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How to Make Useful Writing Boards With Upcycled Boxes

I've been crafting since I could hold a paintbrush. I love to repurpose random things. Most of my articles are about arts and crafts.

A writing board decorated with 1951 fashion magazine picture

A writing board decorated with 1951 fashion magazine picture

We place three or four boxes in our recycle bin daily. I know it isn’t the same as trash, but I always pause a second with the box dangling from my hand as I contemplate an alternative.

I recently found that alternative.

I needed a refrigerator clipboard to write a shopping list on. I also needed a writing board for my junk journal.

By using the boxes in my recycle bin, I could make both.

Materials needed

Cardboard via shoebox, delivery box, cereal box, etc.

Strong liquid glue

Metal corner protectors (optional)

Glue stick

Ink and ink applicator

Ribbon, string, eyelets

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cut two identical pieces from the box you have chosen. If you're using thinner card boxes, you might have to glue more than two together to get the sturdiness needed for a writing board.
  2. Glue the two pieces together with the stick glue. If possible, avoid using thin liquid glue. The thicker variety like wood glue is fine.
  3. At this point, I like to clamp the pieces together to make sure all the sides glue down.
  4. Choose any decorative paper or scraps of paper to cover the board’s back and front.
  5. I like to overlap from back to front to cover the sides as well.
  6. If you like the idea of a raw edge, you could use a sanding block to buff away any paper stuck to the sides.
  7. I think an aged vintage look is pretty. So, I ink the edges with a color that somewhat matches the paper color and then follow up with a black or brown to age it a little further.
make-useful-writing-boards-wirth-upcycled-boxes
make-useful-writing-boards-wirth-upcycled-boxes

Construction Tips

  1. I use a strong liquid glue to add metal corner protectors to each corner. If you don’t do this, you might find that your corners become dog-eared (worn or torn) over time.
  2. Adding a pocket on the back of your board is fun and could hold your shopping coupons or receipts for things you want to return.
  3. Adding a pull tab could hold a pen or help you find your writing board in a journal.
  4. A clip at the top (or the side) of your board could hold several pages in place. These clips could be utilitarian alone or add to the décor of the piece. I put a clip with a magnetic back on one of the boards so that I could magnetically hang on the fridge.
  5. Two eyelets at the top allows you to thread some ribbon through it. Hang it on a hook on the wall.

A Variety of Clip Options

make-useful-writing-boards-wirth-upcycled-boxes

Decoration Tips and Things to Remember

  1. You may need three or four pieces if it’s a thinner box. A cereal box would fall into this category while a shoe box would be thick enough to use only two pieces.
  2. If you use liquid glue with some of the thinner boards, it could cause the card to curl. If it does, place the glued pieces between plastic sheets and weigh it down under heavy books so that it dries flat.
  3. I decoupaged fabric on one of my boards. The one side had an old scarf, and the other side had some cotton fabric. When the fabric dries it’s rough and bumpy and bubbled a bit. Maybe I used too much liquid glue. I don’t know. I’ll try it again, but it wasn’t my favorite.
  4. I tend to be a bit clumsy and knock things over. To make the board somewhat waterproof I seal some of my writing board with PVA glue. You lose the feel of the paper but it’s better than ruining the board with cup of coffee. Been there, done that.
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Read More From Feltmagnet

The image on the left is from a page in a 1951 fashion magazine. The image on the left is from a dress pattern.

The image on the left is from a page in a 1951 fashion magazine. The image on the left is from a dress pattern.

Add a pocket at the back.

Add a pocket at the back.

Fabric works well if it's thin like a scarf. The cotton fabric on the right bubbled. Maybe if I used a strong glue stick it may have worked out smoother.

Fabric works well if it's thin like a scarf. The cotton fabric on the right bubbled. Maybe if I used a strong glue stick it may have worked out smoother.

I made a mistake here so watch for writing direction on your paper. The faux leather tab is great to hold a pen though.

I made a mistake here so watch for writing direction on your paper. The faux leather tab is great to hold a pen though.

A clipboard clip is very easy to install and available for order online.

A clipboard clip is very easy to install and available for order online.

Examples of How I Use My Writing Boards

  • I use it as a backing to a page in my junk journal.
  • If I use a clip with a magnet, I'll set it up on the refrigerator.
  • I add it to stationary gifts with a notepad and a pen.

A Great Writing Tool

In my junk journal with a faux leather tab.

In my junk journal with a faux leather tab.

In a notepad with a flat pen.

In a notepad with a flat pen.

Faux Leather and Flat Pen tutorials

How to make faux leather.

How to make a flat pen:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Celeste Wilson