Patchwork clipboards are really easy to make. Of course, they can be made in many different ways but this is my method...they are pretty, simple, totally usable....and very gift-able. I hope seeing a few steps sparks some ideas that you'd like to try.
First, gather the supplies:
- standard (letter-sized) clipboard
- 6x6 paper stack or paper scraps
- decoupage glue
- strong craft glue
- sanding sponge
- old magazine or catalog
- foam brush
- buttons and twine
Cut the paper stack or scraps into several 3x6 and 3x3 pieces. I used a paper stack this time...it's an easy way to work with coordinating papers without much thought.
Arrange the cut papers. Keep the layout as shown but put them together the way you like. Include two small squares for the top of the clipboard.
This is the only hard part of the project. Cut a small strip from one of the squares and place it on top of the clip hardware (the part connected to the clipboard). Use your fingers to press the paper around the clip, lift it up, and cut around the indentations you made (it helps to look at the back of the paper to see the indentations a little better). You should have a piece of paper that fits perfectly. Do the same thing on the other side of the clip.
Now we're ready to glue the pieces to the clipboard. Use an old catalog or magazine...lay a paper piece on the catalog and use the foam brush to apply the decoupage glue to the back of the paper. Place the piece on the clipboard and smooth it with your fingers. With the arrangement I've shown, the pieces will overlap slightly in some places. Flip the page of the catalog and repeat with the rest of the patchwork pieces. Let dry.
The next step is important. Sand the edges of the paper over the entire clipboard. This gives a finished look to the edges and a little life to patchwork pieces. I use a sanding sponge that you can find at any hardware store in the paint supply aisle. I put the clipboard in my lap to do the sanding...paper dust gets all over my clothes and on the kitchen floor. Here's a before and after sanding comparison:
See how much better the sanding makes it?
The next step is to seal the papers so they are durable and ready for everyday use (one of my clipboards fell into a crockpot of chicken soup once and I just had to wipe it clean). I hold the clip open, apply the glue under the right side, and slide a pen under the left side to keep the clip open while the glue dries. Do the same thing for the left side. Put a good coat of glue over the rest of the surface being careful to hit the edges too. Let dry and give the entire clipboard and edges a light sanding.
We're almost done. Adding the buttons is not necessary but it's a nice way to hide the brand name on the clip hardware. I used three vintage buttons and threaded the middle one with a piece of baker's twine. Glue the buttons to the clip with a strong craft glue (I use a version of wackytac).