Prepare for back-to-school madness with a personalized clipboard

While reveling in my back-to-school happy dance, I try to look for ways to make the return just as happy for my daughter. More often than not, throughout the year, we find ourselves stealing any moment we can to get homework assignments done -- whether in the lobby of the dance studio or in the car. This embellished clipboard can make pretty work out of the drudgery and keep all of the papers from escaping to the no-man's land under the seat in the car.

These embellished boards also make wonderful gifts. Or, make one for each family member and hang them in a group on the wall to keep everyone organized.

Embellished clipboard


Unfinished clipboard with removable clip (we got ours at Michaels craft store)

Acrylic paint, white or complementary color

2 foam brushes

About 1/4 yard of fabric, and an additional 1/4 yard in a contrasting color or pattern fabric for embellishment (We purchased "fat quarters" from the quilting section of the fabric store. A fat quarter is actually 1/4 of a square yard of fabric.)


Spray bottle with water

Decoupage medium (we used Mod Podge)


Decorative ribbon

1. Using the screwdriver, remove the clip from the board and set aside.

2. Paint the edges of the clipboard with the white paint and allow them to dry, about 15 minutes.

3. On the reverse side of the fabric, trace the outline of the board twice.

5. Cut the shapes from the fabric, keeping about 1/8 inch inside the outline so your fabric will be slightly smaller than the clipboard and your painted border will show.

6. Lightly spritz the front and back of the first piece of fabric with water.

7. Brush a thick coat of decoupage medium onto the front of the clipboard.

8. Place one of the pieces of fabric onto the clipboard and press, squeezing out any air bubbles and making sure it is centered. Repeat for the back of the clipboard and allow to dry.

9. Cut out embellishments from contrasting fabric and use decoupage medium to attach to the clipboard. Allow to dry.

10. Apply 2-3 more coats of decoupage to seal the surfaces on the back and front, allowing each coat to dry.

11. Use the skewer to reopen the screw holes in the clipboard.

12. Reattach the clip.

13. Cut several short lengths of decorative ribbon and tie each one onto the large hole on the clip. This forms a kind of decorative tassel or pom-pom that hides the large metal clip.