Upcycled Clipboard

So I came across this clipboard at school.  It had been donated by a parent and was in very sad shape.  I decided to upcycle it and give it a whole new look.   I have this thing for polka dots, so I decided that was the design. This is going to be an end of the year gift for my daughter’s teacher.  What teacher wouldn’t LOVE this clipboard?

Here’s what you need:

  • One clipboard that is mdf and not the plastic type
  • 1-Can of spray paint for the base color
  • 1-Tube of acrylic paint/craft paint for the polka dot color
  • 1-Paint brush
  • 1-Can of clear coat gloss spray paint ( I used a high gloss varnish for sealing oil paintings by Grumbacher that you can find here.  I used this because it’s non-yellowing since I was using white.)
  • 1-2″ Circle Punch to get the circle shape (You could also use a lid to trace.)
  • Matching ribbon
  • Newspaper to spray paint the clipboard on

The Sad Clipboard

Start by spay painting the clipboard.  I put on a couple of coats on and made sure it was really dry.  Here’s a great tip for the actual clip part when you are spray painting.  Put a toothpick underneath the clip while you are spray painting.  Move as needed.  My husband came up with that.  I thought that was so clever. 

Next, trace the circles onto the clipboard using a pencil.  Do this lightly.

 Paint the circles with the acrylic paint.  You will have to paint a couple of coats to make sure your polka dots are even.  Do this to both sides.

After the acrylic paint has dried, seal it with the varnish or clear spray paint.  Don’t forget your toothpick for the clip.

Paint the initial on the clip.  I hand painted this and made the design up myself.  If you have a font in mind, here’s a quick transfer method.  Print out the size of the letter you desire in a Word document.  Turn the paper over.  Use the side of your pencil and scribble placing graphite over the back of the letter.  Cut around your letter.  Making sure you pencil has been sharpened, trace over your letter on the right side.  The graphite should show the letter exactly like the font.  Then paint in your initial.  Tah Dah!  A professional look of a Silhouette without the Silhouette.

Get your matching ribbon and cut several strands and double knot them.


This was an easy way to go from drab to fab for a simple object that is so often overlooked.  Now, I’m going to have to make one for myself.  This Art teacher can’t have a drab and boring clipboard.


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  1. says

    This is such a cute idea. Im around nurses all the time and am always looking for ways to brighten their equipment. maybe i will have to make some clipboards to match their “happy” pens. thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Me please! I would love this as my end-of-year gift (or to be honest, wine). Thank you so much for sharing at our Pin’inspiration Party. I very much look forward to you creativity each week. C:

  3. says

    Your clipboard turned out adorable! I would be a happy camper getting this gift… even if I wasn’t a teacher. Thanks so much for sharing it at Project Queen’s Link Party.


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