Altered clipboards?

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Mpaschl's picture
Joined: 06/12/06
Posts: 15
Altered clipboards?

I know this is a scrapbooking board, but since it is a similar project, I thought I would ask here. I would like to make an altered clipboard for my son's first grade teacher for an end-of-year gift. Have any of you ever done anything like this? Would it be fairly easy to do or too difficult to get done by the end of the school year? I am hoping also that I pretty much use the same tools I use during scrapbooking. Obviously, I need the clipboard, but I am not able to just run out and buy all sorts of tools for this one project.
Can anyone help me?? Biggrin

mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264

I'm not sure what an alternated clipboard is. Is that when there are pictures all over it?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I found the following @
Hope this helps! The link also has some great pics with examples for those interested.

Creating Altered Clipboards
by Maureen Spell (Dec 7, 2004)

Being a former elementary school teacher, I thought I knew how to use a clipboard. I have used a variety of clipboards throughout the years: brown, clear, colored, plastic, wood, and I used them all the same way -- to hold papers. It never occurred to me that these ordinary objects could be used as art. The altering possibilities are endless.

You can alter clipboards to become photo holders, chalkboards, or theme art. Any type of paper, embellishments, or mediums can be added to customize them. You can make them into wonderful gifts and wall decorations.

My favorite way to use a clipboard is as a photo holder. I decorate the clipboard and enlarge my favorite photos to clip on the board. I like to rotate pictures for variety or change them out seasonally. Altered clipboards make great gifts for family members and friends. Try altering a mini clipboard for a teacher and turning it into a Post-It note holder. Alter one for a coach and include the team picture.

Once you know how you want to use the clipboard, you are ready to begin. Masonite clipboards provide the easiest surface to alter. They come in legal, letter and mini sizes. Before altering, wipe the surface of the clipboard clean with a wet wipe or slightly damp cloth. I like to add a coat of acrylic paint onto the board first. You can paint it to match your embellishments and paper, or you can just prime the surface with a neutral color. If you plan on covering the entire board with paper, this step is not necessary.

After the paint is dry then layer papers, fabric and photos. I brush Mod Podge onto the back of my paper and smooth it onto the surface of the clipboard to get any air bubbles out, using a rubber brayer. Use a top coat of Mod Podge if multiple images or papers are layered or overlapping each other. This ensures that all the edges are secure. Make sure you apply the top coat after the bottom coat of Mod Podge is already dry. If not, wrinkling of the paper can occur and the Mod Podge can become cloudy rather than clear when it’s finished.

There are an endless variety of materials you can use for decorating. Pattern papers, fabrics, ribbons, fibers, buttons, beads, photos, transparencies, metal, cork, stamps and other ephemera work perfectly as accents. Acrylic and spray paints, crackle mediums, texture mediums, Lumiere Paint, dye and pigment inks also can be used to customize a clipboard.

Not only are clipboards an affordable object to alter, they also provide a chance to experiment with new techniques and products. When you are done experimenting, you have a perfect home accent or gift to share with others.

Recent Thread on Altered Clipboards

Adore Altered Clipboard
By Maureen Spell

Legal size Masonite clipboard
Brown and white acrylic paint
Crackle medium
Mod Podge
Basic Grey paper
Making Memories foam stamps
Vintage girl images from
Sepia ink
Metal flower by Scrapbugs
Pink and cream ribbon from
Pink fabric border from


Wipe any dust and debris from the clipboard with a damp cloth.
Paint a layer of dark brown acrylic paint.
Once the paint has dried, paint a layer of crackle medium over the board. Let it set for at least 15 minutes, but do not let it dry completely. Follow the directions on the bottle for the best results.
After waiting the recommended time, paint a top coat of white or cream paint over the crackle medium. Make sure that you brush it on going in one direction, and do not go over parts that you have previously painted for it will not crackle correctly.
Once the top coat is dry, paint the metal clip with white acrylic paint. (I place a piece of scrap paper under the clip so that I do not get paint onto my new crackled surface.)
Cut a 9 ½” x 11” piece of patterned paper. Apply Mod Podge to the back of the paper and place 1” from the bottom of the metal clip. Wrap the edges of the paper around to the back.
Apply Mod Podge to the back of a pink fabric border and apply it under the metal clip.
Cut out vintage images and apply a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the back of each image and place about 2” from the bottom of the clipboard to create a border. If overlapping the images, apply a topcoat of Mod Podge over the images to make sure all edges are secure.
Lightly sand and ink the metal clip at the top of the clipboard.
Using a strong liquid adhesive or tape, adhere the gold metal flower to the metal clip.
Attach a favorite 5x7 photo with Super Tape by Therm-o-Web to the right side of the clipboard with a layer of Mod Podge.
Using a corner stamp and white acrylic paint, stamp around the bottom right-hand corner of the picture and the top left-hand corner of the picture.
Using white acrylic paint, stamp the title “Adore” going down the left-hand side of the clipboard.
Using a 4” piece of cream ribbon, tie a knot in the middle of a 12” piece of lace ribbon. Adhere below the vintage girls on the bottom of the clipboard. Trim any access off the sides.
Tie pink gingham ribbon in the hole on the metal clip at the top of the clipboard.

On this particular clipboard, since I would just be using it as a wall hanging, I did not add a top coat over the whole board. I only added it to the bottom row of vintage girls to secure the edges of the overlapped images. Adding a top coat to the entire project can help protect the surface, especially if you are going to be using the clipboard. If you decide to add a top coat, add it before adding any 3-D embellishments and let it dry completely.

Mpaschl's picture
Joined: 06/12/06
Posts: 15

Yahoo THANK YOU!! Yahoo

momma24/7's picture
Joined: 10/17/04
Posts: 752

From what I've seen and read about its pretty easy to do! Can't wait to see your finished clipboard.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I've made 3 of them and they are very fun and very easy to make :razz:

I used Mod Podge to adhere my paper and I used paint to paint the board (before adhering the paper)

If you go to 2peas' gallery you may see some examples. (I don't have any in my gallery, I don't think but I could look if you'd like)

Have fun!