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Friday, December 9, 2011

Whiteboard-Homemade

As noted in another post this month, I love public speaking & teaching. My Speaker's Storyboard idea addresses that need but at times my creative interests take other directions. For that, it would be nice to have a large whiteboard but they are too expensive and somewhat ugly in a home environment. I needed something that was less imposing.

I started searching Youtube for ideas and searched on "homemade whiteboard" and "makeshift whiteboard." The first one returned more results.  Here are my findings, hopefully, if you are looking for an inexpensive solution, these will be of value to you too:

First take a stiff piece of cardboard, the size of regular paper. Glue a sheet of paper on both sides. Slide the whole thing into a sheet protector, you can write on the surface of the sheet protector using dry erase markers and then easily wipe them off. Since sheet protectors typically have holes for 3-ring binders, you can place multiple mini whiteboards in a binder.

The next is for much larger projects. Perhaps you've seen the costly solution of static cling roll of whiteboard sheets. An alternate and much cheaper solution is to use cellophane. I priced it at my local Walmart and it was only three dollars (US). Here's a video made by the guy who first proposed this idea.

Another surface that I discovered all by myself is the hard plastic that encases most small electronics. That plastic is also used in selling other products. Recently I bought a shirt & tie combo that came encased in the plastic. I cut off the large front panel of the box, adhered a piece of white paper using double-sided tape and used it.

Here are some other fixed and semi-portable solutions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIZ6e58gxTU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgqrQqhghw4

I also discovered the following quite by accident.... I hesitate to post a link because it may not be available to you, however, at my local Home Depot, in the paint department, they have something called whiteboard paint. Essentially, it is paint that dries to become a whiteboard on whatever surface you apply it to. It was about $20. (FYI: They also had chalkboard paint, but that is nothing I'm interested in.)

Finally, here's an idea that does not use dry erase markers. Instead it uses Washable Markers. These are typically marketed as children's activity tools but they are useful as markers for a whiteboard concept. I use them on the back of my bedroom door to draw out ideas. After I am done, a damp cloth cleans the surface without any discernible residue--if left only for a few minutes. If you need a copy, take a picture using your phone or a dedicated camera.

So there you have it. Everything from a small portable whiteboard (using a sheet protector), to a much larger surface and you don't have to spend a fortune to get it.

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