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I tend to use a lot of paper to track temporary notes, be it post-its, notebooks, back of junk faxes etc. I wanted to reduce my paper usage as well as making my information somewhat more secure as sometimes the data is confidential and I have to shred it. Using a whiteboard is the way to go, but those sold as either too expensive, too thick or too big. So here I present you the Low Cost Lettersize Office Whiteboard!

Step 1: Materials Needed

For this project, you will need:

  • a blank sheet of paper (A4 or Letter)
  • a transparent sheet (those used for projectors for instance)
  • scotch tape

The blank sheet of paper could also be printed with very light colored lines (horizontal and/or vertical) to provide a guide when writing or drawing.

Step 2: Process

Cut 4 pieces of tape so that they cover either the whole length and whole width or partial length and partial width of the transparent + paper combo. I prefer partial so that I can remove the tape more easily.

The transparent I used has a smooth side and a gritty side. For a test run, place the gritty side against your blank sheet of paper. If using a paper with lines or grid, make sure you can see them through the transparent.

Put the scotch tape on the smooth side of the transparent, so that half the width of the tape is on the transparent and half over nothing. Do it for all 4 sides of the transparent.

Now turn the transparent so that the gritty side is facing you and very carefully put the paper over the transparent, doing your best to avoid the loose scotch tape. When you are happy that it covers the transparent properly, you can fold the scotch tape over the paper. An alternative would be to place another transparent so that your whiteboard is double-sided (maybe with one side with grids or line and the other blank) and then fold the scotch tape.

You're done! With whitboard erasable markers, you can now track your temporary notes and erase them securely and cheaply and more importantly, see how your paper usage reduces dramatically!
I put white paper in a heavyweight glossy sheet protector. Works great, has the holes already in, goes straight away into my notebook Oh, and it is cheap
Very nice, easy, low-cost white-board indeed! I used an already available sunmica sheet that was of no use at home, to put in between the transparency and the paper. I have a need to make it bigger like 3 x 4 feet or more. This sized paper and transparencies even if available would cost high so is there any other option to make a bigger sized version?
Cool Idea! You could use krylon fusion white paint and coat the sheets making it lighter and more durable...
Why not use lamenting pouches and put them through a laminator? It would be easier.
You can get lexan or plexiglass at Lowes or Home Depot.
You could leave one side without a piece of tape, so you can slide printed things in (like scout3030 said) and even replace the plastic sheet with thin plexi-glass or lexan to make it more robust
I appreciate all your comments, and indeed, it could be improved using pre-graphed paper or keeping an end open for sliding things in. As for making it more robust, I thought about it (although not using plexi-glass or lexan -- where do you find this anyways? I'm curious), but I wanted the whiteboard to be as thin as possible and easy to fold away, just like I used to use waste paper and such to make my notes. This is thin enough it can slide under my keyboard when I type. Anyways, I am curious to know how much paper you guys saved after using it for 1 month. Let me know! Artaxerxes
I can see how it would be handy to have it more compact and portable, but if you need plexiglass/lexan, you can get sheets in various sizes and thicknesses at Lowes or Home Depot. To make a cheap whiteboard you can get a 2x3 foot, 3mm peice and spray paint the back white. P.S. - try to get the correct or closest sized piece because without proper tools, the thick plastic is hard to cut.
Congratulations! Simple but very good idea. There are some other Instructables about home made white boards, but the idea of using transparencies is the key! Compared to the other plastic films, they are cheap, glossy (easily erasable), highly transparent, smooth and flexible. One can apply a sheet on every flat or curved shape and adapt to different uses. The thin desk version can be quickly converted to a vertical whiteboard by blocking it on rigid notebook holder.
Also, you can use plastic sheet protectors and do away with the labor...
... and beef it up with a plain piece of cardboard behind the paper. Great idea, Artaxerxes - and good suggestions from everyone else.
Good Job!
I like it. A very simple, economical solution. This idea can also be varied greatly, once you start printing things on the sheet of paper (graphs? templates?). Good one.
you can do the same thing a bit more permanent if you have one of those a4 lamanators. or else just use the white board makers on a mirror, works especially well if you tend to forget things in the morning like I do.
Beautiful. I have a related idea which I want to post!

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