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How to Make a Dry Erase Board Out of Paper? (7 Steps)

Written by Laura Walker

Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to make a dry erase board out of paper

Dry erase boards are super handy to have at home, work, or school. They are easy to use and can help you cut back on paper. As a result, you save both the environment and your wallet! You can easily get one online or offline, but they are expensive.

Making one by yourself costs much less. Plus, it’s a fun experience. So, why not, right? Let’s do it together! In this blog post, we will walk you through how to make a dry erase board out of paper, specifically, dry erase contact paper.

Follow along to put together a DIY dry erase board of your own!

Step-by-Step Guide to Make a Dry Erase Board

diy-dry-erase-board

What to Prepare

  • A panel board, foam board, or piece of cardboard
  • Cutting tool (Rotary saw or utility knife, depending on your board surface material)
  • A measuring tape or ruler and a pencil
  • A drill and screws or sticky tape (Depending on your board surface material):

Step 1: Plan where you will hang your board and the size of the board

First, decide where you will hang your board and how big of a board is for that space. If you intend to cover a large wall, use a measuring tape.

Most boards are rectangular, but you can also go for a square if it fits your space better. Before you proceed, jot down your dimensions.

Step 2: Get a board surface material

Next, head out to an arts and crafts store for a white panel board. If you want to purchase one or a less expensive alternative, consider a foam board or piece of cardboard.

The latter will probably be cheaper, but it might not look as nice as a panel board or foam board.

Step 3: Cut the board surface material to the proper size

make-a-dry-erase-board-surface

Whether working with a panel board, foam board, or piece of cardboard, you will have to cut it to your own size.

Refer back to the dimensions that you have noted down in step one, then trim your material to make a dry erase board surface.

  • If you use a panel board, you will need a rotary saw to cut it. You will also need to sand the edges once done with the cutting.
  • If you go with a foam board or cardboard, you can use a sharp utility knife.

Make sure you lay your material down on a flat surface and make all the necessary measurement markings on it before grabbing any cutting tools.

Be careful while handling the rotary saw or utility knife.

Step 4: Cut contact paper to the same size as your board surface

clear-dry-erase-contact-paper

Now, you will be using the dry-erase contact paper. Lay it out and cut it to the size of your board surface, plus one to two centimeters on all sides.

This is the error margin that you can rely on in case your other measurements are precise.

Step 5: Position contact paper on the board surface and adhere it

dry-erase-sticky-paper

  • After cutting it to the proper size, place it on top of your board surface and align it carefully. The clear dry erase contact paper will adhere to the board, so correct positioning is essential.
  • Starting on one corner, peel the backing to get a dry erase sticky paper. As you peel with one hand, press the paper down onto the board with the other. It is important that you are doing this simultaneously.

If you peel the backing of the entire paper without sticking it onto the board, it can shift and stick in the wrong position. Then, you would have to peel it off and start over, wasting both the paper and time.

  • Peel and press from one corner to the other until the entire paper is stuck onto the board.
  • Then, run your hands through the entire surface to make sure there are no bubbles or creases.
  • If your measurements were perfectly accurate and you do not need to make use of the extra one to two centimeters of paper, you can wrap it over the sides or trim it off.

Step 6: Hang your board up

Now that your board is complete, you can secure it wherever you plan to in the first step. If you use a panel board, you must drill holes and screws. Do this in the four corners and have someone help you, if necessary.

You can use a sticky tack for your foam/cardboard dry-erase board. If you intend to clip things on the board, the sticky tack might not be enough to keep your board hanging. You should use stronger adhesives or consider drilling it.

Step 7: Decorate your board

Finally, you can personalize your board with decorations. For this, the sky’s the limit! Take time to make the board truly your own.

Note

You can use the steps above to make DIY mini whiteboards to pass around in the office or in a classroom.

It does not have to be a board you hang on the wall. In this case, ignore parts of step 1 and all of step 6. You can also easily proceed with household items only.

Another Option

make-dry-erase-board-magnetic

If you want a large dry erase surface at your workplace or in a classroom, it is also not a bad idea to make a whiteboard wall.

You just need an empty wall and dry erase board contact paper. Here are the steps:

  • Find an empty wall. Make sure it is clean and smooth. If there are a lot of bumps/ ridges on it, consider sanding it smooth.
  • Grab your dry erase board contact paper and head over to one corner of the wall. It is best to start at one of the two top corners. If the wall is high, stand on a stool or ladder.
  • Align the contact paper with the corner, then adhere a section of it by peeling the backing off.
  • Work your way across the wall or down the wall. It will take some time, but rest assured the results are worth it.
  • You can drag a ruler over atop the paper to press it down against the wall. This will help prevent bubbles and creases from forming.
  • Continue until you cover the whole wall with the paper.

Now, you have an entire wall to use your dry erase markers on! Draw all over it right away! (Just kidding, maybe start with a calendar!)

Note

If you cannot get large enough contact paper, look for dry erase wallpapers. These are also offered on the market.

Can You Make a Dry Erase Board Magnetic?

If you are making your dry erase board and want it to be magnetic, you can switch contact paper for sheet metal. You will still be able to use dry erase markers on it, but it will be magnetic! Or, if you want to make your wall magnetic, you can paint it with magnetic paint!

What Material Can Be Used as a Dry Erase Board?

For DIYs, you can use sheet metal and/or glass. But commercially-made dry erase boards can be of porcelain or melamine too. Each material comes with its own pros and cons.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to make a dry erase board out of paper (dry erase contact paper) you can DIY whiteboards for students, coworkers, or yourself! Once you give it a try, share your experience with us in the comments. We would love to hear from you!

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a few words from the author

Laura-Walker

Hi, I am Eveline Kessler, a content creator. My love for colors and arts draws me here to join the Intermediarts team with Leilani. I am responsible for testing new products and techniques with her and providing honest reviews and tips based on our experience.

Laura Walker