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Decorated Clipboards

Posted by  ·  December 8, 2009  ·  Last Updated: December 8, 2009

Altered Clipboards, a quick and simple gift that is also inexpensive.

It would be easy to make a lot of these gifts assembly style.


I used  small 6″X 9″ clipboards  found  at OfficeMax ($1.69). The notepads are 5″ X 8″ 50 sheet Jr. size writing pads, found at Wal-mart (6 notepads were only $2.50).

I tried these two ways:

Using Elmer’s Spray Adhesive and Krylon Matt Finish


and using Mod Podge Paper Matte


First cut decorative paper to fit the clipboard.  For my clipboards 6″ X 9″ worked perfectly.  I took the extra time to make a template that fit around the top of the clip (a little bit of a pain).  I have also seen where there is just a rectangle shape cut to fit around the clip. My paper looked like this.


Paint the back of the paper with Mod Podge Paper (Matte) or spray with the Elmer’s Spray Adhesive. If you are using spray adhesive also spray the clipboard. Cover the the clip with masking tape to keep it clean. Pay special attention to make sure which ever method used that the edges of the paper are completely covered. Working quickly, place the paper onto the clipboard. This is a bit tricky. It is okay to lift up and reposition until it matches all of the edges properly. Be careful not to stretch the paper. Smooth paper and make sure the entire piece of paper is secured.  When I had a spot along the edge that wasn’t adhered, I lifted it slightly and added more glue.  Allow to dry at least 15 minutes before putting on top coat. Round off corners with scissors.


Give the top of the paper a light coat of Mod Podge Paper in matte  or two coats of spray matte finish.  I have to say I like the paper feel and look so I prefer the Krylon spray matte finish.

Not matter which technique you use you must let each layer of glue dry. The Modge Podge will be a more durable surface.

Glue a matching piece of decorative paper to the top of the notepad. Any glue will do.


To give the clipboard an extra nice touch I added a metal label holder. I taped them on with a piece of clear tape exactly where I wanted them and then my husband drilled holes in the metal clip so they could be attached with the brads included in the package.


I painted the metal holders and brads with gloss paint.  Open the clip as far as you can so you can attach the metal label holder and spread the brads apart on the back side of the clip.


Finished! I think I will put the recipient’s name in the label holders.


Leave a Comment


  1. weedoo3
    Sunday, November 10th, 2013
    Love the idea!!! Going to have a holiday craft party. This will be one of the crafts for it! Its great for mother daughter. any ideas for other crafts?!?!!?
  2. gurjeet
    Saturday, November 10th, 2012
    going to give this a try! Thanks for the step by step instructions!!

  3. cindi lippman
    Saturday, July 28th, 2012
    u can also use decorative contact paper!!
  4. Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
    I absolutely LOVE these clipboards. I can't wait to make some. Thanks for the idea.
  5. Jasmin Johnson
    Friday, June 8th, 2012
    Did you cover the back of the clipboard as well?
  6. Dmitry Guzman
    Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

    i represent several paper help services
    i`d like to ask if it is possible to advertise on your website
    ideally we`d like to know if it is possible to place a text link:
    1) on a home page of the website
    2) a site wide link
    3) inside a text on any education topic relevant topic page
    Please let me know if you are interested
    Please enclose the prices if possible

    thank you
  7. Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
    I wanted to write you this tiny note to thank you very much over again considering the awesome information you have provided in this case. It was simply open-handed with people like you in giving publicly exactly what most of us could have advertised for an electronic book to help make some money for themselves, most notably seeing that you might well have tried it if you wanted. The principles in addition worked to become easy way to know that the rest have the same dreams just like mine to know the truth somewhat more in terms of this condition. I
  8. Jeanelle
    Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
    So nice to give co-workers and stocking stuffer gifts. Personalize the paper (scrapbook paper) for each person.
    Thanks for the idea and materials needed to do it.

    Love it!
  9. Thursday, October 20th, 2011
    I just wanted to let you know I included this in my 2011 Ultimate DIY Gift Guide (101 tutorials/recipes)! :) http://danimariedesigns.blogspot.com/2011/10/2011-ultimate-diy-gift-guide.html
  10. Sandee
    Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
    This is a great idea I would like to try.
    You gave excellent tips and directions which I really appreciate.
    Thank you for explaining the different products we might use for the job.
  11. Monday, May 16th, 2011
    Altered Clipboards look Great!!! Very pretty!!I love the paper! very pretty and making the notebook match the clipboard!! wonderful!
  12. Shaun
    Sunday, May 1st, 2011
    What paper is this? I love the pattern.
  13. Monday, January 3rd, 2011
    I love the cute clipboard! I can think of many gifts with this. Thanks!
  14. Sunday, September 12th, 2010
    I just love altered clipboards. I make many of these for gifts. And they are very popular at my workshops. Yours is adorable.
  15. donna carroll
    Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
    If you make a copy of a photo or collage using a laser printer, you can make this into a photo clip board. Such a cute and versatile gift.
  16. Jen in Guam
    Saturday, May 29th, 2010
    What type of decorative paper did you use? Will wrapping paper work? If so, does the wrapping paper need to be thick? Thank you.
  17. Kim Sandling
    Friday, May 21st, 2010
    I made this for my daughter's preschool teachers. Thank you so much for sharing your talents! If you'd like to take a look, I posted it on my blog www.sandlingsmiles.blogspot.com.
  18. Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
    I've been wanting to make some of these. Yours turned out really cute.
  19. Tina in WA
    Sunday, January 17th, 2010
    I am going to have my second graders make these for our school auction. Things that are made by our students sell, sell, sell! I am hoping to have a few parent volunteers to help and maybe our 5th grade reading buddies.. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas these are very doable for my students!
  20. Andrea
    Friday, January 1st, 2010
    I am making mine tomorrow! I can't wait! My sister has already made hers as Christmas gifts and they are even cuter in person!!!
  21. Thursday, December 31st, 2009
    This is so cute! I have got to make some of these someday. I love the coordinating paper that you chose. too cute =)

  22. jennyburger
    Monday, December 14th, 2009
    my 2 daughters and I live w/ my mother and we decided to take on a new tradition this year of drawing names to make 1 hand-crafted gift for Christmas. Since I drew my 11 yr old daughter's name, I am DEFINITELY making this. I'd love to know if anyone has ideas on other accessory items to go w/ it?
  23. robin N
    Sunday, December 13th, 2009
    Gorgeous! Going to try to make time this week to make a few! Thanks for sharing!
  24. Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
    I love a cute clipboard! Awesome!
  25. Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
    Love, love, love these!!! Heading to the office supply store this week!
    Thanks for the great idea.
  26. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Very cute! I have been making them in mixed paper patterns because I do not have the patience to make a template! lol
  27. Miriam
    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    I would like to know where you got the small calendar atttached to one of the cute clipboards.
  28. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Cindy, you did a fantastic job on these! I love when something useful can be made cute!
  29. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Love the name plate idea! I have made these for our kids, to hang on the wall and hold their current artwork. The only problem I found is that the paper sticks to the mod podged surface after awhile. It's been "dry" now for 10+ months and can still feel tacky. Any ideas?
  30. anniebeagle
    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Very nice!! I like how there are no ribbons to hang over the paper (I have one like that, and I rarely use it becuase the ribbons are always getting in the way). Thanks!
  31. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    This is awesome! I'm going to try it with pics of my kids for grandma...thanks for the great idea!
  32. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Great idea! You could add a magnet to the back of the clipboard for hanging on the fridge! It'd be a great way to display all my lists in a pretty way! Thanks for sharing...
  33. Natasha
    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    This is a great idea! Thanks.
  34. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Fab-O idea! Thanks for the great tut too!
  35. Annegret
    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    The nice clipboads are really a great idea. And not expensive!
    I like your ideas!
  36. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    SO CUTE!
  37. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Ooh, I LOVE altered clipboards - they are so much fun! Your paper choices are great on this project. Very cute!
  38. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Thank you so much for simplifying this for me. Yours are adorable!
  39. LuckyLadybug711
    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    I am definitely going to give this a try! Thanks for the step by step instructions!!
  40. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Love, love, love this!
  41. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Super cute.
  42. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Just love it! I especially like the metal label holder and paper touches you put on the notepad. It's all in the details!
  43. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    That's my go-to gift for all the kiddo birthday parties! Love it.
  44. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    Very cute! I've made them with fabric and ribbon too!
  45. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    What a fun project!
  46. Shahrazad in Bahrain
    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    i love it, would make a great gift for the teachers...ThanX for sharing
  47. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
    This is a fun gift! Thanks for the tips!!!!