Pretty Painted Clipboard Photo and Ephemera Display

I’m a bit of a clipboard addict and love using old clipboards as displays for photos and other bits and pieces of ephemera.

I really love it when I find one that has developed pretty darkened patina, as this one has.  I don’t mess with those – I use them as they are.  Occasionally though, you find a nice old clipboard at a thrift store or yard sale, but it’s been doodled on by a student.  In cases like that, I paint them.  They can still have a vintage look when you distress and wax them, and can match any decor.

See how to paint a clipboard to match your decor! A grouping of the look beautiful as photo displays, and it only takes about 10 minutes each! -

I used a piece of wire to wire the clip into the open position to brush paint the board first.  After it dried, I taped all the way around the clip, totally covering the board, before spray painting the clip.  Once it dried, I distress the board and the clip, then waxed the board to protect it.

How to Paint a Clipboard

It only took about 10 minutes to finish (not including drying time), but I love the totally new look it has and it’s much quicker to switch out photos on than a regular photo frame is.
Wouldn’t a grouping of these on a wall look wonderful?

You can customize the any color to suit your decor as well.

Clipboard Photo and Ephemera Display | Give an old clipboard a beautiful new look in minutes.  This tutorial will show you how |


To make your own, here’s a great price on a 6-pack of clipboards (affiliate link).

office clipboards

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  1. Yep I agree they would look great in a line on a wall with pics attached.

  2. I love altered clipboards!! I just did a bunch with my Art Students…They turned out so cute…I’m hoping their parents love them too. 🙂

  3. How funny- I love clipboards, too, and can’t seem to give them up. I don’t know what they remind me of-doing business, I guess-xo Diana

  4. there are 3 clipboards for sale in my church yard sale, I wasn’t sure whether to get them or not. I love what you did with yours.

  5. I love this idea. I have one of my favorite beach pictures on a clipboard now and plan to do a few more that way.

  6. I love the painted one Angie … maybe that is my answer for hanging some vintage pictures of patents. You always have the neatest ideas.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  7. I’m not sure where I would use one, but now I really want an old clip board! Or maybe just a new one to make looks old. Love it!

    Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage

  8. Beautiful!!

  9. I love these! So clever!

  10. Love this! Any tips on how to distress the clipboard?

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