Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Teacher Gifts: Acrylic Clip Boards

The end of the school year is upon us. The Short Chic is about to finish her first year of school and is already looking forward to being a First Grader next year.

The Short Chic loves her teacher and talks about her all the time. I know the school year provides us with several times to express our gratitude towards those who teach our children. We just celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. If you are like me, I am always trying to find the best gift I can to show the teacher our thanks.

I started making Acrylic Clip Boards this past year for holiday presents for my co-workers. They are easy to make. Relatively inexpensive. And just super cute! Here are some of the clipboards I have recently made:

Now let's get to the how to of the project. I took a class at Creating Keepsakes Convention (CKC) a few years ago on Acrylic scrapbooks. That class really helped me figure this project out easily.

The first step, as with any project, is to gather your supplies.

  •  I found acrylic clipboards all over the place (Wal Mart, Target, even Dollar General had them). 
  • I buy vinyl from Pick Your Plum every time they have a daily deal featuring it. 
  • Cricut machine. I love my machine and keep looking for reasons to use it! I have lately been thinking about purchasing a silhouette machine but I just have not made the commitment. 
  • Cricut cartridges
  • Hole Punches
The next step is to cut the vinyl.

You want the vinyl to go on the backside of the clipboard so it does not interfere with using the clipboard, so you need to cut mirror images of the vinyl. I simply put the vinyl onto the sticky mat upside down.

I make sure the pressure is up as high as it can on the Cricut machine. The needle has to cut through the vinyl and the paper backing.

Select your font, select your design, and CUT!

Turning the clipboard over so you are working with the back view, next start layering. Normally in scrapbooking you layer from the bottom to the top but in working with acrylic clipboards you want to layer in reverse. You want to layer from the top back.

I started with a simple saying, "You're the best". Then I added a gold ribbon. Use a credit card or something flat to smooth out any bubbles. .

(NOTE: The bubble showing in the photo on the right hand side is not on the acrylic clipboard at all. In fact, my husband decided to iron on our kitchen table and it made the varnish bubble!)

Still working from the back, continue layering until all the layers are added. I realized after I made this clipboard for our kindergarten teacher that depending on your design you might be able to take this another step.


When you are finished, turn the clipboard over and admire the view from the front. 

I added the teachers name and the clip board was finished.  I think if you wanted to, you could tie ribbon to the clip attachment. The names are a bit tricky. Just always be mindful that what you are working with has been cut out backwards, needs to be stuck down backwards, but you want it to look right when you are finished! With that in mind from the back view, the M in Mrs. was actually on my right hand side and moved to the left. Which is contradictory to how we write! It took my brain a few seconds to figure out that the wrong way was the right way for this project. 

If you wanted to, from the back you could finish layering from top to bottom and then layer again from bottom to front to give the clipboard the same look from front to back.

I did that on the Mickey Mouse Clipboard:


These clipboards are a great gift for anyone who uses a clipboard frequently. Teachers, trainers, coaches, and medical staff all use clipboards. They are an easy way to show your appreciation and to brighten their daily life just a little!

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