Tutorial: Double Duty Dry Erase Board


I am constantly writing notes and messages to myself to help me remember what I have going on for the day. But my office is also my bedroom, so an ugly dry erase board is just not an option. I’ve been thinking about solutions to this problem for a while, and at one point considered Idea Paint, but eventually changed my mind. I wanted something that could pull double-duty, and that’s when I came up with this…an idea for a pretty dry erase board that serves as wall art when not in use.

Materials: 1. Picture frame with glass or plexi insert (I recommend a Ribba frame from IKEA like the one I used) 2. Fabric scraps 3. Heavy duty tape 4. Dry erase markers

Step by Step How To: {click image above for larger step by step view} 1. Remove everything from the frame (paper, mat, backing) except for the glass. 2. Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than your frame backing (about an extra 2 inches all the way around). Whether your backing is hardboard or cardboard, this tutorial will work, so don’t worry. 3. Place cut fabric over frame backing and then flip over. 4. Fold over excess fabric and then, using heavy duty tape, attach the fabric to your backing. 5. Place the now fabric-covered frame backing into the frame and you are all done! You are ready to write notes all over your pretty dry erase board.

For more ideas for quick and easy projects, click here to visit the tutorials page filled with more than 30 diys.

95 comments | Click here to reply

What a great idea!!! I’ll definitely make one (or more) myself!!!

Brenda Lavell | June 2nd, 2010 at 3:45 pm

What a clever idea! This would make a wonderful gift for someone else as well. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Tania | June 2nd, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Thanks Brenda and Tania. I am definitely going to be making more of these myself. They’re so easy and fun.

papernstitch | June 2nd, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Great idea!, very practical and cute at the same time, love it!

Ana | June 2nd, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Such a great idea! Much better than my scrap paper taped all over the wall.

lauren | June 2nd, 2010 at 6:38 pm

WOW. Genius. I love love love this idea. Oh man. Need to drive out to IKEA right now!

Connie | June 2nd, 2010 at 8:59 pm

What a great idea!!! I would not have known you could write on the glass like that! awesome use for scraps of fabric I can’t bear to part with.

Jacqui Mee a Bee | June 3rd, 2010 at 12:29 am

I LOVE THIS! I can’t wait to make this one. .gotta plan a trip to ikea, now. hearts <3

jonahliza | June 3rd, 2010 at 1:35 am

oooo I can’t wait to try thiiiiis!

Meeks | June 3rd, 2010 at 6:19 am

thanks so much to all you lovelies. if you do complete this project, i would love to see pictures.

papernstitch | June 3rd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

[…] know I have been talking a lot about wall art (here and here), but I just can’t get enough of it lately. And I have one more idea to share with […]

paper n stitch – More Wall Decor - A daily dose of handmade, design, and style inspiration | June 3rd, 2010 at 12:12 pm

this is a great idea Brittni and would save a ton of paper waste in my studio… !
emma x

emma lamb | June 3rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

i LOVE this idea!!

can’t wait to try it out, i think i’m going to make one for every room!! :)

skye | June 3rd, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Clever gal! Good for you and I love that you share your idea too. I make great dry erase markers with erasers
(I invented the eraser cap for dry erase markers). Would love to send you one for your great idea- either shoot me and e-mail julia@kleenslate.com or visit my web site and send me an e-mail through there. i will throw in a paddle too- it comes with the marker/eraser right in the handle- take your dry erase with you! http://www.kleenslate.com.
Keep those ideas rolling!

Julia | June 3rd, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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This is brilliant! <3

Eva | June 4th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Absolutely brilliant idea! I love it! AND I already had plans to go to IKEA! yay!

shen | June 4th, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Sometimes you come across an idea and find yourself instantly wondering why you did not think of that yourself. I love that your pretty dry erase boards can be customized to go on a wall or a desk and with absolutely any decor. This idea is a keeper for sure! So, do you just clean your messages off with a window cleaner?

Margo | June 4th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I love how the most brilliant projects are always the simplest. Can’t wait to make one of these for my kitchen and another for my boys!

Wendy | June 4th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

[…] I came across an absolutely BRILLIANT idea from Paper n Stitch The Blog. It’s called the Double Duty Dry Erase Board.  Seeing this Tutorial was one of those moments I could not help saying to myself “Shut the […]

Brilliant Easy Dry Erase Option | Fashionably Organized | June 4th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

what a sweet project! thanks for sharing!

jennifer young | June 5th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

This is so easy and brilliant! I am smitten. Thanks for sharing!

geek+nerd | June 6th, 2010 at 8:13 am

Muy buen sitio lo agrego a mis favoritos

rent apartment buenos aires | June 6th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I love this idea… I actually made one of these myself a few years back but with pretty paper instead of fabric. And just to let everyone know, if you use plexiglass instead of glass it will get “cloudy” over time as each time you clean it off it will make tiny tiny scratches on the surface. (I used to work in a frame shop.) :)

Cameron | June 7th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for the tip Cameron. Good to know about glass vs. plexi. I’ll definitely be going with glass for my extra boards as well.

papernstitch | June 7th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

SO simple and cute! What a great idea!

Kristen | June 7th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

This is fabulous! I’m off to buy a cool frame… :-)

Danielle Daws | June 7th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Wow, I really can’t believe I didn’t think of this. I tend to write the occasional note or reminder on my bathroom mirror and this is just a few steps (but much prettier) away from that. Thank you!

Kim | June 7th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Great idea… another twist on this is to use a mirror..I gotten into the habitof making my To Dolist for the day while I’m getting ready in the morning, bruhsing my teeth, etc…A dry Erase marker works great on the bathroom mirror; it should also work fine on a framed mirror in the office…

Tina | June 7th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

What a great idea!Thanks for sharing .)/s

sanna | June 8th, 2010 at 12:14 am

Great idea! I am in love with that thing in the first picture, which I am going to assume is either an alarm clock or radio, or both.

Olivia | June 8th, 2010 at 4:59 am

Super idea! I want one in every room!

patsy | June 8th, 2010 at 9:49 am

This is so cool! Can anyone tell me where that radio in the first picture is from?

Penny | June 8th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Thanks Penny. The clock is Tivoli Audio and you can find them here (they come in lots of colors): http://www.nest-living.com/search?q=Tivoli+Audio

papernstitch | June 8th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

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Genius! Can’t wait to see what other goodness you’ve got here!

Brooke | June 9th, 2010 at 1:10 am

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adaptive path » blog » Leah Buley » The Creative Office | June 9th, 2010 at 9:05 pm

You could use wrapping paper or other decorative paper instead of fabric as long as the pattern wouldn’t interfere with being able to read what’s being written.

Heather | June 10th, 2010 at 11:35 am

Absolutely Heather. Great idea. Yes, the real key is using light colors with minimal patterns, so that you can still read your messages.

papernstitch | June 10th, 2010 at 11:37 am

Love this simple, brilliant idea. I have kicked my self over from How About Orange to see your idea up close. Thanks for sharing.

K-Sue | June 10th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

[…] How to make a dry erase board. We love us some dry erase boards in this house. LOVE THEM. […]

Things we love to do « jodimichelle | June 11th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Absolutely love this idea! I’ve always disliked the ugly eggshell white of normal dry erase boards, and this is perfect to decorate and be functional. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

PS. Found you through Oh Hello Friend, and I am so glad she directed me here!

Ashley | June 11th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Thank you this fabulous idea. I’m thinking Christmas gifts for everyone on my list. :)

Nicki | June 12th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Such a nice idea 😉 Thanks Can’t wait to see what other goodness you’ve got here!

Feyza DEMIRTAS | June 15th, 2010 at 10:04 am

GENIUS! I love this idea. I’m constantly making project lists and to do lists on my bathroom mirror or grocery list pad, and neither of those things are in my sewing room. This is such a cute, practical, and cheap way to decorate my sewing room!

Hannah | June 16th, 2010 at 10:36 am

I love this idea! I’d like to feature it on my site, fastercraft.com. Would it be okay with you if I used one of two of your photos (with full credit to you, of course)?

Shannon | June 16th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Thanks Shannon. I’d love for you to share my project on your site. Of course. Feel free to borrow any photos you would like.

Hannah, these will look great in your sewing room. I have a couple hanging up above my desk right now and I use them everyday. Jeff and I write little notes to each other on them too. Fun!

papernstitch | June 16th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I finally made one of these and I love it! I used a vintage embroidered linen and a garage sale frame. The whole project cost me $2! I’m going to have photos of mine and a link to your post up on my blog later this week. thanks!


Kate | June 20th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

that’s wonderful kate. i’d love to see a photo when you have it.

papernstitch | June 21st, 2010 at 9:14 am

[…] see the directions here: http://www.papernstitchblog.com/2010/06/02/tutorial-double-duty-dry-erase-board/ var flattr_wp_ver = '0.9.11'; var flattr_uid = 'fastercraft'; var flattr_url = […]

Boards: A lot more colors than a white board FasterCraft — FasterCraft | June 22nd, 2010 at 11:15 am

What a great idea! I love it! And I loooove those RIBBA frames, they are so stylish and cool!

Adventures in Dressmaking | June 24th, 2010 at 12:57 am

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weekend projects - waysideviolet | June 26th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

i love it!!!!
simple and cute…

akijenggot | June 28th, 2010 at 11:57 am

Love this! Such a great and simple custom idea.

I put one together yesterday to use by my computer desk. You can see it right here: http://jackiesullivan.blogspot.com/2010/06/custom-dry-erase-board.html

Jackie | June 30th, 2010 at 9:56 am

Instead of framed “art,” we went whole hog and purchased tempered-glass desk protectors from IKEA for our office, then painted the backs with white exterior paint.

Definitely a different function than the brilliant idea in this post. I only mention it because the tempered glass is amazingly easy to write on and erase; we’ve had the boards up for six months and haven’t cleaned the glass yet! Worth checking into. :-)

Rich | July 6th, 2010 at 9:10 am

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Follow the leader · Indie Crafts @ CraftGossip | July 27th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Thank you so much for this idea! I wondered how to add a frame backing to a dry erase board. Need it for the bar menu at my wedding. This is perfect!

ruby | August 3rd, 2010 at 10:05 pm

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papernstitch – DIY Perpetual Calendar - A daily dose of handmade, design, and style inspiration | October 26th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

That i ssuch a brilliant idea. So cheat and easy to do. I am defo going to make one of these before I leave for Uni

sage | October 26th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

[…] Tutorial: Double Duty Dry Erase Board @ papernstitch […]

salty » link purge | October 27th, 2010 at 10:56 am

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Smitten and Hazel » DIY Inspiration: make your own dry erase board | November 11th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Hi there! I just wanted to comment and say not only do I love this tutorial [well, all of your tutorials really!!] I also wanted to comment about your typewriter because I adore it! I have been looking to buy one and was wondering if you have any recommendations? I want something retro looking but still functioning… But if you can’t help no worries! Please keep up the beautiful tutorials and blog I’m always worried my favourites will one day stop and I’ll have to go looking for amazing images myself!
Rosa x

rosa | December 3rd, 2010 at 5:00 am

Hi Rosa. Thank you. That’s very sweet. I do have a few recommendations for typewriters. Here are a few of my favorite shops that sell a good selection of them:

papernstitch | December 3rd, 2010 at 12:27 pm

[…] from Ikea) to make a dry erase board, using the extra fabric from the wall makeover. I saw the idea here quite a while ago and was excited to finally get to make my own. Sadly, there were two problems […]

workplace facelift « asphalt flowers | December 12th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

This absolutely inspired a last minute Christmas gift last night, but, as I do, I got a little insane.

Instead of fabric I used patterned scrapbook paper, under a tracing paper sheet cut to size so that it washes out the image and makes it pale enough to write on. I included several different patterns of paper so that the background can be changed out.

Not yet satisfied, I then ran to Walmart, got some of those little metal hooks you screw into the ceiling to hang wire baskets, and screwed them (two per board) into the bottom edge of the frame. They perfectly hold one dry erase marker. So now it doesn’t so much seamlessly double as wall art–but thank you for planting such a simple seed that grew into such an awesome project. I am way proud of them.

Nicole | December 23rd, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Thanks for sharing your process Nicole. Sounds like you really took it to the next level. :)

papernstitch | December 23rd, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Great solution, Brittni! I hate the institutional look of most dry erase boards too. With your project, I can make several and hang them as a group. I’ll have one for the daily to-do list, one for ongoing projects, one for the shopping list, one for ideas I want to pursue, etc.

For the frames, if you want to save money and love the thrill of the hunt, thrift stores and yard sales are a great place to look. People are constantly getting rid of old picture frames.
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DIY Dreamin’ | April 17th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I’m on the hunt for a white board but this is a much better idea, thank you!

Matt Canvas | April 19th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

[…] = 'wpp-256'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":false};Fresh Home reader Brittni from papernstitch sent me this clever DIY dry-erase board idea. She says, “I am constantly writing notes and […]

Reader Re-Do: Brittni’s Dry Erase Board – Fresh Home Blog | April 26th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

This is such a simple idea but could be so easily adapted for any room in the house. Really cheap and easy to change when you redecorate too.

Claire @ keepsmeoutofmischief | May 15th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

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Can’t wait to get started!

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DIY using office supplies | Materials for the Arts | July 1st, 2011 at 11:49 am

Love the idea! We featured your instructions on our blog


MFTA | July 1st, 2011 at 11:57 am

Thanks so much for featuring me MFTA. I just went over to your blog and left a comment, though I am not sure its showing up? Anyway, I really appreciate the link love. Have a great weekend.

papernstitch | July 1st, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I just made this, too and I love it – thank you!

Aankee | September 17th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Siamo spiacenti, ho eliminato questa frase

Smitassaumn | February 14th, 2012 at 1:36 am
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