Are you looking for ideas for how to make DIY whiteboards for classrooms? There are many reasons why a teacher would need to make a whiteboard or to convert a blackboard or corkboard into a whiteboard. Sometimes students might want to eat the chalk while others with sensory needs would not participate on the chalkboard. Getting a new whiteboard is expensive and unnecessary, since the cheaper alternative functions just like a new whiteboard, which is to cover your old chalkboard with self-adhesive whiteboard paper. Teachers also use whiteboard paper to create more writing space on classroom walls, cupboards, student desks, and bulletin boards.
I love to find practical tips for teachers. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a commission for purchases using my links. The ideas and paid links below are based on Amazon finds that can show you how to make DIY whiteboards for classrooms.
How to Make DIY Whiteboards for Classrooms
The best way to make DIY whiteboards is to cover your surface with a whiteboard sheet. These sheets are white like a whiteboard and some of them are magnetic. The most versatile type of dry erase sheet you can get is one that is adhesive, magnetic, and has grid lines on the back, to help you to cut it straight. This whiteboard sheet has all of those qualities and it comes with a smoothing tool. You use an adhesive whiteboard sheet to
- turn your chalkboard into a whiteboard,
- turn your corkboard into a whiteboard,
- make a magnetic whiteboard,
- make small whiteboard areas on classroom cupboards and desks,
- make mini whiteboards on clipboards for students,
For installation directions, see the different surface materials listed below for How to Make DIY Whiteboards for Classrooms. The directions are slightly different for each surface.
How to Turn a Chalkboard into a Whiteboard
Here are tips for turning an old chalkboard or corkboard into a whiteboard using adhesive whiteboard paper:
Cover your entire chalkboard with a whiteboard film: A dry erase whiteboard film works like a wallpaper that you can apply over your chalkboard. The Post-It brand makes this film that works best for classroom use. Use wallpaper smoothing tools to remove air pockets and a blade to cut edges.
Cover part of your chalkboard to make a small whiteboard area: Putting up your whiteboard film in smaller sections, makes it easier to install, rather than doing a large area with one sheet.
Corkboards Can Also Be Turned into Whiteboards: Just like a chalkboard, this large corkboard has been covered with a dry erase sheet that has been cut into smaller rectangles for easier installation.
Use a No-Ghost paper on your chalkboard: A no ghost whiteboard paper is one that does not get stained by whiteboard markers. All dry-erase markers should be erased cleanly without leaving marks that are hard to wipe off. This paper erases cleanly.
How to Make a Magnetic Whiteboard
Make a DIY magnetic whiteboard on your wall: This teacher created a spot for her kindergarteners to practice making words with magnetic letters on a magnetic dry-erase sheet that she installed on the wall space under her whiteboard. The sheet has an adhesive on the back, so installation was quick and easy for her.
How to Make Mini Whiteboards on Desks and Cupboards
Make mini whiteboards over classroom cupboards: You can cut up a large self adhesive whiteboard sheet into smaller rectangular pieces to fit as matching panels to go on your classroom cupboards.
Make magnetic whiteboards on classroom cupboards: These dry-erase sheets are both adhesive and magnetic, making them the perfect material for turning classroom cupboards into magnetic whiteboards.
Make individual mini whiteboards on the classroom wall: Use peel and stick whiteboard wallpaper, and border them with a bulletin board border trim, to make whiteboards for small group instruction for your students.
How to Make DIY Whiteboards on Classroom Walls
Turn your wall space into a whiteboard: This white adhesive dry erase roll was placed right on the classroom wall to make a whiteboard. Tapes were added around it to make a decorative border and thinner tape was used to divide up the board.
Make a magnetic whiteboard word wall on your classroom wall: This magnetic adhesive whiteboard contact paper (#ad) can stick very well to concrete brick walls. This teacher used it to make a magnetic word wall with magnetic word wall cards.
How to Install a Whiteboard Film Over Any Surface
A whiteboard film can be installed on a wall, corkboard, chalkboard, desk, cupboard, or old damaged whiteboard. This is one of the best ideas for how to make DIY whiteboards for classrooms. Follow these steps to install a whiteboard film on any surface:
- Clean the surface before starting.
- Spray some spray glue over the chalkboard if your paper’s adhesive does not feel sticky enough.
- Measure the surface to make sure the paper will fit where you’re going to use it.
- Take your time while laying it onto the surface and leave the backing on until you get it exactly where you want it. Use painters’ tape to help hold it in place and to keep it level as you go along. Only peel off the backing from one end to stick down that end, and slowly pull off more of the backing as you stick down more of the paper.
- Use wallpaper smoothing tools to remove air pockets and an Exacto blade with a yard stick to cut off any excess off the edges.
Ideas for DIY Mini Whiteboards
- Turn regular clipboards into magnetic dry erase clipboards: magnetic dry erase clipboards can be used for writing with a dry-erase marker and for using magnetic manipulatives. This teacher cut up this magnetic contact paper into smaller sheets and applied them to her students’ clipboards.
- Turn classroom tables into mini whiteboards: You can cut up adhesive whiteboard paper into small rectangles and place them on your student desks.
I hope this post has helped you find ideas for how to make DIY whiteboards for classrooms. I made a blog post that is all about making the most out of your classroom whiteboard. Many of the tips there will be applicable to DIY whiteboards too. Check them out in this blog post.