A DIY Clipboard from Crayons and Whimsy

Hello! Hello! This is Christy from Crayons and Whimsy and I am beyond excited to be guest blogging on Apples and ABC's today.

There have been many posts about covering clipboards to be cuter than the ugly brown they traditionally come in. But then I thought to myself... isn't everything cuter when it is mini? And wouldn't my sweet kiddos love to have their own cute mini clipboard?

Oh... and I have already devised a plan to make these educational, too!

So that is how I came to the decision to make cute, mini clipboards as first day of school gifts for my new class! I'm going to teach you how....

You will need:
White Foam Board
Exacto knife
Scrapbook paper
Mod Podge
Bag clips
Optional: print out the Welcome Sign Freebie {Click Here}

I decided I didn't want to buy the actual mini clipboards in the store - let me tell you why...

1. The clip itself is either too difficult for a little one to use (see the one on the left) or it is too hard to remove (unlike with the regular size clipboard where you can unscrew it and put it back on when you are done)
2. These are 6x9 which is a good mini size for an adult, but for my little ones I wanted to be careful not to go "too mini" since they may only fit 2 letters on the whole clipboard.
3. And....it just will add up money wise since I need to make 29 of these puppies.

So I went this route instead:
I bought 20x30 inches (which is the smaller size on the right in the picture) "White Foam Board" as it is so creatively named from Hobby Lobby and cut it down to 6 2/3x10in. It was easy peasy to cut down, but if you don't want that hassle you can take it to Home Depot and they will cut it for you. 

I chose the size mainly because I could get 9 clipboards from one piece of foam, but you can do any size you want. And like I said, I wanted it to be mini, but large enough for little hands to have enough space. I didn't get the larger size because it just seems harder to keep the edges straight when you are cutting so many pieces from a single sheet.

Next step - make it cute! First, we are going to cover the board in scrapbook paper.  For this size it actually works better to get the 8 1/2 x 11 size and you will need 2 pieces per board (your best bet is to buy a big book of papers!)

One piece of scrapbook paper (above shown upside down) is 8 1/2 x 11. The other piece (you can see the blue chevron on this one) is cut to be slightly smaller than the foam piece.

Now, "paint" the foam board with Mod Podge on one side and then center and press down the larger piece of scrapbook paper. Be sure to take the time to really press down and smooth it out to get rid of any bubbles. You can use a brayer (I don't have one, so I just pressed with my fist over and over).

Now turn it over and we're going to do the other side:
Now, we are ready to Mod Podge down the piece for the back that has been cut to be a bit smaller than the board.

Let me warn you that when you pick a pattern like this multi colored chevron- it is super hard to line it up.  Aaahhh! I learned the hard way, but the light blue and white chevron...much easier to deal with.

Let it dry for a bit and then coat the entire back with Mod Podge and let it dry again.

Turn it over and we are going to add the phrase "Welcome to Kindergarten" or whatever grade you are teaching.... You can download this for FREE (for grades K-5) from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store- just click {HERE.} You can also keep the clipboards plain, add the child's name, use Washi tape, ribbon, stickers... so many cute choices.

I added Mod Podge to the back of the paper, flipped it over, and again spent a while making sure there are no air bubbles. Then paint the entire front side with Mod Podge. Let it dry and then apply a second coat. Optional: add a second coat to the back as well.

Now for the clip. I bought a bag of "chip clips" from WalMart {this didn't include the metal "bulldog" clip you see - just the plastic ones} There are cute clips in shapes of animals... look at these I saw at Target Dollar Spot:
If you are making these for slightly older kids you can use binder clips and just look at the color selection at Staples below....exciting, isn't it? I just thought for kinder these may be too tricky. 

I am going to clip a note on the front and send these home with my new cuties on the first day of school. You can get it too, just click on it below:
Very last thing.... I just had the idea to use these clipboards as a place to "clip and practice" sight words. I have compiled 100 sight words on 20 lists, which are the perfect size for these cute clipboards:

Wow... that was a long post. I guess I was so excited to be on Michelle's blog I just couldn't stop! Thanks for reading {if you made it this far} and stop by Crayons and Whimsy when you have a chance.

Thank you!! Christy Donnelly


  1. the mini ones are darling. I just bought mini 1 inch binders.

  2. Seriously love this idea. I am going to have to save this for the future!

    Great post, Christy!

    A Rocky Top Teacher

  3. These are wonderful! You are so right- the regular clips are so hard for little hands. Those clips you found were precious, too! Thank you for this great idea!
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

  4. You never cease to amaze me!

  5. What a precious idea! So very cute and seems easy enough- thanks to your step by step directions and pictures! Thank you for sharing!!


  6. Want to come and make some for me! What one creative person finds easy, well another, is overwhelmed. They look terrific, adorable, fun and your Little Learners are going to love them. (so will their parents)

    Julie :)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

  7. Great tutorial... thanks for the wonderful and economical idea.

    Granny Goes to School

  8. So stinkin' cute! How long did it take you to complete 29? I will be sharing a link to this on my blog - lots of teachers will love this.

    1. Oh it took me about 3 evenings to make 18...now I am on vacation with 11 more to do when I return. A few episodes of Real Housewives or some other bad show that I love to watch... and voila! they shall be done :) Glad you like them!