· Homekeeping Tips · Crafts & DIY Projects · Save Paper With These Simple DIY Erasable Boards

Save Paper With These Simple DIY Erasable Boards

dry erase board

I am developing a real aversion to paper! Well, that’s not exactly true. I LOVE paper….(How To Make Beautiful Handmade PaperHow To Make A Brown Paper Goodie Bag, DIY Notecard Purses)….but I hate wasting paper. Ask my family….when I get paper statements/bills in the mail every month that I already take care of online, it makes me crazy!!!! Such a huge waste. I also try to create my To Do Lists and Grocery Lists digitally, but sometimes it’s nice to have it posted somewhere so other people in the house can contribute to it. So these simple DIY boards really appeal to me! Less paper waste….and super cute. :-)

Making your own dry erase or chalk boards is so easy, I almost feel silly dedicating a whole post to them. But I loved how they turned out, so I had to share!

For both of these projects, you need a picture frame. Any size will work. I found these cute frames for cheap at TJ Maxx, but you could easily pick some up at the thrift store, or if you have some unused frames lying around, by all means use them!


dry erase board

DIY Dry Erase Board

Find some paper that you want to use as the “backdrop” for your board. I used a piece of scrapbook paper, but you could use notebook paper, newspaper, or even fabric if you wanted to.


dry erase board

Cut your paper to the size of the glass in your frame. I did this by tracing the outline of the glass onto the paper, then cutting along the traced lines.

If have a specific use for your dry erase board in mind, you can choose to write that at the top of the paper. For example, if you want to use it to keep track of your family’s meal plan for the week, you could write MENU at the top (or use letter stickers if your handwriting isn’t so great!) I wanted to be able to use mine for different things, so I chose not to do this.


dry erase board
Once your paper is the correct size, simply put it in the frame and voila! You have a dry erase “board”! You can use several kinds of markers on the glass, like window markers, chalk markers (which is what I used) and plain old dry erase markers. Depending on what kind of marker you use, you may need to use a bit of glass cleaner to erase your board.
Cute, right?


diy chalk board

DIY Chalk Board

This project is just a little bit more involved than the last one, but it’s still crazy easy.


diy chalk board

First, remove the glass from your frame and lay it out on some newspaper. Then paint one side of the glass with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint is pretty widely available these days. I found mine in the craft paint aisle at Michael’s.

The brand of paint I bought recommends two coats, so I let the first coat dry for an hour, then applied the second coat.


diy chalk board

I wanted to add some interest to the border of my “chalkboard”, so I used a stencil and some gold paint to put some designs on the edges. This requires more drying time, but I really like how it turned out.


diy chalk board

Once the paint is completely dry and cured (just make sure to follow the instructions on your paint), put it back in the frame. And there you have it! Your own DIY chalk board. I found this chalk marker at Michael’s as well, and I am really pleased with it. I find it much easier and cleaner to use than actual chalk!

I hope you like this idea as much as I do!  It’s so simple and you can easily customize it to suit your own decor. Not to mention all the trees we are going to save now! :-)



Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with
    Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for
    some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  • Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across
    this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out much.
    I’m hoping to offer something back and help others such as you aided me.

  • I love the idea of putting this in a frame. I used the chalkboard paint on a bulletin board for work 8 years ago and it still looks great. I am going to use the frame idea for the kitchen. I know what I am doing next weekend.

  • Jillee,
    Can you delete the message of January 24, 2014 from FRANCISVAB? It concerns me that this might have been from a hacker who may have gotten into your website to “mine” data for their own use (such as obtaining subscriber e mail addresses, or worse). While I love your blog, read it daily, and have used some of your ideas, it makes me (and perhaps others) very uneasy to see such an obvious nonsensical posting that may have been for nefarious purposes. Thank you so much.

  • Did you use regular chalkboard paint? I saw chalkboard paint for glass at Hobby Lobby but if the regular chalkboard paint works, all the better! Such a cute idea!

  • What a great idea!! I have literally dozens of unused frames in boxes in my basement & I have lots of 12×12 designer paper that I can use for the inside. Think I’ll try your first example. Thanks! susan

  • I hate the look of standard whiteboards so I’ve been using a big sheet of glass on the wall in my office for a whiteboard for several years. When there’s nothing written on it, it disappears against the wall. When I write on it, I use wet erase markers so I don’t get that dry erase dust all over the wall.

    Glass can be such a versatile thing.

  • Great ideas! After the grocery list is assembled on the board, just transfer the list to a digital post-it on the cell phone. No paper needed. A small frame would be great near the phone for messages other than the one taking them off. We use a laminated paper saying “new phone message”. When my husband sees this note then knows there is a new message for him. The frame would look so much better than our little note.

  • Sounds like a wonderful idea. I don’t know if it will fly at my place. However, certain people , like my mom ie like to writtheir to do lost on paper and likes to have right in front of her and
    Claims she’s can’t function til she finds it. In my community,
    All our paper goes into a recycling bin every week.

  • And for the eraser, I used a piece of scrap wood and painted it the color of the frame, then glued a piece of scrap felt to the bottom. I attached an eye hook to the end of the “eraser” and one to the bottom of the frame, and used some waxed string (I don’t remember where it came from) and tied it to each eye hook. My frame had a shelf. But you could velcro the back of the eraser to the side of the frame instead.

  • thinking of cute way to ‘attach’ pen. Any ideas? These look so cute and I already can think of so many people that could use one. Will be making some for home this weekend. Maybe with burlap ribbon hanger and twine to hold pen??? Thanks for another awesome post. Seems simple to you, but then there are we simple folks that didn’t think of it. So kudos! :-)

  • Great for the home, but in my office we are drowning in scrap paper!! It seems that every time I turn around there is another form to fill out and fax in, then the response is faxed back, and on and on and on……And half the stuff gets faxed back 2 or 3 times! And it seems that every email has to be printed, which wastes an unbelievable amount of paper. We do recycle, after shredding the sensitive info, but oh lord, the trees! So much for our “paperless society”. But I guess every little bit helps, and I have just bought a new whiteboard for my desk at home :)

  • As a teacher of 4 & 5 year olds, I’m always looking for creative ways to lure in those “reluctant writers.” I found some old 11×16 frames with plastic instead of glass. I’m going to redo the frames and add cute paper to lure them into practicing their writing.

  • Jillee, I read your posts every day & they are great! This is an idea I’ll try. Right now, I have a vintage clipboard hanging on my kitchen wall with all different size papers (I hate to waste paper too) a convenient way to grab-n-go or leave small notes for other family members. Your dry erase board is perfect for keeping my human/furry/family members shopping list up to date.

  • I have a few of these in my house. They are great!!! The one in my kitchen is checked everyday for notes from the kids to me or from me to the kids. I also have one for the weekly dinner menu.

  • I made one a bit ago that has “I love you because…” printed on the sheet” we take turns filling it out.
    But–to springboard off of Stephanie’s idea– I can stack different pages w/ messages behind the main message & swap them out as needed. I think one for Birthday would be awesome. People can add messages throughout the day–a reusable birthday card. At the end of the day just snap a picture of it.
    I got a lot of fun paper for Christmas too! I think papers that are sort of background scenes would lend them selves to family sketches/doodles.
    YAY! Craft of the Day!

  • Great idea, thanks! I’m going to use fabric since I sew! ;) I’m going to also put a holder on the back of the frame to hold the chalk/marker. Awesome idea! :)

  • I’m with you on wasting paper! I love your ideas. I’m a digital gal too. Thanks for the Amazon gift card I won for the flight info. It helped pay for dress shoes my hubby needed for work and church. Have a blessed day!

  • Don’t you have city/county recycling where you live? These are great ideas for notes for family members or ‘daily’ reminders but a little hard to take to the grocery store!

  • I made a couple of these as gifts for my daughter and a friend for Christmas. I used fabric as a backdrop. I put their names on the back of the glass with sharpie marker so it didn’t get erased by mistake. They turned out really cute! Would make a great frugal gift for college students. The one I made for my daughter used a poster frame with plastic “glass”. It was very lightweight and she is going to hang it on her door in her dorm. This is a super easy project and so easy to customize for the user. We really liked the idea that she can change the fabric with the seasons,holiday or her mood.

  • I made one a while back that I use to write the menu for the week. Now every time my family asks what’s for dinner, I tell them to look at the board. I almost have them trained to look at it before asking :)

  • Terrific idea! I’m going to put one near the front door with a welcome message for guests. Good way to list the menu at a dinner party. This idea has lots of potential!

  • I work at Michaels…definitely going to make one of the chalkboards…have done it using wood and chalkboard paint…just never thought to use a frame… very cute!

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