DIY Mod Podge & Scrapbook Paper Clipboards

Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
I made a lot of things with Mod Podge this week.  I started simple with magnets, clothespins, etc.  Then I decided I wanted to redo my clipboards.  I have enough for my entire class and we use them a lot.  But they look like this:  
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
To the kids' credit, some of them are probably nine years old and have been around since I started teaching.  So if you look for decorated clipboards on Pinterest you'll see kind using multiple paper designs, ribbon, tape, etc. They look awesome, but since I have 24 to do, I didn't want to make them that elaborate because I figured it would take forever.
I've also been spending a lot of money at Hobby Lobby, so I thought what if I just paint them and glue down one 8 1/2 X 11 sheet in the middle of the front? That would save lots of cutting, which I don't do very carefully.  So I tried this...no good.  First, the acrylic paint didn't really cover the wood entirely.  I did not want to do multiple coats of paint on 24 clipboards.  Second, the paper in the middle didn't look good either and plus it would be entirely covered with the same size paper on top when using the clipboard.  I tried it again.  Still no go.  Sorry, I don't have any pictures because I redid clipboards.  
I also ran into another problem, my paper was all wrinkly.  So I googled about Mod Podge and realized a couple things I hadn't been doing.  You should put the Mod Podge on both sides of what you are gluing (the clipboard and the paper).  You also need to let each layer of Mod Podge dry before applying the next.  So after gluing the paper down, I needed to let it dry before adding Mod Podge to the top.  Plus, you should use something (I used a ruler) to squeeze out the air and extra air and Mod Podge before it dries.  All of this helped minimize the wrinkling.

So, since they looked ridiculous, I decided I needed to cover the entire front of the clipboards with paper.  I had smaller paper, so I needed to use two colors and I didn't worry about the back.
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
1.  Cut yourself a template.  This was a pain because I had like five different kinds of clipboards all with different tops.  I cut the templates for the tops on cardstock. 

2.  Trace the template on scrapbook paper and cut it out.  I actually traced the top on solid cardstock.  Then I put Mod Podge on the clipboard, the paper, applied it, and smoothed it out.  It only covered the top half.  LET IT DRY FOR 20 MINUTES!  Sorry I don't have a picture.
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
3.  I made another template for the bottom and traced this onto scrapbook paper.  Then I cut the top with scalloped scissors so I didn't have to use ribbon between the two colors.  After the top is dry, apply the paper in the same way. Again, let it dry for 20 minutes.
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
4.  Trim the back.  See the extra paper hanging over the edge on the right side?  It was hard to cut it perfectly.  Even the clipboards that were the same were not exactly the same size.  So I didn't worry about it and cut off the excess with an exacto knife after.

5.  After the entire clipboard is dry, apply a layer of Mod Podge over the top to seal it.
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
Ta da!  I did half in patterns of black and white and the others in colors.  It took me two days to do all of them and they still aren't done because I ran out of Mod Podge!  Half of them need a layer over the top before they are complete.  But, I think it was worth it!  
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
I also made one for myself with three different colors and some pretty alphabet stickers.  I put a layer of Mod Podge over the stickers so they would stay.  I love it!  One like this would make a great gift for a teacher or friend.

**Update:  A couple of school years later and these clipboards are still holding up.  Yes, they do have some pencil marks on them (only if someone intentionally pressed down REALLY hard to make them) but none of the paper has peeled off so very happy with that!**

Pin for Later:
Here is an easy DIY clipboard craft tutorial using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge.  Update your old student clipboards for the classroom!  These clipboards are also a cheap and simple DIY gift idea for teachers, friends, or coworkers.
For more ideas, follow my crafts and classroom decor/organization boards below.
Follow Literacy Spark's board DIY Crafts on Pinterest.
Follow Literacy Spark's board Classroom Decor & Organization on Pinterest.

23 comments

  1. Your clipboards look amazing. Thanks for doing the research on how to get the paper NOT turn out wrinkly and bubbly. I tried this last summer and it was a hot mess. I guess I need to be patient and actually wait between coats!! I think I may try a few again this summer now that I know the right way to do it!!

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  2. Those are precious! I have so many clipboards that are dying for a make-over!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

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  3. your clipboards are awesome!

    and you will LOVE LOVE LOVE the laminator, be prepared to laminate everything that moves!

    Elizabeth
    Hodges Herald

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  4. WOW! My yucky clipboards could sure use an update. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Brandee
    Creating Lifelong Learners

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  5. Those are cute! One of my students gave me a decorated clipboard as an end of the year gift and I LOVE it!
    Bethany
    FabandFunin4th!

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  6. I have wanted to try this, but I live in a humid climate...do you think the mod podge will hold up or get sticky? I love the one you did with green...great color combination!

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    Replies
    1. I live in Houston which is definitely humid so what I did above worked. At least inside an air conditioned apartment.

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  7. I love those clipboards... you've inspired me to tackle mine!

    My Kinder-Garden

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  8. These look fantastic! I may need to dig mine out and tackle them this summer.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

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  9. Your clipboards look great! I re-did all of mine last summer and didn't use Mod Podge on top...oops! Think it's too late to go back and add it now?! You'll love having your own laminator. I use mine so much!

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  10. Those clipboards look great! I have some old brown boards that could really use some updating as well....

    And you're going to LOVE that laminator! I have the same one :-)

    Sarah
    MissKinBK

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  11. Your clipboard turned out amazing. I totally understand about the Mod Podge. I'm not very patient when it comes to my crafty moments. I'm pinning this one to my got to do list. Thanks. http://mrsbrownthebookworm.blogspot.com/

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  12. Those clipboards look awesome! I love them, and I bet the kids will too! :)

    Fashion Craze Learning Days

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  13. These turned out super cute! I haven't had the greatest of luck with mod podge, but these are some great tips for me!

    Kristin
    iTeach 1:1

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  14. Your clipboards look amazing! I have so not so nice looking clipboards in my room that could use a makeover. Thanks for providing such great details.

    Foreman Teaches

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  15. Awesome clipboards! Thanks for stopping by my blog...I am your newest follower!

    Beth :)
    A Kindergarten Life For Me

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  16. Great tips on the mod podge and your clipboards look fantastic!! I don't know if I would have the patience to do this for all my student clipboards! Yay on the laminator!! You are going to LOVE it! :)
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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  17. Super cute! I was thinking of painting my clipboards. Sorry (but glad at the same time) that the acrylic paint didn't work so well. Wonder if I could use house paint. hmm

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons
    applesbooksandcrayons@gmail.com

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  18. I made these clipboards this weekend! I will post my pics and give credit back to you for the idea. I'm still learning this whole blogging business.

    http://www.bournesbloggingbabble.blogspot.com

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  19. Your clipboards are super cute. You have a lot of patience to do all 24. Congrats!
    http://davasmithenglishteacher.blogspot.com/

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  20. Oh emm geeee!!!! Thanks for your great instructions! I just finished making one with Mickey, my fav mouse on it for me for next year. I am so excited! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  21. Hi, I am planning on making some clipboards for a craft show but I have been having a difficult time trying to get the paper to fit around the clamp. Would you please share with me the template you made? I would appreciate it!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa,
      The template would be different for each type of clipboard. I just traced the clipboard onto cardstock and then trimmed the edges until it fit perfectly. Lots of trial and error.

      Delete

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