{five minute friday} DIY Chalkboard Clipboards + 3 More Back to School Projects

Happy Friday, friends! I am so excited because today I have three other fabulous ladies joining me for Five Minute Friday, and we are bringing you four back to school projects that you can complete in - you guessed it - five minutes!

Five Minute back to school projects
Simple Book Covers by A Prudent Life | Apple Teacher Gift by Dolen Diaries
Chalkboard Clipboards by Blue i Style | School Files by Addicted 2 DIY

Chalkboard Clipboards Featuring Kids' Artwork

Both of my boys attend preschool two days a week in a year-round program, so we have yet to really experience a true "back to school" time in our home. But, because my younger son only recently began attending preschool, we did just go through the "start to school" process. In doing so, I gave a lot of thought to how to keep things organized for both kids. 

We have a filing system for important papers, and a calendar on our pantry bulletin board for noting dates of special events and school closures, but I was struggling to keep track of the smaller things. 

The school sends a full report of the boys' activities each day, and occasionally these reports will include notes like, "bring more diapers," or "running low on sunscreen." Sometimes as many as five days pass between when we receive these notes and when they attend school again, so I needed a place to jot down reminders about these items. 

Recently I found some cute mini clipboards at Michael's. 

The set of three was originally $24, but they were on sale half price, and I had a 25% of coupon, so I couldn't pass them up. I thought I might hang them in the pantry by the hooks that hold the boys lunch boxes, with a little note pad on each for jotting down reminder notes.

Then when I was coloring with the boys last weekend, I was inspired to add their artwork to the clipboards, and a whole new plan was hatched.

After the boys finished their drawings, it was naptime. And while they napped, I quickly turned their art into chalkboards. 

Each clipboard had a photo image clipped to it, so I removed one of these photos and traced it around my favorite portion of each boys' scribbles.

And then I cut each out and laid them on the clipboards to see how they looked.

I love the way the bright colored paper pops against the black clipboards.

I wanted the drawings to be permanently affixed to the clipboards, so I sprayed the back of each with a coat of spray adhesive and then smoothed them in place.

Finally, I covered the front of each clipboard in a coat of clear chalkboard paint. Yep, you read that right. CLEAR chalkboard paint!

I discovered the Martha Stewart clear chalkboard paint a few months ago, and used it on my chalkboard globe with the gold detail. Ever since then, I have been dreaming up more things to turn into chalkboards...so why not my boys' art?!

The chalkboard paint did smear the marker lines a bit, which I suspect happened because the drawings were done with washable Crayola's. I haven't tested it yet, but would guess that he same smearing would not occur if you used permanent markers, like Sharpies. For obvious reasons I don't let my boys draw with anything permanent. :) Fortunately, the little bit of smearing didn't bother me at all.

I covered the drawings and all of the exposed black areas on the front of the clipboards in the chalkboard paint. Don't be alarmed that in some areas, where the paint is applied a bit thicker, it will go on looking white. But it all dries smooth and clear.

And that's all there is to it! Each chalkboard took less than 5 minutes to make. I didn't count the time that the boys spent coloring, of course, because they would have been doing that anyway.

Here's the breakdown:
-Tracing and cutting out paper: 1 minute
-Affixing paper with spray adhesive: 30 seconds
-Covering art and front of clipboard with clear chalkboard paint: 3 minutes

DIY Chalkboard Clipboards featuring kids' art

I allowed the paint on the clipboards to dry for a full 24 hours, and then began making notes on them using a chalk bistro marker. When I need to write new notes, all I have to do is wipe the chalk away with a barely damp tissue or rag.

Just as I had originally planned, I mounted the two chalkboards on the wall of our pantry right between the hooks where we hang the boys' lunch bags. I used two 3M Command Velcro Strips on the back of each chalkboard, with corresponding velcro strips affixed to the pantry wall.

Chalkboard clipboards featuring kids' art

I already keep a chalk marker in a holder next to the pantry door bulletin board, so it's quick and easy to grab the marker and make notes on the chalkboards anytime.

I wanted to make good use of every available space in our pantry, and the addition of these clipboards does just that.

Organized for the school year with chalkboard clipboards

Not only are these DIY chalkboards perfect for jotting down notes and reminders for the boys' school, they are also great for clipping up papers to be returned to school. Currently I have a class picture order form clipped to Beckett's clipboard, and a sheet of name labels clipped to Cooper's {since he started school just a few weeks ago, I am still working on adding these labels to all of his clothes, sippy cups, and reusable lunch containers}.

Chalkboard clipboards for back to school organization

Hanging these chalkboards right inside the pantry between the lunch boxes ensures that we see them each morning as we pack the boys' lunches, so we'll never miss those important reminder notes.

Chalkboard clipboards for back to school organization

Not bad for a five minute project, right?!

Don't forget to check out all of the other five minute back to school projects that my friends are sharing today! From organization to teacher gifts - we've got you covered!

Five Minute Back to School Projects
Simple Book Covers by A Prudent Life | Apple Teacher Gift by Dolen Diaries
Chalkboard Clipboards by Blue i Style | School Files by Addicted 2 DIY

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  1. I love how cute this turned out!!! Thanks for sharing how long it took to create; usually that's the part that feels daunting to me and prevents me from being so creative. Your kids are lucky to have a mom who is so on top of things at such an early age! I'm still figuring these things out and mine are 7 and 11. :)

  2. Oh what sweet little art works- I miss my kids doing things like that. They are older now and having boring worksheets and homework- :)