Introduction: DIY Glass Dry Erase Board

Picture of DIY Glass Dry Erase Board

Whiteboards can cost a fortune. Here is an inexpensive and extremely elegant looking Dry Erase white board for your home or office, only about 15 bucks!

Super easy installation! Only 1 tool needed, a screwdriver!


Step 1: Secure Your Materials

Picture of Secure Your Materials

Basic Materials needed for this project are a piece of replacement windows glass, we bought 30"x36" from Home Depot. We also bought a basic mirror mounting kit, grand total for materials was 15 dollars and change. We chose to double the work space, so we bought two of everything.

Step 2: Tools Needed

Picture of Tools Needed

The only tool you really need is a #2 Phillips screwdriver, but it is also nice to have a measuring tape, drill and matching drill bit. It will also be helpful to have another person around to help out with all the measuring, or "eye-balling"

Step 3: Installation

Picture of Installation

Mark out an area the size of your piece of glass. After marking the space, measure in from the top and bottom edges 3" and make marks, these will be the marks for your mounting Mollys.

Using your Screwdriver or drill, make holes where you have marked and insert Mollys.

Step 4: Mount and Enjoy

Picture of Mount and Enjoy

Mount mirror hardware on the bottom two Mollys, and rest the glass on them.

Once glass is in place, secure the other top two pieces of mirror glass hardware to hold the glass in place on the wall.

Step back and ENJOY! These were the two we installed today, much cheaper and much more elegant than a store bought whiteboard!


paula.galinskijohnson (author)2015-04-01

Is there any way to make the edges less sharp? I just bought the glass, and sliced my hand, just taking it out of the packaging. I love the look of it, but am afraid that if anyway brushes the edge of it, they'll get cut. Thanks for any advice!

oh no! Yes, that's problematic.

In stained glasswork, we actually file those shards off cut glass edges.

Do it carefully, wear gloves and eye protection, and make sure to support the majority of the glass on a table (on top of a towel, so you don't scratch it) so you don't snap it by applying an accidental fulcrum point. Use a medium-fine grit sanding sponge to eliminate the sharpest parts from any edge that wasn't cut perfectly square.

Then try wrapping the edges in a foil tape - there's copper tape used for stained glass work (available at craft stores), or aluminum tape used for duct work (available in home improvement or HVAC stores). Google "wrapping glass edges in foil tape" . Once you do this, I'm sure it will bring you to all sorts of other ideas to solder or add brass channel - or else just cover over that with a more attractive color of gaffer tape or washi tape. Hope you haven't been cut to pieces since then!

Densonsmith (author)2015-11-25

Good idea but too dangerous unless you use tempered glass which is much more expensive!

DavidF115 (author)2015-10-11

Great idea - I have an office full of people that use standard whiteboards and would like something better, I just don't have thousands to outfit every conference room with the glass ones. I'm going to give this a shot. One question: Molly's typically require a hole that's larger than than a screw. At least the way I've installed them in the past, the hole would be larger than the mirror hardware shown in the picture. How did you get the clean look and hide the drilling?

Great question, although i sited molly's to be used, we used "screw anchors" which when installed are flush with the wall, white and paintable. #6 screw anchors should work just fine. Good Luck!

MagdalenaO made it! (author)2015-07-20

We made it! looks awesome on our wall..

we used clips on the sides to ensure that it doesn't slide out..

used cork strips and thin duct tape for decorative purpose

MagdalenaO made it! (author)2015-07-20

We love our new glass message board.

We used clips on the side to ensure that it wouldn't slide out.. thank you for the idea!

KirtM (author)2015-01-24

Any advise on how to make a mobile one?

TheKnottedTrunk (author)KirtM2015-01-26

i would think that using a plexi-glass sheet instead of glass, and adhering it to the wall with 3m command strips would work great!

jgregory83 (author)2014-07-22

Just done this! Great idea. I painted a black frame on mine. It's on the back side of the glass so it won't get scratched. Looks unique and creative. Thanks for sharing.

Kimmono (author)jgregory832015-01-19

Nice! Great idea painting the border on the back. These are my favorite glass boards, , I LOVE all the bright colors!!!

I think you could get a similar effect by painting the back of the glass, like you did the border. I know there is glass specific paint, but I've only found it in small quantities (8oz) so far. They even have some that are frosted, which might look really cool!

What type of paint did you use and has it maintained it's good looks over the past 6months? Thanks for sharing!

wow that looks great!! Love the border. And cod see doing that to go with the kitchen decor, glad to see somebody making use of this!

I got away with mine for $7.50 the glass at home depot was $6 and the pack of hangers was $1.50. I already had the paint and masking tape. Thanks again for sharing your idea. It's the little things that makes life fun and interesting.

ronphillips (author)2014-07-22

My friend in the glass business suggested using tempered glass for safety. It is available from scrapped thermal panes that lost their seal.

Also, an erasable marker can remove permanent marker. Just scribble over the permanent marker, wait until it dries, and erase. You might have to repeat.

Kimmono (author)ronphillips2015-01-19

Good call on the tempered glass. That is what the whiteboard manufacturer's use...typically about 1/4" thick.

craftycraft (author)ronphillips2014-07-22

You can actually use permanent, like Sharpie erases great with little alcohol on a rag. Water will work as well, but requires a little more rubbing.

tamibarrera (author)2014-12-18

Love it. My daughter wants one for Christmas and you are right - they cost a fortune. I am using this idea and will have it up for when she returns. Yay. Thank you ever soooo much and may you have a glorious day. Thank you for sharing.

therewillbeblood made it! (author)2014-10-31

I think the materials' prices went up at Home Depot. It cost me about $20 to make a 30' x 36' glass one. I looked at the acrylic panels and they just didn't have the 'je ne se quois'.... you know, the confidence in the materials.... Kinda like metal toys back in the day vs. plastic toys they make today.

dsantil71 (author)2014-09-11

Rubbing alcohol will remove even permanent ink!! Try it.

MichaelAtOz (author)2014-07-23

What's a Molly?

It's a kind of bolt that has a piece that expands after you put it through the wall in order to keep the bolt from pulling back through.

Suzanne in Orting, WA

Yep, thanks Suzanne,

With a bit more searching found

Apparently a trade name, not so known down-under.

I would have used a generic term like wall anchor. But good to expand my tradesmans vocab.

dsantil71 (author)MichaelAtOz2014-09-11

They r sold as one piece the metal anchor & machine screw already in it whereas a regular wall anchor is usually plastic and sold with screws not inside them. So a little different. Also the way they "anchor" is somewhat different. I think the molly might be suited for heavier loads.

pbrunson (author)2014-07-28

I have used something like this years ago. I attached the network diagram (or anything else your working on) on the back and used the glass to make notes and comments on it. Very handy.

Suzanne in Orting (author)2014-07-25

Yours is Dry Erase board SO cool! Ours came with a mortgage. We've used a glass door in the kitchen for years, ever since I was helping my son with a math problem and wished that I had a chalk board. I never would have thought of it otherwise.

Djaz69 (author)2014-07-22

you could even buy plexiglass which if it falls won't be prone to easy breaking. I use the windshield of my semi as a dry erase all the time. you could even mount the glass in a whitewashed wooden case and have a raised one. maybe some back lighting as well.

Gary Viveiros (author)Djaz692014-07-24

I've done extensive mounting and cleaning of commercial white-boards based on coated tempered Masonite backing. I've come to the conclusion that the thing that wears out the shiny, easy-to-erase surface of the whiteboard is the felt tip of the marker. It is the equivalent of using a mildly abrasive dish or pot cleaning scouring pad. Once the shiny surface is worn, the ink now lodges in the fine grooves and pits which is evidenced by the loss of the gloss surface of the whiteboard. I've used cleaning detergents on white boards followed up by a scrubbing of chalkboard chalk, and commercial whiteboard cleaners, but as long as the glossy surface is scratched, it won't last. Glazing over the board with a hard clear surface like glass, itself is great - as long as you carefully consider the implications of breakage. I would recommend using a white window-tinting film on the reverse side. Not only will you get a good white, but should the glass suffer breakage, the tinting film will prevent disaster by holding the pieces together rather than an avalanche of shards.

TheKnottedTrunk (author)Djaz692014-07-22

Love the backlighting idea! Never thought of using my car window!

BikerBro (author)2014-07-23

Saw a similar idea to this many years ago in a restroom in an NCO club in Alaska to minimize the graffiti! I think it was plexiglass on the walls over the urinals. But it worked. I like your idea. A friend of mine has been using the windshield of his truck for ages. I have found that leaving markings on the actual boards for a long time makes it almost impossible to remove. I will try your glass idea. Thanks for your instructable.

Battlespeed (author)2014-07-21

Get a sheet of white acrylic panel board from any home supply store (Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.). About $15, much lighter than glass, and no glare.

Battlespeed (author)Battlespeed2014-07-21

Forgot - here's a video link.

Battlespeed (author)Battlespeed2014-07-21

Heck - forgot this too. At HD, Lowe's etc. they'll cut your panel for you, so measure your intended space ahead of time and save any headaches with bringing it home and cutting it yourself.

dave367 (author)Battlespeed2014-07-22

I was going to repeat this trick as well. Lowes/HD want like 50 cents/cut, but will make as many as you like. So, getting the 4X8 panel cut into, say 3-6 whiteboards only costs a couple of bucks, making their net cost on the order of $4 apiece--and now they'll fit in your trunk! You can hang with double-stick tape and remove the ghosting/staining with alcohol-based or ammonia-based whatever. Hand sanitizer works very well (the stuff with lotion included even better), also works with permanent marker. So does window cleaner. DON'T use acetone. That stuff is carcinogenic and adsorbs right through your skin into your blood. Ditto through your sinuses.

OTOH, I really like the elegance of your glass boards. Yeah, tempered's a good idea, but if your shop is all adults, it's prob OK.

dougstrickland (author)dave3672014-07-23

"That stuff is carcinogenic and adsorbs right through your skin into your blood"

If its "...through your skin.." then the word is absorbs. Adsorbs only adheres to the surface.

Rick500 (author)dave3672014-07-22

Will you point me to a source on your comment that acetone is carcinogenic? I thought it was not.

dave367 (author)Rick5002014-07-22

Hmmm, I guess I stand corrected--can't find any! I was warned many years ago not to use acetone--or any other organic solvent--for cleaning epoxy or styrene-based resins off skin, because of potential for absorbing carcinogens through the skin. Perhaps it assists in the transfer of the more dangerous un-catalyzed epoxy? Apparently, you can swim in acetone. Have fun!

Rick500 (author)dave3672014-07-22

Well it certainly smells very unpleasant. That's enough for me to not want to use it. I was just curious if it had recently been found to be more dangerous than previously thought.

mwilson5 (author)Battlespeed2014-07-22

I have tried this and while they are good for short term things if you leave things on them for an extended period they tend to stain, even with dry erase markers.

Also, come of the cleaning products, primarily organic solvent ones, tend to leave the whole panel off white.

Overhill7 (author)Battlespeed2014-07-22

My experience with white acrylic panel board didn't work. The board retained color from the markers (dry erase). Hard scrubbing would not remove all residue. It may have been the brand of white acrylic panel board my Home Depot carries, but it was a mess and had to be replaced. The glass sounds like a great solution.

Cofeecat (author)2014-07-22

This is such a nice simple idea so many can get creative and expand on it. Love the etching idea.

I've "made" few dry erase boards over the years. The first one was my refrigerator. I wrote straight on it. When I got a new textured fridge, I used a plastic sheet protector attached to the refrigerator door. Now I'm using the bathroom mirror. My mirror is just an inexpensive framed mirror, probably from Home Depot. Now I've been wanting to add is something that will catch the erased dried ink and is easy to clean. I'm thinking of making another dry erase board for my home office. I think I might just go buy a frame that already has glass in it. Thanks for the new inspiration!

redtait (author)2014-07-22

OOH! Could etch the backside around edges- then when nothing is on the board it still looks like it has a purpose!

I've used pic frames with scrapbooking paper behind it , works great. Also used the white acrylic panels in my classroom and at home, and yes they do stain and yes you can use things to get the stains off, kind of a pain- just depends if you have kids- etc. The glass is definately a nicer look.

JetBoer (author)2014-07-22

Awesome instructable. I did the same thing a few years back cause I wanted a white board, but the conventional one is way more expensive than glass. My wall has a lot of defects, so I had to paint the back of the glass with appliance white, took a couple of spray cans to get it even (1.1m x 2.0m Glass). Mine is practical, but yours is actually quite stylish.

techno guy (author)2014-07-22

I have two "glass boards" that I salvaged from these 2 dead printers I had. Just get the glass scanner bed and write on it.

azharbass (author)2014-07-22

Haha I love this! Although I have to be honest, I've been using my bedroom mirror as a whiteboard since I could find dry erase markers. I like this, it seems more refined and modernistic but i would have loved to see you post images of the actual mounting itself. :)

TheKnottedTrunk (author)2014-07-21

These are great ideas, however, we wanted the glass as to not make it look like we had a white board on the wall. We wanted the wall paint color to be the background of the board, and we can erase it for when we have company

Nice job!

mrandle (author)2014-07-22

I used to have something like this from ikea. It had holes in the corners for easy mounting and was frosted on the back. It was 20 bucks so yours is cheaper and any size you want! I wonder if they would have the same mounting hardware it would look neat!

ooohlaa (author)2014-07-22

I meant to add that I think elegant is a good word for this project. Very nice. Would even be great in a restaurant or boutique for menus or promos.

TheKnottedTrunk (author)ooohlaa2014-07-22

Great ideas! Thank you for the kind words!

pravs2k (author)2014-07-22

My kitchen door to the utility area has glass. I spray painted the back to make a white board .Saved me the cost of making one.Wall space as well.Don't need a curtain either.

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