Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tutorial: Turn a Clipboard into a Chalkboard

Sugarplum Cuties: Turn a clipboard into a chalkboard

We've got one of those wicked long, hair pulling, stressful, not kid-friendly, car rides coming up.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 hours one way in a car.  Yuck.  My kids are some of the worst road trippers.  They hate to be in the car for more than 30 minutes at a time even with the DVD player on.  We've traveled overnight, early in the morning, and midday and it all ends in major complaining, whining, and general nastiness.  So, in an effort to curb all those ridiculous things I thought I'd brainstorm a few new things to keep the kids happy while in the car, at least for a little while.  Enter: chalkboards.

I made one for each of the kiddos complete with erasers, and I painted their names on it to avoid any fighting or confusion.  Here's how I did it.

What you need:

  • A clipboard (I got mine at Target for $1.99 each)
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Chalk
  • Felt
  • Sticky back Velcro
  • Paint pens
Step 1: Prep and paint your clipboard - Cover you clipboards in the chalkboard paint.  I didn't take any pictures of this part because I just followed the directions on the can.  I painted 3 coats of the paint on there with a foam brush, and let it dry for 3 days.  Then I took a stick of chalk and rubbed it all over the entire surface of each clipboard and erased it using small circles all over the board.  This helps to condition the chalkboard and makes it a lot easier to erase later.  After that, I wiped each board clean with a damp cloth.  Done!

Step 2: Paint Names: To do this, I found two fonts I liked on my computer.  For Dieter's I used the Avengers font which you can find at for free.  And Rylea's name is a font called Lobster.  I typed their names into a Word document at 125 size and printed them out.

Then, you can rub some chalk all over the back of the printed name.  I printed my names on scrap paper I found  so you could better see the chalk all over the paper.

Then you put the paper, name side up on top of your clipboard and trace the letters.

Then when you're done, you can throw the paper away and your chalkboard should look something like this

Then I took these paint pens and painted inside my chalk lines. I did two coats and let it dry.  Once it's dry you're all ready to go.  You can even draw chalk over top the paint and it won't come off.

Optional Step: Erasers - For the kids' erasers I just cut some scrap felt I had laying around and hot glued it together.  4 layers all together.  Then I cut the edges with some pinking scissors just to make it look prettier and I was done.  I put a piece of sticky back velcro (the hard side, not the fuzzy side) on the chalkboard and the felt will stick right to that so the kids will always have their eraser.

Haha look at that little footprint on there, someone must have walked on it and I didn't notice until just now.

I'm hoping these clipboard will also serve double duty in the car, giving the kids a hard surface to color or draw on if they want to use paper and crayons too.  Or maybe it'll still be a miserable ride and nothing will change. At least we have some cute clipboards for homeschool stuff.  Happy chalkboarding, and if you use this tutorial to make your own, send me some pictures, I love to see them!!!

1 comment:

  1. We did something similar, except we used dollar store cookie sheets instead of clipboards. Then we made some magnets using bottlecaps & epoxy stickers showing some road signs the kids might see on the trip. They LOVE their 'travel boards'! They can color with chalk, play games with the magnets, and when they're ready to get out the coloring books & crayons, the crayons don't roll away because the raised edges of the cookie sheets keep them contained! We rarely use our DVD player in the car because both kids get carsick. ;)


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