How to Make Decorated Clipboards {Thrifty Gift Idea!}

A few years ago, I made my first decorated clipboard. They’re fun to use, simple to make, and make a great thrifty gift!!

I’ve given them to teachers, friends, family members, and myself! :) Would you like to make one, too? Seriously, you can do this!! Here’s how…

What You’ll Need:

  • Clipboard {I buy mine at Wal-Mart for $1.00} ~ you’ll want your clipboard top to be similar to the one pictured below… it will allow you to tie on ribbons!
  • Foam Brushes {small and large} ~ when you’re done, wash these out and save them to reuse again later!

Foam Brushes on Sale

Mod Podge

  • 12×12 regular Scrapbook Paper {not cardstock ~ trust me!}
  • Ribbon {thin} in a variety of colors that match or coordinate with the paper

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Corner Rounder {if you have one}
  • Push pin or Xacto Knife

What You’ll Do:

The first thing you’ll need to do is trim the paper down to fit the clipboard.
Turn paper over and measure with a ruler.
You’ll want the paper to be approx. 1/4 inch in from the edges of the clipboard.
Once the paper has been trimmed down to fit the clipboard,
use a corner rounder {or scissors} to gently round the corners of the paper…

Now you’ll need to flip your page over again,
and get ready to carefully make a cut out around the clip at the top…

Now set your paper aside.
Lay down newspapers ~ it’s time for some fun with the Mod Podge!
Use the large sponge brush to make long strokes from top to bottom,
of a thin layer of Mod Podge on the clipboard.

Be careful now ~ Catherine Zeta-Jones is watching you…
do you see here on the newspaper there?
She thought I did a good job… she’s smiling!
She’s calling Michael Douglas to let him know.

Now carefully lay your paper that you’ve prepared on the clipboard {color side up}.
Gently smooth it down with your hands to avoid bubbling.
As it begins to dry, if you see bubbles, you can…
carefully poke them with a pin needle, push pin or Xacto knife tip.
Card stock will really bubble, so hopefully you didn’t use it.

Let the glue completely dry {30 minutes to 1 hour}
After it has dried, it’s time to do a layer of Mod Podge on the top!
This will protect the paper.
Use long strokes from the top to the bottom again.
You can use the smaller brush to get around the clip at the top.

After you’ve applied the Mod Podge, allow it to dry completely.
Just like before, you can watch for any little bubbles,
and either poke them or gently smooth them out with your hand as it dries.
Once it has dried completely, just for fun… it’s time to add one more coat of Mod Podge.
After applying that last coat, allow it to dry completely.

Now if you want to add anything else… a photograph, letters cut out to spell a name, etc.
you can add them after the final coat has dried.
Just put a dab of Mod Podge on the back, then add Mod Podge over the entire top.
Allow to completely dry… and then on to the ribbons!

For the ribbons, I’ve found that cutting them to 8″ in length works well.
Once the clipboard is dry,
begin adding the ribbons and knotting them up at the top on the clip.
Once you’ve tied on all the ribbon, trim them down if they’re too long,
then trim the ends slightly diagonally in alternating directions.

Have fun with the colors… here’s one I made using pink paper and pink & white ribbons…

Make one for yourself, or give some as thrifty gifts!

 Thanks for supporting The Frugal Girls!
Then check out more fun Mod Podge Crafts below…

DIY Photo Tile Magnets

DIY Photo Tile Magnets

Easy Mod Podge Letter Art

Easy Mod Podge Letter Art


  1. krissy says

    I am making these for my daughter's friends. I have been trying to think of something reasonably priced and this is perfect! My 2 daughters are 4 and 12 and with the right paper, these are perfect for all ages. The pre-k girls can use them to color and the older girls can use them for homework. Love it! We will also be making these for their teachers.

    BTW, Hobby Lobby has their scrapbook paper 1/2 off this week! .30/page!

  2. Tami says

    This I must say is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! Now I want to get in the van and go to Wal-Mart. Thanks…it's 1:33 in the morning….

    **shakes head**

  3. Crystal says

    I just discovered this blog and I signed up just because of this clipboard idea! I also told 3 friends! Thanks!

  4. Petula says

    This is a fabulous idea. I wish I had seen this some time ago so I could have give as gifts. I do not plan on going to the store between now and Friday so I will have to save this for the next gift-giving holiday. Very cute.

  5. isabella says

    Has anybody tried painting the boards first? I did them the way you show and they are cute but am wondering if matching paint would even be better?

  6. Heidi @ The Frugal Girls! says

    Hi Isabella,

    I actually have made these with painting the clipboard first as well… it looked great to start with, but after using it for several years and dropping it a few times, the only problem was that the paint chipped off and left the brown showing. :)

    ~ Heidi

  7. Anonymous says

    I would just like to take time too Thank everyone for doing what you do and make this community great im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.

  8. Susan says

    Will the Mod Podge work on the plastic as well as the “board” type clipboards? Really like this and I’m thinking the clipboard ribbons can match the hair-clip ribbons for girls too!

  9. Heidi says

    Hi Susan ~ I’ve honestly never tried it using a plastic clipboard. If you do ~ let me know how it turns out!

    ~ Heidi

  10. Mattie says

    I really like the font you used for the name Heidi, but can’t find a similar one. Do you, by chance, know the name of the font you used?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *