Sneak Peek Office Makeover: DIY White Board

Not that I want this to turn into a DIY blog or anything, but can I just show you the super-easy, super-gorgeous, super-functional white board I made for my home office? I'm going to post some photos of the whole room makeover one of these days when I get my act together and finish off the 10% of it that still needs doing—nine of that ten percent is putting things away in drawers, hence the procrastination—but for now, here's a quick look at a little something I made over the weekend. 

When I was first thinking about what I wanted in my home office, a white board was right up there with, you know, a desk. I work best when I'm working from a list, and I work even better when that list is displayed as prominently in front of me as possible. While I love the floor-to-ceiling chalkboard wall I painted in my kitchen, a white board just seemed so much more....officey. And yet all the white boards I came across when I was searching were so unattractive and....well, officey.

So to recap: I wanted an officey thing for my office that didn't look like an officey thing for my office. A challenge!

Thanks to the magic of Pinterest—and my falling into rather a large Pinterest hole for an entire week, mainlining sugar-free Red Bull into the wee hours of the night so that I could frantically keep pinning like Jared Leto's character from Requiem For A Dream, okay that didn't really happen BUT IT FELT LIKE IT—I discovered that you can write on glass with a dry erase marker and it'll wipe right off. (Here's the original post I pinned.)

And that got the little wheels in my brain turning. Of course, they were supposed to be turning on other things at that point—when I'd need to defrost the chicken for dinner, who I needed to email back, how to solve world peace etcetera etcetera—but all I could think about was making my own white board that looked however I wanted. 

So I bought the Ung Drill frame at IKEA—which I have had my eye on for months and months, without ever really knowing what I could do with it—and I spray-painted it turquoise. That is basically the extent of this DIY, I'm afraid. It's really incredibly easy.

(I originally took a couple of photos that had my actual work to-do list on there, and then had a brief panic that I might be spilling company secrets or something, so rewrote it with something a little more vague. Despite this, I still totally forgot to buy cat food.)

I did have a bit of a job finding turquoise spray paint, but I finally found it at Michaels, five minutes before closing, and had to beg the woman in the framing department to open up the metal cage it was kept behind, while simultaneously convincing her that I wasn't going to use it to make meth or tag the local church or whatever it is they suspect nice young ladies pottering around Michaels on a Friday night are going to do with a can of turquoise spray paint. (The brand is Design Master and the shade is Robin Egg, and it is a whopping $6.99 a can, so bring a coupon. Look, I just told you to BUY YOUR SPRAY PAINT WITH A COUPON. Do I seem like the kind of person who'd use spray paint for ill will?)

Once it was dry—I did a coat of spray primer and then almost a whole can's worth of spray paint—I just put the glass back in, turned the grey IKEA backing paper around so it was white, secured the back onto the frame, and hung the whole thing on the wall. I bought a dry erase marker at Walgreen's and made my to-do list that day. And just like the Internet promised, the dry erase maker wipes off the glass like a dream.

See? No more to-do list. Now I'll NEVER remember the cat food.

Sep 01, 2011

WOW. That is so easy and lovely looking. I've been after a similar idea for the kitchen (hub wouldn't let me use blackboard paint!) so thank you for sharing, I'm off to frame shop!

Sep 01, 2011

This looks gorgeous!
I am confused, though. Once you have the glass covered with the paper, you are no longer writing on the glass, are you? So, how does it erase?
I am sorry if that's particularly dumb, but you know, it's 1 am and I've been doing research all my officey office :(

Pretzel Thief
Sep 01, 2011


Me wantey! Like, NOW. So, so awesome, dudette. Kudos!

Sep 01, 2011


Chris H.
Sep 01, 2011

Love it. Want to do it. But one question - when you erase, are you having problems with getting the frame dirty. When I saw the white-framed board to which you linked, that's the first thing I thought about - that the white frame would be blackened very quickly. Seems to happen to my regular whiteboards at school.

Sep 01, 2011

No no, shilpa, the white paper, it is underneath the glass. Like it's the picture you were framing.

Sep 01, 2011

What's not to love, a mirror AND a whiteboard, this is gorgeous. And you have such pretty handwriting!

Sep 01, 2011

What a fantastic idea!

Sep 01, 2011

I have had my eye on the same frame for a while. I might have to copy you and do this. In fact, I'm going to pin your idea. Also - we need to see a picture of the entire room soon. I'm planning to paint my living room navy blue and want to see how it turned out in your space!

Sep 01, 2011

Gorgeous! A totally new spin on the white board, which I also have a mild obsession with. Did you know they now make actual tables and desks with surfaces suitable to writing with dry erase pens? They do. And while it is a bit "officey," it is also an incredible amount of fun--and makes you feel a bit naughty like a kid with a crayon writing on inappropriate surfaces. Bonus!

Sep 01, 2011

Honestly, most people's DIY ideas seem hokey to me... but THIS COMPLETELY ROCKS. Anything that incorporates funky retro colors and antiquey-type stuff with actual functionality is just too cool for school. Way to go, Holly! Ever think of going on one of those designer challenge tv shows? You would kick some arse.

Now I'm off to the attic to find that ornate frame I couldn't figure out what to do with...

Sep 01, 2011

P.S. The cat says "Enough with the DIY... where's my damn food?"

Sep 01, 2011

i love this incredibly much. so easy! I'm not going to rip off your idea exactly, I'm going to paint mine hot pink. And I will think of you as I write my grocery lists. THANK YOU!

Sep 01, 2011

So awesome! And to bring things full-circle, I have now pinned this to MY Pinterest board for my kitchen, which is just screaming for something like this!


This whole project is awesome, but can I just say for a moment:

THAT FRAME. I NEED IT. I guess I'll be going to IKEA this weekend. Dammit.

Sep 01, 2011

Very pretty and creative and I'm totally stealing it.

Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 01, 2011

Shilpa -- Karen explained it perfectly: the white paper (which is just the backing paper that comes with the frame) goes UNDER the glass, so it's just like if you were framing a picture. Then you write on the glass and it wipes right off.

Chris H - I haven't found that the edges of the frame are getting blackened or dirty at all! I just use a piece of kitchen paper to wipe the glass and it comes right off -- doesn't even touch the edges of the frame most of the time. I guess if that happened you could always just re-spray paint the edges a little.

Sep 01, 2011

Wow. That's super smart! And pretty! And now I'm sad because my office needs a LOT of help. More help than a frame and a can of spraypaint can provide, I'm afraid.

Sep 01, 2011

Wow, I'm amazed at how easy that was! (Also, I sort of kind of saw that frame at Ikea the other day in someone's cart and I liked it, but had no idea how detailed it was... prettier than I thought! I'm sure I will be buying five. Just in case. ;)

Sep 01, 2011

Love it, and the fact that it's actually something that 'not-so-crafty' people like me could do too.

P.S. It hit me a couple of weeks ago that I've started to slot the colour turquoise and you in one box. I'd walked into a restaurant called Turquoise where the decor was, eh - turquoise and I was all, "oh, that's Holly's colour"!

Sep 01, 2011

I am silly, it's not a mirror, it's glass. I checked in very early this morning! Before my strong black coffee obviously!

Sep 01, 2011

OH! Holly! What a coincidence: THIS appeared on awesome geeky website this today. Just the thing for an irrepressible note/list writer... and just the thing for Sean's lunches!

Sep 01, 2011

Looks like I might need to get back into DIY this weekend as that looks amazing! My boyfriend painted an entire wall of his office yesterday with whiteboard paint and it looks fantastic but this is a much better solution for home.

Sep 02, 2011

so dry erase marker on a glass mirror can be erased too? at least now i save my lipstick!

Roxanna (miguelina)
Sep 02, 2011

Brilliant! I love your DIY

Sep 02, 2011

We always dry erase markers on the mirrors in our dorms rooms way back when. I still do it today, but love this idea more.

Sep 02, 2011

So it's just a piece of glass with the white side facing the wall and the plain, exposed glass facing the room?

Positively brilliant!

Sep 04, 2011

Great idea. Can't wait to see the whole makeover!

Sep 09, 2011

I looks great! Can't wait to see the rest of the office.

Sep 12, 2011

One thing I love about pinterest is that it allows me to see certain patterns in my interests. I merrily pin away and then start looking at what I actually pinned and then realize things like, "Hey, I pinned the exact same Ikea frame 47 times!" Some of them were various craft projects, some of them were just painted different colors, but some of them were the EXACT SAME link so I felt silly and had to delete the ones that had been pinned multiple times.

This project is high on my list of "things I might actually do if I can convince myself to brave Ikea." I learned the hard way to avoid both Ikea and Target when school starts. It's a mad house that makes me want to run screaming without having any Swedish meatballs.

Your project turned out beautifully so you may have motivated me to go to Ikea in the next few weeks!

Sep 12, 2011

I love that shade of blue and will now be on the look out for Robin's egg blue at Michaels. It came out so lovely!

Sep 13, 2011

I've been stalking that idea on Pinterest, also. I am planning on doing the same thing with my home office but with a white frame with some cute yellow wrapping paper behind the glass. My office is going to be yellow&white and hopefully cute when I'm done with it!

Sep 29, 2011

Reminds me of the days I used to write notes to my kids and hubby on the bathroom mirror with dry-erase markers. *sigh*...I sort of miss those days. Not the homework part of those days though...

Oct 05, 2011

WOW!!! This is so brilliant and simple...just discovered this blog and this one post makes me want to follow you forevers and evers!

Jan 27, 2012

While I'm not a fan of the ornate frame, I'm definitely using this idea with a regular empty frame! LOVE IT! I had no idea you could use dry erase markers on glass. :)

Barbara Bell
May 09, 2012

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! I love it!

Aug 30, 2012

These are great. You should try the dry erase film that comes in rolls and makes a dry erase surface on many surfaces. So you don't require the glass if its missing. It is available from Its easy to apply and you can cut it to any shape or size. Check out the photos of how they used it on kids tables.

Nov 03, 2012


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You rock! I stumbled upon your blog and now am marking it and will visit often. This is so pretty and simple and funny.

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