Storage Tips

Get Organized Fast With This Striking (But Practical!) Clipboard Wall

October 20, 2016

I just moved my desk into our underused living room. There's this huge blank wall next to it that I've never really know what to do with (it's also right next to our front door), and integrating my office seemed like a good opportunity to finally address the, well, opportunity.

I’d seen a row or column of hung clipboards before, but I thought it might look cool on an even larger scale—an impactful visual installation that would also be practical for an workspace and entryway of sorts. And I was right!

Photo by Liz Johnson

Here’s how you can make your own clipboard wall.

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You’ll need:

  • Clipboards (I bought 3 packs of [these])(
  • Small nails (I used 1-inch wire nails)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Hammer
  • Twist ties

(It cost me about $30 total, though I already had a hammer and paintbrush on-hand.)

1. Figure out how many clipboards you’ll be using.

I went with a 6 x 3 grid of 18 clipboards because those proportions fit my wall. I could also see a long and short grid (like 5 x 2), or a tall and skinny one, depending on the space with which you’re working.

Photo by Liz Johnson

2. Paint your clipboards.

I went with black (I think it makes them look a bit more grown-up and I like the sharp contrast against the white wall), but I could also see a bright pop of color being fun in certain spaces, or even creating an ombré effect, by painting each row a slightly different color. Or go metallic! Or paint them the same color as your wall! Or just leave them naked!

I laid down a long roll of kraft paper and painted them in batches. I found that twist ties (like what you find on bagged bread!) work great for keeping the clip part open so I could easily paint underneath it.

I used a cheap 1-inch paintbrush—it was small enough to paint around the clip easily, but big enough to make quick work of the larger middle parts, too. If I could do it again, I might also get a small roller brush to make even quicker work of it.

Don’t forget to paint the sides/edges!

Photo by Liz Johnson

3. Measure out your grid and hang your clipboards.

I used standard 9.5 x 13” clipboards, and I left about 2 inches of space between each side. I’d suggest keeping the horizontal and vertical gaps a similar or same size; it creates a sense of cohesion when you step back and look at the wall as a whole (instead of them looking like individual columns or rows).

Some things to take into consideration: Will furniture be underneath or next to your grid? Do you have small children (or pets) who would gleefully destroy any clipboards within reach? Will any nearby doors cover part of your grid when open?

Photo by Liz Johnson

4. Style up your wall and put it to work!

But don’t rush to fill it up for filling-it-up’s sake. I think the clipboards look great empty—there’s just something about multiples that’s really striking. I’m using mine for a rotating mix of visual inspiration and practical organization.

Here are some ideas for things you could hang:

  • Grocery lists and schedule reminders
  • Wedding invites and baby announcements
  • Photos and postcards
  • Paint and fabric swatches
  • Kids’ art, homework, and found “treasures”
  • Each family member having their own row or column
Photo by Liz Johnson

The best part about hanging things on clipboards is it’s so easy to change out. All the prominence of framed pieces, without the commitment! I could see this wall changing on a seasonal, weekly, even daily basis: holiday cards around Christmas, photos of a special someone to celebrate a birthday, or even just individual clipboards devoted to particularly busy days of the week.

What color would you paint our clipboard wall? Tell us in the comments.

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1 Comment

Alex May 17, 2018
I LOVE this idea. The only problem is that I'm currently renting an apartment, so we're not allowed to put nails in our walls. Do you have any other suggestions as to how to hang the clipboards? Do you think velcro command strips would work?