is really easy, so I'm sure your bord will be a success.

    Click to Rate This Article