The humble whiteboard. A great addition to classrooms, offices and corporate spaces around the world.
We at Show-me would like to think we know a thing or two when it comes to mini whiteboards. However, we appreciate that whiteboards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Sometimes, a standard board may not be suitable, or you may only need one whiteboard and not an entire pack.
Fortunately, there are many fun and unique ways to make your own drywipe surface without breaking the bank.
We’re sharing some alternatives we’ve seen with their pros and cons so you don’t have to.
Protective Film Material
These are readily available from numerous stationery retailers, often in the form of large rolls. Though these semi-transparent adhesive sheets are designed for protecting book covers, their glossy surface provides an affordable drywipe option.
+ Super affordable, a 3-metre roll is typically less than £5 in some stores.
– Trimming a larger roll down to size can be time-consuming and wasteful.
This idea is one of the best because it can be used on a wide range of surfaces and sizes. This could offer a low-cost temporary solution, for instance, if you don’t want to take your usual mini whiteboards on a field trip.
Typically found in flatpack furniture, this smooth, glossy surface is often printed on MDF and is easily found in hardware stores.
+ Rather than spend hundreds on a wall-mounted board, you could purchase a sheet of melamine and edge it with painted timber. You’ll effectively have a bespoke whiteboard surface, cut to your desired size and shape. They’re perfect for those who value high customisability.
– Can be time-consuming and costly, especially in the midst of a timber shortage!
– Creating the boards will require DIY knowhow and savviness.
– You may find that only certain erasers work on this surface, such as cloths.
Due to the difficulty of the process, these are best suited for larger one-off projects. The cost-saving trade-off is worthwhile if you’re looking for a hard-wearing budget option.
Show-me Template Pockets
Perhaps you’re looking for a drywipe surface that’s not only transparent but also portable. Show-me Template Pockets can turn any sheet of paper into a drywipe surface, so they’re perfect for reusing worksheets. They’re simply a transparent plastic envelope with drywipe capabilities.
+ Turn any piece of paper, worksheet or picture into a drywipe surface, which can be easily cleaned and reused.
+ Lightweight, portable and easy to store.
– Don’t offer any rigidity and will therefore require a sturdy writing surface.
Picture Frame with White Paper Backing
This thrifty solution is one of our favourites. Simply find an old picture frame and insert a sheet of white paper – and, hey presto, you have yourself a drywipe surface.
+ It’s cheap, portable and easy to source and assemble.
– Be sure to search for a picture frame with shallow and thin bezels though, otherwise it may be bulky and uncomfortable to use.
Acrylic or Polycarbonate Sheet
If you’re looking to make a good drywipe surface that isn’t glass, then acrylic or polycarbonate might be for you.
+ Can be ordered to various specifications and colours, and are relatively cheap for standard squares.
– Costs can quickly mount if you choose to have the edges rounded off or the sides ‘diamond brushed’. These options are purely cosmetic and aren’t essential.
As with the melamine sheets, it may be best to reserve this option for larger surfaces in order to reduce labour and costs.
Dry Erase Static Sheets
Another budget-friendly wall-mounted solution that can be used wherever there’s a smooth flat surface.
+ These sheets cling to the surface using static, so they’re easy to set up and don’t leave behind any sticky residue after removal.
– Unsuitable for smaller sizes such as A4, so best reserved for wall-mounting. There are also self-adhesive whiteboard sticker rolls, which can be cut down to size and stuck on to smaller areas, though this can leave a residue on some walls.
As the name suggests, this paint can turn an entire room into one giant drywipe surface, if that’s what you’re after!
+ Easy to apply and can be used on just about any smooth surface.
– Permanent, difficult to cover up and can be costly.
– Unless regularly re-coated, the surface degrades quickly, meaning long-term cost could be higher than purchasing a ‘proper’ whiteboard.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a DIY whiteboard surface. We’d recommend: Show-me Communicator Pouches for DIY mini whiteboards, picture frames for at-home use since they’re so easy to source, and for a temporary solution in the office or classroom, we’d recommend static whiteboard sheets for ease of use, portability and affordability.
If you know any other crafty ways to make your very own DIY whiteboard then we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to post your ideas in the comments section below.