White Board on a Budget




Introduction: White Board on a Budget

About: I am a Mechanical Engineer working in Northern Colorado. I am a science geek and builder of things. Workshop improvements and general house DIY projects are my specialty, but with the right recipe of motiv...

Hello All,

This is my first instructable and it was actually inspired by a few other instructables that I thought I could improve on. This project cost $22.18 plus tax (including the Expo markers) and is perfect for a dorm room or a rented apartment because it is non-destructive (get that security deposit back!). I am a mechanical engineering student and realized the great value of a white board after going through reams of engineering paper (expensive stuff for those who don't know), just to throw them away because I messed the problem up. Writing a problem out on a large (32" by 48") erasable surface has proven to be very efficient and well worth the investment. So, from my own experience and troubles, I bring you a solution (one of many as there is always more than one way to solve a problem). Good luck!

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Step 1: Acquire Your Materials and Tools

For this project I used:


Tape Measure (ruler)

Scissors (knife)



DPI 4-ft Painted Hardboard Marker Board Wainscot - $10.51 @ Lowes (http://www.lowes.com/pd_61082-46498-31023248_0__?p...

(This board is 32" by 48", but anything larger or smaller would still work)

Command 4-Pack Large Picture Hanging Strips - $4.28 @ Lowes (http://www.lowes.com/pd_3044-98-17206_0__?productI...

EXPO® Chisel Tip Dry Erase Starter Set - Assorted - $7.39 @ Target (http://www.target.com/p/expo-chisel-tip-dry-erase-...

The last bit of materials I used are two medium sized command strips cut into 1/2 inch pieces for adhering the markers and eraser to the bottom corner of the board (see photos later on (this instructable is post completion so I apologize for the lack of photos))

Step 2: Position Your New White Board

After getting all of your materials, the next step is to pick a location for your board. I live in a room that is about 8' tall so I measured down 12" and made a light pencil line on my wall. This will be the top of my board. From here I applied the large command strips.

The four large command strips can hold up to a 16 pound frame (according to the packaging). Before hanging I put my markerboard wainscot (32" x 48") on the scale and it came in at 6.6 pounds, so all four command strips is redundant (two would work, but as an engineer we are trained to make systems at least a little redundant). Anyway, I just followed the instructions on the back of the command strips and placed four sets in the four corners (or close to the corners) of the board.

The next part is a little tricky. Positioning the board where you want it can be a bit of a hassle when you have all four command strips to worry about, but just remember that all you have to do is get it close and you can reposition it a little bit later.

Step 3: Equip the Board

This last step is optional. I wanted to have my markers and eraser close at hand on the board and had two medium black command strips laying around, so I put them to work.

For the eraser I took one full set (a set meaning two black command strips stuck together) and stuck them on the eraser and then onto the lower corner of the board.

The markers took a little more prep. I took one more set and cut them into 1/2" strips. Two of these strips were used for all four markers. I applied them to the board and the marker separately since the markers are round and the board is flat. I probably could have taken a bit more time and made them line up nicely along the bottom edge of the board, but it's working for me.

And you're done! Enjoy the board and good luck!

PS If you liked my instructable, please send your vote my way for the DIY University Contest. Thanks!

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11 Discussions


5 years ago

Thank you for this! We are moving to new offices and unfortunately leaving behind our dry erase walls we painted less than a year ago. The paint is really expensive and this is a fantastically affordable alternative.


5 years ago on Introduction

Looks good. The markers hanging upside is a good detail. This keeps the ink at the tip of the marker where you want it.


4 years ago

I made this, but put it on top of a bookshelf. Great idea!

Thank you so much for the post. I had been looking for the good quality white board on my budget for a while. I tried the marker board ($9.97) from Home Depot before. The the texture on surface was not smooth and took the elbow effort for erasing even at the first try. So I bought the marker board from your suggestion from Lowes. The surface was smooth and super easy to clean with the standard eraser. I bought the same dry erase set as your suggestion as well. Thank you again for the post. :)


5 years ago on Step 2


I did this in my office and it worked great.

As far as positioning, I found it easier to have a friend hold the board and mark the corners with pencil. I then placed the Command strips on the wall first within that perimeter, "hooked" the second strip to those on the wall and peeled off the backing.

It was then a simple matter of putting the board up inside the marked corners.

I've done the repositioning thing and have found this to be easier.

Oh.. I also over engineer the thing and used 1 strip in each corner and added one to the middle.

Great Instructable though!!



5 years ago

I like it!


5 years ago on Introduction

not to point to a particular big box store, but i bought a 4x8 sheet of "tile board" from Home Depot. It has been a great white board for 10 years. home depot lists as


I made the "chalk try" from some base board trim. It catches some of the falling dust generated when you erase , and provides a place for markers and such.