Jan 15, 2014

DIY Photo Clipboards

 I hope your week is going well so far! I've been having the best time in my craft room the past couple of days working on some small projects for our home. 

Love Grows Wild

The one I'm sharing today is a tutorial for making my version of some DIY photo clipboards inspired by Liz at Love Grows Wild. I featured Liz's clipboards last August on Friday Finds and thought they might be just the thing for a long narrow wall space above my family room sofa.

My Television Console

 I changed the finish on my version of these clipboards to fit the vintage feel of our family room and tie in with this white chalk painted media stand with a dark walnut stained top that's on the opposite wall. I've been wanting to display photographs of the beloved furry members of our family for the longest time, and I think my informal distressed clipboards are just right for some lighthearted four legged artwork. 

Following Liz's tutorial, I started with a 1" x 12" x 6' pine board. I cut the length into five 13" pieces to make five clipboards. After sanding, I applied a coat of dark walnut stain and let it dry overnight.


The next day I applied two coats of homemade chalk paint. When the paint was dry I used coarse sandpaper to distress just down to the dark walnut stain. After sanding the boards once more with fine sandpaper I applied a coat of clear furniture wax for protection. 


I didn't like the way sawtooth hangers made the clipboards stand out from the wall, so I improvised my own hangers by wrapping some floral wire around two small nails. I measured each hanger carefully to make them all the same.  Taking the time to do that made it much easier to hang all the clipboards level with each other on the wall. 


I hot glued squares of cardboard over the nails so they wouldn't scratch the walls. 

For clips I found these cute miniature clothespins in the craft section at Fred Meyer. I dropped them into some dark walnut stain and then drained them on a rag and wiped them off.


I used a piece of 8"x 10" scrap paper to figure out where I wanted the clothes pins to hold each photo, marked the spot on the board with a pencil line, and then used a thin line of hot glue to apply each one.

 I probably should have used wood glue for that step, but I was impatient and didn't want to wait for it to dry. So far, so good, though. The hot glue is holding the clothespins just fine. 

I think it took me as long to find and prepare my photographs as it did to prepare the wood. I edited and re-sized each photo to 8" x 10" using Photoshop. If you don't have photo editing software on your computer, I highly recommend PicMonkey. 


At this point, my printer ran out of ink. Grrrr...  When my sweet husband brought me some home that night, I printed out my photos. 


I trimmed the photos on my paper cutter, but scissors will work great too. The last step was the easiest: clipping the photos onto each clipboard.


And here they are! Our little ragamuffins! 


Our family room has a high bank of windows on one wall. We love the view of the trees, but they only leave a narrow strip of wall above the sofa on which to hang artwork. 


I think our new photo clipboards fit here perfectly. 


Every time I walk into the room and see our furry family members looking at me, they make me smile. Each photograph captures their unique personalities; Tucker, my black lab, is smart and he's always watching me attentively to see where I'm going and what I'm doing. It's hard to see here, but there's a big grin behind that lolling tongue. Molly, a golden lab and my oldest grand dog, is loving and gentle. Jake, the West Highland Terrier and my youngest grand dog, is always looking for trouble. He's so darn cute, though, he melts our hearts, and no one can stay annoyed with him for long. 

 Our pets enrich our lives so much. They really are family members, and we're happy to give them a place on the wall. And in case you're wondering, my daughters' photographs are hanging on another wall in our family room. I haven't forgotten the humans!

I'd love to know if you display photographs of your cherished pets around your home too.

Thanks so much for coming by today, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week! 

{Check out my Spring and Winter clipboards, too!}

Let's Party!




  1. What a fantastic idea and a great project! I love how you can change out the artwork whenever you like.

  2. Hi Laurel, this project is wonderful and you did an amazing job. Thank you for sharing the directions. It looks so good on your wall and the fur babies are darling. Love that you can change things out when needed. I also have photoscape, picmonkey and adobe illustrator. They are a staple for me.
    Thank you for sharing. Love this and may have to try it too.

  3. Awww, cute. I love this project. It looks fabulous and will be so easy to change out photos when you want. Love it.

  4. What a great idea ~ thanks for the tutorial!!

  5. Hi Laurel. I don't display photographs of my cherished pets but I'm going to try to copy your worderful idea and I hope show it you soon. I have two pets, two dogs (teckel). Thanks for sharing this information. Regards

  6. I love them and want to make some! Thanks for linking up!

  7. Wow, I love how these turned out! I posted about the same clipboards by Love Grows Wild, with the intention of making something similar. Now I'm definitely going to have to do it. Thanks for the (additional) inspiration! -Lisa

  8. Oh, I just love these! A perfect solution for that odd space ... and they make me smile too!!!

    :) Linda

  9. What a great project Laurel! And I love that you even stained the clothespins! Tucker, Molly and Jake are so cute and sounds like they bring such joy to your family!

  10. WOW these look awesome and what SHE said ( Sharon ) about the clothespins! Love every thing about this including the photos of the sweet pups! :)

  11. These are darling! I miss my own little cottage in the North End.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  12. These look so good - excellent tutorial (I need to get more crafty, I am extremely lazy) and your pets are ADORBZ!!

    Thanks for great post.

  13. Very creative and loved the tutorial! What sweet fur babies.


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