I’m always on the look out for easy crafts. Though I’m crafty, I’m really not that talented–I can kinda do this and sorta do that. I really love this idea because it’s something I can actually do. I made a number of these altered clipboards as Christmas gifts this past year and keep finding fun papers and embellishments to make more. I think I might be addicted.
If you’re making clipboards as a gift, it’s easy to tailor each one to suit the recipient. They’re so much fun and inexpensive, though, that you’ll want to make one (or two) for yourself.
What do you need? You’ll need low profile hard clipboards like the ones in the photograph. For this craft the cheap ones actually work best. You can pick them up anywhere–office supply stores, craft stores, discount stores, or Amazon.
Use pretty paper napkins, tissue paper, scrapbooking papers, pages from old books, or vintage sewing patterns. I have used all of these types of paper and they all work great! Whatever kind of paper that suits your fancy! You’ll also need Mod Podge or other adhesive. You will want embellishments like ribbons, buttons, rick rack–really, the sky’s the limit. You’ll want a cheap sponge-type paint brush to brush on the adhesive. It’s also a good idea to keep damp paper towels on hand because you’re hands may get sticky.
Directions: Cut or tear paper and affix to the clip board with Mod Podge, layering and overlapping as you go. I move my paper around a lot as I work, playing with design before I’m sure enough to glue it down. Sewing pattern tissue pieces are very delicate and can tear and wrinkle, so you’ll want to be careful.
Depending on the look you want, you can keep layering and overlapping until you’re satisfied. A top coat of Mod Podge will finish the base of your project. I have found that putting an extra coat or two over the vintage patterns is a good idea.
Once the glue has dried, it’s time to embellish. I save scraps of all types of ribbon, fabric, and those extra buttons that come with my new clothes and this is the perfect craft to use those scraps. Use whatever type of extras that suit your paper and style. If the clipboard is going to used as a clipboard, you’ll want to avoid using embellishments on the board itself. For these clipboards, I just add ribbons, lace, and fabric scraps on the clip.
For a look like the clipboard on the left, the background paper was carefully cut to size and torn book pages layered over the top. For the vintage pattern board above, beside three layers of tissue, I used pictures and interesting text from both the envelop and directions.
I also use paper from old books like on the board below. I wanted my paper to have a leather-like look and texture. I used a wood stain on the paper to give it the right color and when dry, added four layers of Mod Podge to give it a leathery feel. I used ribbon, lace, and burlap to embellish this one.
I know some people might say that to tear pages of a book is sacrilegious. As a reader and English teacher, part of me agrees. But I search out old, damaged books at yard sales or thrift stores just for this purpose. I use pages from stories I love and honor them by using them rather than leaving the books to gather dust or eventually find their way to the trash heap.
If you like a clean look, you might want to avoid embellishments all together. You could decorate multiple boards, spelling out a name to decorate the walls of a child’s bedroom or college dorm. Whatever you decide, use this project to express your creativity. I think you’ll like this simple, easy, and inexpensive project.