DIY a Dry Erase Board in 4 Steps
When looking for an easy DIY carpentry project, one should look no further than a homemade dry erase board. This simple decorative wall hanging is ideal for any office or workspace, and thanks to the unique features this specific design holds, those plain white boards we are all so used to seeing are things of the past. What makes this idea unique is that when writing on the board with a dry erase marker, one is actually writing on a piece of clear glass or plastic, allowing for decorative paper or fabric placed behind to shine through. To do this project, I used simple materials: a piece of old plywood, unstained wood molding from an old home improvement project, clear glass from a long-retired picture frame, and a single piece of decorative wrapping paper. This requires minimal carpentry skills and is a fun, family-friendly project for all ages!
Step 1: Planning and Cutting
In this project I used an old piece of plywood as the backing of my dry erase board. Although I would usually determine board size based on the size of the wall the project would be hanging on, this time I was restricted to the proportions of the glass that would be used in upcoming steps. After deciding 19 x 25 inches was an appropriate set of dimensions, I measured out my workspace and carefully cut the board using a table saw to my desired size. Once completed, I used my measurements again, cutting the frame out of old molding I had left over from a previous project. I made two cuts at 19 inches, which would become the top and bottom of my frame. Two pieces were at 25 inches for the slightly longer sides.
Step 2: Placing the Paper
The second step in this DIY is the cutting of the decorative pieces of paper that will be shown behind the clear glass. In the example above, I chose a floral wrapping paper and trimmed it to the size of my board (19 x 25). The cool thing about this step is one can really get creative and set the tone of the project, even making the décor of the board match the aesthetic of the room it will be in. One could use ABC paper for a kids playroom, a leather-type textured piece for an office, or even a football-themed design for a man cave. Fabrics, paper, textures, and colors are all fair game in this step, so have fun with it!
When cut to the correct size, adhere your decorative paper/fabric to the wood backing (I used glue, but one can surely get away with using a tape-like product for this task.)
Step 3: Frame
Making the dry erase board frame is easy! Using wood glue, place the pre-cut pieces that fit into our 19 x 25 dimensions and lay the 25-inch pieces on the sides of the frame vertically. Next, using a few drops of glue, place the shorter pieces over the top of the longer pieces horizontally, creating a perfect rectangle to frame your board.
I left my wood pieces un-stained, as I really liked the way the plain, pale color worked with where I am putting the project. One can absolutely stain or paint as desired, but should take caution as such things take quite some time to dry -- so don’t be in a hurry.
Step 4: Assembly
At this stage in the project, one should have a decorated, cut board, 4 cut wood pieces glued into the shape of a frame, and a single piece of clear glass. To finalize this DIY, simply layer your objects in the following order from back to front using a dab of glue in each corner of each layer to hold it together.
My dry erase board took a full day to dry so give it time, and when it's finished, draw, write, and note to your heart's desire!