Altered Clipboards, is a quick and simple gift that is also inexpensive. It would be easy to make a lot of these gifts assembly style.

Clipboard with a flower background on the board and notepaper clipped on the front.
Flowers Pop on a DIY Clipboard

Items I used for the Clipboards

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 Walmart (6 notepads were only $2.50).

I tried these two ways:

Using Elmer’s Spray Adhesive and Krylon Matt Finish

Spray Adhesive Craft Bond by Elmer's and Matte Finish by Krylon spray bottle

and using Mod Podge Paper Matte

Bottle of Plaid paper Mod Podge Matte finish acid free water based sealer

Starting the Project

  • First cut decorative paper to fit the clipboard.  For my 6″ X 9″ clipboards it worked perfectly.  I took the extra time to make a template that fits 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.
Cute paper with a black background with outlined colored circles cut with a notch in the top to glue on top of the clipboard.
  • Paint the back of the paper with Mod Podge Paper (Matte) or spray with Elmer’s Spray Adhesive. If you are using spray adhesive also spray the clipboard. Cover the clip with masking tape to keep it clean. Pay special attention to make sure whichever method is 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 didn’t adhere, I lifted it slightly and added more glue. 
  • Allow it to dry for at least 15 minutes before putting on the top coat.
  • Round off corners with scissors.
Finish DIY clipboard. The paper has been clued on. It is really cute with the colorful paper.
  • 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. No 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.
A matching strip of paper is glued to the top of the notebook paper pad.

For an Extra Touch!

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.

A bottle of outdoor/indoor gloss acrylic paint and a label holder where one has been painted pink including the screws.
Photo of the completed clipboard with the label holder attached.
Two completed clipboards one with a green label holder and one with a pink label holder.

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

More DIY Projects

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About Cindy Hopper

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!!!

  3. This is so cute! I have got to make some of these someday. I love the coordinating paper that you chose. too cute =)


  4. 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?

  5. Love, love, love these!!! Heading to the office supply store this week!
    Thanks for the great idea.

  6. Very cute! I have been making them in mixed paper patterns because I do not have the patience to make a template! lol

  7. I would like to know where you got the small calendar atttached to one of the cute clipboards.

  8. Cindy, you did a fantastic job on these! I love when something useful can be made cute!

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

  11. This is awesome! I’m going to try it with pics of my kids for grandma…thanks for the great idea!

  12. 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…

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