April 30, 2013

Personalized Clip Boards

Working at a religious school, I've made quite a few Teacher Appreciation gifts in the past - and it has been fun to do different things.  I've made pencil bouquets, magnets, clocks, and more - you can check out my "Teacher Appreciation" section on my "Tutorials" page for pictures of all of those!

This year, I made Personalized Clip Boards - over 50 of them! - and they turned out great.

To personalize them, we had the students do an acrostic with the teacher's name.  We always love getting the students involved!  So, for each letter of the teacher's name, the students came up with a word or phrase describing their teacher, that started with that letter.

I then took the wording and created a different configuration for each name on the computer.  This made it easy to print the names right onto scrapbook paper.
I have a tutorial on how I made the clipboards if you scroll farther down...

My favorite are the ones in the pictures above and below.  The name is horizontal, and the acrostic phrases are in blocks below each letter.

I also made some with the name vertical...

I got some great honeycomb paper in the package of scrapbook paper I picked.  I love these honey bee inspired ones below!

And lest you think you can't make a clipboard for a boy, here are a couple of the more masculine designs.  I think they rock!

For short names, I liked making the words swirl around the letters.  You can do this in Word with word art, or I did it in my Silhouette software.  

Need something for a music teacher?  Print up some musical notes to make it even more personalized!

Aren't they great?
Want to make your own?  
Here's the How To:
clip board
Mod Podge (paper or matte kind)
scrapbook paper
foam paint brush
distress ink (optional)
string (optional)

You can get these clipboards very inexpensively at an office supply store.  I picked some up for less than $2 each.
First, to make life easier for myself, I opened the clip as wide as I could, and tied a piece of string really tightly through the holes, to hold the clip open while I worked.  This is easier to do with two people ;)

The clip board is covered in different pieces of scrapbook paper.  To get the correct shape I made a template out of cardstock.  First, trace around your clipboard.  Then measure from the edge to different points on the clip mechanism.  Use those measurements to mark on your template, and make small adjustments as you cut it to fit.

I used anywhere from 2-4 different patterns of paper on each board.  Since the clipboard was 1/2" taller than my scrapbook paper, I always had to have a strip of different paper running horizontally to make it tall enough.  Some I tore, some I cut evenly.
For each teacher, I designed the wording on the computer and printed the design right onto a coordinating piece of scrapbook paper.  I cut the paper first to 8.5" x 11" to run through my printer, and then cut it down to the size I wanted.
In this picture, I numbered the layers.  The first piece of paper goes all the way across the top of the board.  Glue that down first, then glue #2 over it.  #3 goes all the way across the bottom of the board.  Glue that down, then glue #4 on top of it.  Then, glue piece #5 in the middle, overlapping all 4 previous pieces of paper.  

Next came the Mod Podge part.  I got the Mod Podge made for paper - and it worked fine.  You can also use regular matte.

1) With a foam brush, cover the clip board with a THIN layer of Mod Podge.
2) Then, starting with the paper on the lowest layer (see picture above), brush the back of the paper with a THIN layer of Mod Podge and then affix it to the board.
3) Press the paper down well, so there are no wrinkles or bubbles.
4) Brush Mod Podge over the edges, particularly covering any area you will lay another piece of paper, and continue until all the paper is down
5) Optional: Run distress ink along the edges
6) Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the whole board.  Brush back and forth in one direction.

HINT: My paper ALWAYS bubbled when it got saturated with Mod Podge.  It was flat for a few seconds, right after I put it on and pressed it down, but as I put on more layers, it bubbled.  When this happened the first time, I was so bummed, and it was late, and I went to bed thinking I had ruined my clipboards.  By the time I woke up, all the bubbles were gone!!  They had all dried and settled!
So, my advice is: press it down firmly right when you set the paper down, and that's it.  Don't touch it again until it is dry!  If you do, you will make creases where the bubbles are.  Let it dry and settle on it's own.

In case you are wondering what Distress Ink will do for you, I have a before and after picture (before is above, after is below).  I really like the depth that the dark edges add to the boards.

Here is one batch, all lined up and ready to be Mod Podged! 

While many had the acrostics, some were given to parents and tutors, simply to say "thank you."
Don't want to use a printer - or don't have one?
Below, I used tiny alphabet stamps to stamp parents' names and a little thank you note.  You could also hand write something - or have your child write something!

Below are more ideas for a general "thank you" - without the acrostic.  Still personalized and fun!

I love the chance to show a teacher, tutor or friend how thankful you are for them.  These clipboards are personal and versatile - and certainly have lots of uses in the classroom.  Make a few teachers you know happy with one of their own!

Update:  Here are the ones I did for my daughter's teachers.  These ones have a quote from every student in the class on them - which turned out really cute.  We also made apple cards by cutting an apple in half, brushing paint on it, and stamping it onto cardstock.  

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  1. This is a great idea. I have 4 kids. Doesn't seem like a lot...but with most of them in school, papers get lost around here. My kitchen wall looks like a teacher lounge cork board. I'm gonna try the clip boards:)

  2. These are so nice! I made a small one, or at least decorated a plain small one, it turned out really nice. these are very beautiful!

  3. Love these!

    Super cute!

    I would love for you to share this and link up to my TGIF Link Party! The party is open every Friday and closes at midnight on Wednesday night. Who knows, you just might be featured next week!

    I follow back: bloglovin, Facebook, and Twitter. =)

    Hugs, Cathy

  4. These are so BEAUTIFUL & FUN. I can hardly wait to try one or more. Thank you so much for sharing, especially the tips on the bubbles.