DIY Tutorial: Dry Erase Organizer

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Over the weekend I decided that hubs and I needed a place to write down his crazy intern work schedule and to write down notes. If you were to look in my purse at any random time you would probably find at least 3 or 4 different lists written on index cards (which works for running errands, but not for a 'master' list of things I need to buy/get done). I wanted a dry erase calendar/memo board, but finding one that that's both cute and not stupidly expensive was proving to be a difficult task.  So I did what I usually do (when I fixate on something and then am unable to find exactly what I have pictured) and decided to try making it.

I started by designing the calendar and memo pages in Illustrator and once I had those finished, I started working on the frame.

I used a paper bag to make the template for my frame. I cut the bag into one large strip of paper (the same way you cut a paper bag if you are making a book cover), cut the paper down to the size I wanted for my frame (adding an extra half inch to each side), and then folded it into fourths. After measuring where the interior of my frame would be I drew a design for the outside edges. I used binder clips to secure all four folds of the paper (to make sure my cuts would go evenly through) and then used an exacto to cut along the outside of my template.

Once I was finished cutting my template, I traced it onto the foam board. (I secured it with some tape before tracing and then carefully pulled them template off so the taped off parts of the lines were visible).

I then cut out my template using an exacto.  (Side note: you get a much cleaner line along the edges if you don't try to cut through all the layers in one pass.  Also - make sure to have a sharp blade!)

I forgot to take pictures of this next part, but after cutting around the outside I figured out my interior measurements, drew, and cut those out too. (Below is a template of my frame that, if downloaded, should save in the full size).  The dotted lines are guides for where the paper will go and the boxes with an 'x' running through them are the holes in the frame for each page.

Once the entire frame was cut out, I brushed a coat of mod podge on the front and laid the paper I used to cover it on top, smoothing out (most of) the bubbles. Then I flipped it over, placed a couple books on it to make sure for foam board didn't bend, and let it sit for a little while.

After giving the glue some time to dry I used my exacto again to cut off the excess paper, leaving about an inch of paper on each edge. Starting with the inside edges (since they were straight) I cut diagonally down from the corners and folded each edge over the side and onto the back, gluing it into place with more mod podge.  This covers the exposed foam edge.

Next, I began working along the outside edges.  This step was a bit time consuming, and I suppose I could have just cut off the excess paper and called it a day, but I really like the way this turned out. I cut tiny flaps along the outside and used mod podge to glue them over the side and around onto the back of the frame. I then applied two coats of glossy mod podge to the front and along the edges to seal everything and make it shiny.

With that finished I gave it some time to dry while I worked on the backing. My original idea was to use poster board, but since I could only find it in 10 packs for some odd reason, I had to improvise and ended up using the bottom of a diet coke case. I cut it down to the size I wanted (18.5 in. x 10 in.) and drew a guide for placing the pages.

For the dry erase element of my organizer I used clear plastic scrapbook page covers. The calendar page fit perfectly into an 8.5 x 11 and I cut down the note page cover to 8.5 x 6.  I then adhered the plastic sleeves to my backing with rubber cement, being sure to leave the open side of each facing toward the outside edge (so I can change the insert pages if I want to later).

I put a line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the backing and then placed the frame on top.  Finally, I used three long pieces of adhesive magnetic tape on the back (diet coke side) of the backing so that my frame would stick to the refrigerator.

One last thing I realized I was missing was a container to hold my dry erase markers.  I made a quick magnetic marker bin by decoupaging a matching piece of paper to an empty (and thoroughly washed) spice container and then adding magnetic tape to the back.

All done and ready to organize!
Linking up to: Tip Junkie | Not Just A Housewife | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Home Stories A to Z | Crafty Confessions


  1. Very cute and wonderful tutorial! Thank you for sharing!

  2. A nice blog always comes with new and good information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality
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