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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!**
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