Introduction: Dry-Erase Board

Make your own dry-erase board. I have made a dry-erase board similar to these, but decided to refine the design a bit and document the process, and of course make an Instructable.


I was able to use mostly reclaimed barn materials for this project. The glass panes used to be in my parent's barn. I used some plywood left over from other projects for the back.

Boards (3/4" thick)

Plate Glass (9"x12") This project could easily be adjusted to accommodate for the size of glass you have available.


Sheet of Paper

Wood Putty

Paint or Stain (your choice)

Tools Used





Step 1: Cutting the Boards

Start by cutting the 3/4" thick boards to 1" widths. Then cut them to the required length. See plans for reference. There should be two boards cut to 13.5" and two boards cut to 10.5". I know the boards are longer than they need to be now, that is intentional. I did this so there wouldn't be mismatch with a board being too short. Cut the ends as shown on the plans. Once one end is cut be sure to measure from the cut end to mark the other end. The inside dimension is the important one, not the outside 1.25". Be sure not to cut too much. It is easier to cut a little more and adjust, otherwise there may be unsightly gaps.

There should be four boards now with the end notches cut out.

Step 2: Adjust Your Cuts

Assemble the four pieces into a rectangle and make sure they fit nice and snug. You may have to trim or sand a bit to make sure the pieces are flush with no gaps.

Step 3: Ledge for Glass

I used chisels to notch out the ledge that will hold the glass in place. Be sure to take your time on this step if you do use chisels instead of a router. The wood can split in the wrong spots if you are not careful. Set the glass on the ledges and make sure there are no gaps between the wood pieces. This will be covered up with a piece of plywood, so the back does not have to be very pretty. I then glued and nailed the frame together with the glass set in place so the frame doesn't move.

Step 4: Sand and Paint

Now trim the excess off the frame using a jigsaw. Flip the frame over so the ledges are on the back side. Sand the inside edges smooth. This is where your hand will be resting when using the dry-erase board so make sure the edges are smooth, don't want any slivers. I then painted the inside edges with two coats before the glass was inserted. This allows for a clean finish with no paint getting on the glass.

Step 5: Install Glass and Back

Clean the glass and make sure there is no dust or debris on the glass. Flip the frame back over so the ledges are showing. Set the glass in place. Use a sheet of paper as a background, tape the sheet of paper to the glass. I used a white sheet of paper, but you could use a colored or patterned piece of paper as well. Once the glass is set in place cut a piece of plywood to cover the back. I cut mine a little larger than needed so I could trim it once it was nailed on. I nailed the plywood to the frame. Be careful when nailing, there is only a half inch of room to nail on the edge. The glass is on the ledge on the other half inch. Make sure your nails aren't too long depending on the thickness of plywood you use. I then trimmed the plywood back so it was flush with the frame using a jigsaw. I used wood putty to cover up the nail holes and several other holes that were in the wood since I used some reclaimed wood.

Sand away. Take some time to sand. This could be the difference between a decent finished product and a great finished product. Don't sand what you already painted on the inside edge. Once all the edges are sanded and holes filled it's time to paint. I applied two coats of paint.

I made two of these and gave them for our generic Christmas gift exchange on both sides of the family. It makes a great gift for parents of young kids. Kids can use them to practice writing, math skills, drawing, etc. It also works great for making "To Do" lists or things like playing Hangman or Tic-Tac-Toe.

Hope you enjoyed!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015