How to Make a DIY Glass Dry Erase Board
How to Make Your Own Dry Erase Board
This dry erase board is so easy, quick, and inexpensive—it'll make you'll wonder why you didn't create one years ago! If you follow this tutorial, you can turn any picture frame into a customized and attractive dry erase board for your home, office, or dorm room. This project needs very few supplies, and it only takes about 10 minutes to complete. What are you waiting for?
Supplies and Materials
The only materials you need for this project are:
- A picture frame with a glass plate front. An 8x10 frame makes a convenient dry erase board. Unless you want a tiny dry erase board, smaller frames may not be your best bet.
- The picture frame back, or another piece of cardboard, cardstock, or posterboard that fits in the frame.
- Decorative paper, such as scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or even your own artwork. Since many dry erase markers come in dark colors, light-color backgrounds work best. comes with everything you need. This paper stack
- A ruler.
- A pen or pencil.
- Scissors or a paper cutter.
- Tape. Regular, Scotch-style tape and packing tape will both come in handy.
Note: You should not use plexiglass for your dry erase board. It scratches easily—it is even damaged by household glass cleaners!
All of these steps are illustrated in photographs below. These photos are labeled and I do my best to write clear directions, but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Step 1: Remove the Backing
Remove the picture frame backing. This usually involves pulling a bendable piece of metal back or turning a metal bar.
Step 2: Place the Backing on Your Paper
Place either the backing or the frame's cardboard insert on the "wrong" side of your selected paper. Line two of the backing's sides up along the paper's edges.
Step 3: Mark the Edges of the Backing
Using a pen or pencil, mark the backing's (or insert's) bottom and side edge. You can either trace the two edges on the paper, or you can make several small marks along the edge's length.
Step 4: Measure to Create a Larger Rectangle
Remove the backing/insert and use a ruler to measure out at least 1" from the lines marking the frame's edge. By doing this, you create excess paper to fold over the frame backing's edges.
While you could simply cut a piece of paper to fit inside the frame, you would need to tape or glue it to ensure it stayed firmly in place. This would put you at risk for unsightly glue lines or visible tape. By folding the paper over, as if you were wrapping a present, you can keep the paper in place, ensure it is kept flat, and remove the risk of adhesives ruining the finished board's appearance.
Step 5: Cut Out the Rectangle
Cut the new, larger rectangle using a paper cutter or scissors.
Step 6: Center the Backing
Center the frame backing (or other cardboard insert) on the "wrong" side of the paper.
Step 7: Fold and Tape the Edges of the Rectangle
Fold the paper's edges, as if you were wrapping a gift, and tape them in place, as shown. I suggest using regular, Scotch-style tape first, and then packing tape to secure the paper after making sure everything is lined up correctly.
Step 8: Secure the Backing Into the Frame
Make sure the glass frontage plate is in place and secure the cardboard/frame backing into the picture frame.
Step 9: Begin Using Your Board
Use your new dry erase board by writing on the glass! Dry erase markers wipe off glass just as they would a "regular" dry erase board. You can also use permanent markers and erase the marker with nail polish remover.
I used scrapbooking paper and a fairly basic rectangular picture frame, but you can easily customize this project by using creative backgrounds and frames.
- Why not unleash your inner artist and create your own mixed media collage for a dry erase board? You can also use wrapping paper for holiday cheer or birthday party signs. Additionally, cherished 'fridge art' can find a new life as a dry erase board. I cannot recommend using fabric, however, because the added bulk will make it difficult to fit the frame back together. Also, fabric is more difficult than paper to smooth evenly across the frame backing and is more difficult to attach.
- If you want the board's back to have a more attractive, finished appearance, use a cardboard insert instead of taping the paper directly to the frame backing.
- Whatever you choose, remember to pick a background your dry erase markers will stand out against. Because most dry erase markers are dark, light-colored backgrounds tend to work best. If you want to use a dark background, seek out lighter, brighter dry erase markers, or use a fluorescent or metallic permanent marker. If you decide to go this route, simply use nail polish remover to wipe your board clean.
- You can use any frame, as long as it has a glass plate front to write on. If you only have plain frames but want something a little more exciting, quickly repaint your old frame with acrylic craft paint for a whole new look!
Easy, quick, inexpensive, and useful—what more could you ask for? Do you have any other suggestions for cute backgrounds or creative ways to use these little dry erase boards? Feel free to share!