life is always about the journey...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thrifty Upcycle - Framed DIY Whiteboards

Dorm White Boards

These cool whiteboards are gifts for my daughter and her two BFFs to go in their College Bags they will each receive upon graduation in the spring that I'm filling up.  You can see other posts about those bags and what's inside HERE and HERE!

I love chalkboards, whiteboards, message boards...anything you can personalize and leave messages on basically.  Back in July we got a dorm-decor magazine in the mail since (save my life I cannot find it ugh) and we now get all kinds of college stuff in the mail since Alexa registered for schools LOL...enough to paper a village.  And they had the cutest dorm whiteboards in funky frames that I knew the girls would love!  Heck I love them for myself and plan on making one for me too :) 
PROBLEM was...they were $65-75 each...OMGeee..way too much!
But as I looked at them I realized how easy & cheap they'd be to make myself...or as Alexa says "You say that about everything"...well its true.  If its doable, not too hard and cheaper WHY NOT I say!

So I set out to do it the cheapest and best way I could!


My spray paint friend handle grip...this one was $2 at Lowes and is made by Rustoleum.
It slips right over your spray can and makes it so much easier...less stress on your hand muscles which for me is a HUGE blessing.  And it gives a nice even spray as well.

I got this frame for $3 at the local Thrift had the glass and back on it still and in perfect shape.
Thrift stores have the BEST deals on large, beautiful frames and I loved the oval shape.

I really love Rustoleum's 2x Ultracover---its good on metal, wood, plastic, wicker, etc.
And it covers great with only a few coats and you can put the can upside down and it STILL sprays..awesome.  
TIP: Hobby Lobby and other craft stores NOW sell spray paint and its around $4-5 retail..but use those 40-50% off store coupons from the paper, apps or online to get them cheaper.

Three coats was all this gold frame needed and its perfectly covered & shiny!
Love it!

For my boards you actually write right on the glass in the frames...yup dry erase markers work GREAT on glass too and wipe clean easily.
So I traced the oval onto white cardstock, cut out and added it behind the frame. And did the same for the other frame too.
You could use a fun print paper or different color if you choose too...its always up to you!

Remember this post?  See the framed picture in the lower left corner?
I got it for $3 because the back of the frame had a lot of damage...but I had OTHER ideas for it so I didn't care!

So I took it all apart and got rid of that nasty backing and cleaned the glass really good.
I traced the old backing onto thick black cardstock so the back is now streamlined and nice.

Tape your glass off really good or take it out if you can.

Then it got 3 coats of purty hot pink Rustoleum 2x spray paint.
Let it dry and peel off tape and clean glass if needed.
READ your spray paint can directions because each brand is different.
Some you need to add your extra coats within a minute or two.  Some require you wait.
If you don't follow directions you could get tacky or bubbly paint...I warned ya!

From a $3 Frame to a fun & funky whiteboard!!  And its EASY!

I used ribbon I had on hand (cost $0) and hot glued it to the inside of each frame before putting the back of the frame between the hot glue and the frame backing it clinches the ribbon tightly.  Then I tied the ribbon around each marker (under the clip) and used hot glue to add a dot to the underside to keep them more secure.  Easily peeled off when ready to switch them out though.

I picked up these mini whiteboard markers by "The Board Dudes" at Staples...with a coupon I got the pack for just under $3...great deal!  The are the perfect size for these whiteboards.  They are magnetic as well but I wanted the markers to hang from the whiteboard since they will be hanging on dorm room doors.  Too easy for kids to snatch the markers if they are only stuck on with magnets KWIM?

The gold frame has an easel back so it can be set up on a flat surface.  However these were meant to be hung up on walls or doors so I had to retrofit them a bit.  I bought picture hooks and added those to the back of both frames.  The one square frame had a different picture hanger on back that would not work with a Command Hook so that got taken off and a new hook added. Then I bought some 3M Command Hooks that are clear and medium sized so that the girls can put the boards on their doors or walls...they will easily come off with no damage when they need to be.  Make sure to buy hooks that can hold some weight...these will hold up to 2 lbs so they are perfect!

These would be cute on a desk, wall, name it!
Go for smaller frames and make mini versions.



  1. Love this idea and love you frames. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Love this idea. I did something similar to create my own dry erase calendar! Love it!

  3. Love this idea! Great project for Christmas gifts.

    1. Yes I will be making a few for gifts..maybe eventually one for myself too LOL! Thanks so much!

  4. You are so creative; just love this dry idea note board. Awesome.

    1. Thanks Linda...if I see it, I challenge myself to make it :) LOL!

  5. I'm with Carrie...Fabulous inexpensive birthday or holiday gifts too! Thanks, Suzanne!!

  6. These are so cute. Great tutorial too, thanks for all the tips.

  7. Great idea Suzanne. I love them!

  8. Oh Suzanne Love it! My daughter says, I say the same thing about things I see never buy because I can make too, I take it as a complement. Thanks for the tip about writing on the glass, I never knew that. I plan on making these for holiday gifts ~ Have a great day


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