Make a Custom Magnetic Clipboard

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Are you a list maker? I’m an avid maker of lists, but also a chronic forgetter of lists. How many times have I found myself at the grocery store as my shopping list rests forgotten at home? The world will never know. Though they may get misplaced, lists are a necessary part of maintaining my sanity, particularly in the kitchen.

To improve my list-making abilities, I wanted to make a little note command center that wouldn’t look ugly on my kitchen refrigerator. I needed one part to hold removable notes for trips to the store while another part could be for writing temporary messages, like my honey-never-mind-I’ll-do-it-myself lists. I came up with this little wooden clipboard that combines both of these list-making needs with a magnet on the back for mounting on a refrigerator or locker. Check out how I made it below!

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Materials:
-1 3/8″ x 4″ x 36″ piece of select pine (I bought a 36″ piece and used 12.5″) / $3.25
-2 3/8″ #4 screws / $.50
-clip no wider than 3″ (like this one or this kind) / $2
-chalkboard paint (spray or brush on) / $5
-primer (optional but recommended)
-wood stain or paint / $5
-painter’s tape / $2
-Gorilla Glue / $5
-magnets (strips or individual) / $2
-120-220 grit sandpaper / $2

Total Estimated Cost for All Materials*: $27
My Cost (wood, screws, clip, and magnets): $5.75

*Most of these materials are small portions of supplies that a crafter will have in his or her supply kit. That is why I also note the amount I paid to complete the project, which does not include the materials I already had.

-paint brush
-screw driver
-wet rag or sponge
-clamps (optional and not shown above)

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step One: Cut the 3/8″ x 4″ x 36″ piece of select pine lumber into 1 10.5″ piece and two 1″ pieces. If you do not have a saw, the lumber yard or hardware store will cut the pieces for you. Be sure to lightly sand down all cut or sharp edges.

Step Two: Dampen the areas of the wood that will be glued together. This helps activate the Gorilla Glue.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Three: Apply a thin bead of Gorilla Glue on the edges of the spacer piece of wood.

Step Four: Clamp together the pieces of wood as shown above, or use duct tape to simulate a clamp. The bond of the glue is improved with pressure. The glue will ooze as it’s activated. Be sure to wipe away any goop before it dries.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Five: After the glue has set up (1-2 hours), stain or paint the wood. I used Rustoleum’s “Driftwood” tinted stain. I had this leftover from my framing project.

Step Six: After the stain or paint has dried, attach the clip to the board with screws. You don’t need any power tools for this. A little pressure with a screw driver will drive the screw in nicely and pull the clip tightly against the wood.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Seven: Clip the paper you’ll be using into place. Post-its are the perfect size for this! Then apply masking tape around an area for the chalkboard below the notepaper. I made the width of my area to be the same as the Post-it note with about a 1/2″ spacing in between them. Before painting, press the edge of a fingernail along the edge of the masking tape to make sure no paint will sneak below it.

If you’re spray painting instead of brushing, you’ll need to remove the notepaper and mask over the entire clipboard before spraying. I used primer before painting because I had it on hand. It will help the paint job hold up over time.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Step Eight: Carefully remove the masking tape. If the paint begins to pull up with the tape, you should use a blade to separate the tape from the paint as you pull. I didn’t have a problem with this.

Step Nine: Use Gorilla Glue to attach magnets to the back of the board. Make sure you’ve tested the magnets to see which side should go against the refrigerator. If the magnets push away from each other while the glue is drying (mine did!), you can duct tape them in place.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Find a short pencil and some chalk for the tray, and you’re ready to start using your noteboard!

Just a warning— I first used an American Crafts chalkboard pen on this board because it writes so much prettier than regular chalk, but it wouldn’t wipe off! I had to apply another coat of paint to cover it up. Now this board is strictly for old-school chalk only.

Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!Magnetic Clipboard DIY- notes on the fridge can actually look cute!I love having a nice-looking note station exactly where I need it. Now I can write down what we need from the store exactly when I notice our supply is dwindling. Organization is now within my grasp! Look out, world! –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.

  • Yeah, I was mega annoyed. Those pens work great on the little plastic AC gift tags I bought at Target. Wipe off easy peasy. But not so with a rough, traditional blackboard kind of finish. I felt the need to shout it from the roof tops to keep other people from the same frustrations! -Mandi

  • Love this! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #listmakersgonnalist

  • Ugh, I worked so hard on a project then the pens did the same thing! Glad you were able to also easily repaint & have a useful item too! (mine was beige chalkboard paint and hot pink markers, so I just repaint after each use now)

  • It sometimes seems like the days of fridge magnets are long gone what with stainless steel and custom built-ins and what not, but I love fridge stuff! It is a rotating gallery! I also love lists and this is super cute 🙂

  • This is weird i was just thinking about making or customizing a magnetic board, and today i see this.. cool the ideas…


  • Love it! I need to make a little clipboard now.
    I use the chalkboard markers on my chalkboards, and they come off with some rubbing alcohol! I also was sure to “prep” the chalkboard first by rubbing normal chalk over the entire board.
    This is my post for the framed chalkboard I made! 🙂

  • As a multiple list maker, I love this! I seriously have 5 lists going at once, so this would be a perfect project for my kitchen related notes. Thanks for sharing, Mandi!

    – Jess

  • It’s my grandma! She was a tomboy, but you’d never know from this swimsuit, huh? 🙂 -Mandi

  • Yay! Allie is one of my very best gals. I miss her now that she lives in Nashville. 🙁 -Mandi

  • I need this in my life!

    Liz @
    Come by! Weekly Style Me Wednesday fashion blog link-up

  • It’s a DIY I did a while back. You can see it here: -Mandi

  • Thank you! I actually made them. You can see the process on my own blog here:

  • I love how this can hold 1 list and one chalkboard message – multi-purpose! I love that.
    Hey, you can even clip 2 or more lists underneath – I know I would!


  • Love this. So cute and so helpful, I’m alss one of these people who constantly forgets their lists

  • I love your DIY!
    The idea is fabalous.
    Thanks for it.

    Greetings & DIY Love

  • This is super cute and very handy! I am definitely an old-fashioned maker of paper lists! And a loser of lists. I write so many that I can’t find most of them. 😉


  • Cute! Just a tip – When writing with chalk, I like to dip the chalk in water first to make much cleaner lines 🙂

  • Mandi you are killing it! Also so fun to see that same print from Faithful Fort. We’re print twins. 🙂 -Sarah

  • So cute! I made something like this but with just the chalkboard painted on the wood for grocery listmaking on the fridge. Great idea to have the note paper there as well! The exact same thing happened to me with the chalkboard pen not erasing. I had “bananas” ghosted on the board for months before I took the time to repaint over it!

  • Adorable! Question – where did you get your heart letter magnets or is that a DIY?


  • LOVE this! definitely saving this for craft day!

    I have to ask….where did you get the AWESOME alphabet heart magnets??


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