Home » Make Your Own Custom Dry Erase White Board for under $35.00

Make Your Own Custom Dry Erase White Board for under $35.00

Make Your Own Custom Dry Erase White Board for under $35.00

Why are dry erase boards so expensive?  If you are like me and you have an office in your home, you’ve probably wished you had a dry erase board to jot down reminders, lists and other things.  I realized I needed one so I went to my local office supply store like Office Depot and Staples.

I was shocked to find that dry erase white boards are insanely expensive.  $75 for a 3′x 4′ board!  $150 for a 4′X 8′ board!  If you wanted a calendar dry erase board or a magnetic dry erase board the prices skyrocketed even further.  I thought that there must be a cheaper alternative and I was right.

You can make a high quality custom dry erase board for less than the cost of a small student or individual sized one.  This site will show you how to make a nice looking custom dry erase board for as little as $35.  The only skill you need to know is how to cut wood and drive nail onto a wall.


Home Depot sells dry erase board material which is just a melamine surface for $11.87 for a 4′ x 8′ sheet!  It’s called “White Panel Board.”  The hardest part in making this dry erase board for me was getting the big 4′ x 8′ sheet home in my truck.

diy dry erase board 2

How to Make Your Own Custom Dry Erase Board Materials (COST $35.00)

1: 4′x8′ sheet of dry erase board material
2: 25′ of wood moulding
3:  box of finishing nails

Step by Step on How to Make Your Own Custom Dry Erase Board

1. Goto Home Depot and Purchase the dry erase board material
2. Locate the studs in the walls and mark them
3. Cut the moulding into the following. 2 strips of 48.5″, 2 strips of 96.5″, make 45 degree angle cuts as shown.
4. At the bottom location of your dry erase board nail the 96.5″ moulding to the wall with the notch facing up.
5. Slide the dry erase board into the notch
6. Attach the side mouldings.
7. Place the other 96.5″ moulding at the top holding the top of the board in place and nail in place

OPTIONAL TOUCHUP

1. Stain the moulding to get a nice custom woodworking finish
2. Paint the moulding (use glossy or semi-gloss) to get a picture frame look

Pictures on How to Make Your Own Custom Dry Erase Board

What the material looks like at Home Depot

diy white board 1

It’s called Thrifty White Panel Board.  Comes in a 4′ x 8′ sheet

custom white board

It’s an acrylic melamine coating.

custom dry erase board

Here is the wall at my house that has a small 2′ x 3′ dry erase board that I paid $30 for at Office Depot.  The blue line shows the location of the new one that I’m installing.

white boards

Here is the bottom railing nailed onto the wall.  Now you just slide the white board into the groove and add the side rails.

diy white board 2

The right side and left side were added on and nailed.  Here is the close up of the corners.  The nail holes and corners can filled finished and filled.

white board corner

dry erase board corner

Here is the finished product!

custom white board done

Now you can make your own dry erase white board for only $35.

custom dry erase board done

All that is needed now is to build a ledge at the bottom to hold the dry erase markers, eraser and white board cleaner.

20 Comments »

  • Kevin said:

    I will be making one of these!

  • Danielle (author) said:

    Cool thanks for sharing!!

  • James said:

    What a great idea for both the office or the kids room! Thanks!

  • Andy said:

    That’s brilliant! Thanks for figuring out a way to get a better end product while saving more than double the money.

  • TK said:

    DUDE!!!! You need to start a BUSINESS ON THIS!!!! lol. Think about it, and let me know. Thanks for taking the time to put this information up here!

  • Sharmila said:

    Does anyone know if an easel will hold up a 2′x3′ whiteboard? I want to use it as a sign outside my office. What a great idea! Thanks for saving me $50-100!!!

  • mb said:

    think kids writing on the whole wall. Install it in the playroom! (or just make a whole wall of it for yte office!)

  • savannahmariee said:

    i lovee yoor ideaaaa! :D

    thankss soo muchh dudeee!

  • Eric said:

    How does this hold up to ghosting?

  • Glen said:

    It does not bow in the middle??? You did not have to use glue

  • Danielle (author) said:

    Hi Glen, It does not bow. The material is stiff enough to stand on its own.

  • Danielle (author) said:

    Hi Eric,

    It does not ghost unless you try to erase it by scrubbing too hard. I learned this the hard way. I use a dry erase board solution and an eraser and there’s no ghosting.

  • Tabitha the Boardkid said:

    I have an awesome idea for a dry erase board that is more functional than you would think it to be. It is super strong!!! It is not only good for writing on. You can also do acrobatics and stunts off of it!! No kidding. You can also call these things acroboards if you want. The Hebrew name for it is Mizbe’ach Ha Rikud which means “Altar of the Dance” I created a dance concept that centers around it. It is just like the one in my high school with one of those big solid wood frames on it. I fell in love with the ones in my high school and I decided to come up with a way to build for home because I just loved them. Sadly, I haven’t been able to build a big one yet because no room in my house is big enough for it!!! Here is how you would build it. I repeat: This is only for serious geeks and dancers/tricksters out there who have a big enough room in their house and want a multifunctional space. A basement that has a wall with no windows on one side is the best place for it. You got to have a haert for it. You need:

    12 2X4X10′ planks
    4 1X4X10′ planks (for the barre thing)
    2 White tileboard panels
    2 4′X4′ cork panels (for the ends or “wings”)
    A whole lot of .75″ quarter round or stop moulding for the inside of the frame; this is what holds the panels in the main frame.
    4″ hex bolt screws for mounting it
    1.25″ X.25″and .75″X.25″ flat moulding (for the barre thing)
    Gorilla Glue
    Wood Finish and wax or polyurethane
    42” oriental spanner piece for the middle (this holds the two whiteboard panels together)

    How to build it:

    1. Take one 2X4, measure it at 8′ and make forty five degree angles on both ends pointing towards each other like this: / \
    2. Take another 2X4, measure it at 8′ and make forty five degree angles on each end going parallel like this: / /
    3. Do this for the bottom two pieces and the top two pieces.
    4. Take two 2X4’s, measure them at 4′ and make forty five degree angles on both ends pointing towards each other like this: / \ These are the side pieces.
    5. Now for something challenging. Take one 2X4, measure it at 42” and cut it straight down the middle on its big side. These two pieces will function as the interior posts between the whiteboard panels and the wings.
    6. Take four 2X4’s, measure them at 4’ and make forty five degree angles on both ends going parallel like this \ \ These make up the wings of the board.
    7. Take a 1X4, measure it at 4’ on each end and make a forty five degree angle one only one end like this\ These two pieces go on the wing pieces.
    8. Take the two 4’ 2X4 pieces used for the base (That is the bottom of the board) and the two 4’ 1X4 pieces, line up the 1X4 with the angle on the 2X4 so that they meet flush together forming one angle like this \ Measure .5” out from the back of the 2X4 so that there is a .5” gap. This is so the wing boards can fit into the frame. Put some gorilla glue in between the two pieces and let it dry for about 12 hours. Do this for the other 1X4 and 2X4 piece. Now you have the two wing pieces for the base of the board complete.
    9. Take one 1X4, measure it at 8’ and make forty five degree angles on each end like this / \ Take another 1X4 measure it at 8’ and make forty five degree angles on each end like this / / These pieces are similar to the 2X4 pieces.
    10. Take the first set of 8’ 2X4 pieces (make sure that the angles interlock in the middle forming angles on each end like this: / \ The angle in the middle should be like this /) This will be the main base of the board.
    11. Take the 1X4 and the 2X4 with angles like this / \ and line them up so that they form to flush angles like this / \ Measure .5 inches at the back of the 2X4. There should now be a .5’ gap. This is to hold the whiteboard panels in the frame. Put some gorilla glue between the two pieces and let it dry for about 12 hours. Do this for the other two pieces with angles like this / / Now you have the main base of the board complete.
    12. Now for some challenge. Take all of the top pieces (make sure that the angles interlock together all the way across with angles on each end like this \ / Measure .5” all the way down the top on the inside of the frame. Take the .75” stop moulding and measure four pieces to match the angles of all of the top pieces. Affix this to each of the top pieces with some gorilla glue and let it dry for about 12 hours. Now the top pieces of the board are complete.
    13. Take the two side pieces with angles like this / \ and measure .5” on the inside of the frame. Take the .75” stop moulding and measure it to the inside of the frame. Make forty five degree angles on each end that match the angles of the two side pieces. Affix these to the two side pieces with some gorilla glue and let it dry for 12 hours. Now you have the side pieces of the board complete.
    14. Take the two 42” interior 2×4 pieces (the small ones) and measure .5” on both sides of each of the 2X4 pieces. Take the .75” stop moulding and measure it to fit the pieces for both sides. There should be four pieces of stop moulding here. Affix them to each side of the 2X4 pieces with some gorilla glue and let them dry for 12 hours. Now you have the interior pieces of the board complete.
    15. Now take the base pieces that have the barre mounted on them. Take the 1.25”X.25” flat moulding and measure it to fit each of the base pieces. The angles on them need to match up with the angles of the base pieces. You may wish to make angles on the ends of the pieces on the wings like this / \ Line each of these four pieces up at the back of the barre. Affix the pieces to the barre with gorilla glue and let them dry for 12 hours.
    16. Take the .75”X.25” flat moulding and measure it to fit each of the four base pieces. The angles on them should match the angles of the four base pieces. You may wish to make forty five degree angles on the pieces with the wings like this / \ Line each of the four pieces up at the front of the barre. Affix the pieces to the barre with gorilla glue and let them dry for 12 hours.
    17. Take a piece of the 1.25”X.25” flat moulding and measure it to fit the sides of the barre. You may wish to make angles on the ends of the pieces like this / \ Affix these pieces to the barre with gorilla glue and let them dry for 12 hours. Now you have the first part of the barre complete.
    18. Line the base pieces up again so that the angles interlock together. Take the .75” stop moulding and measure to fit the base pieces. The angles on them should match the angles of the base pieces. Take these four pieces and line them up at the back of the barre. Affix them to the barre with some gorilla glue and let them dry for 12 hours. Now you should have the entire frame of the board complete.
    19. Now all that is left is to stain and finish the board.

    Mounting the Board

    This is a challenging and tedious thing to do. The best thing to do here is assemble the frame of the board together on the ground. Then measure around the frame starting with a mark at the edge of the base 16” You will need to measure and make marks every 16” this is house standard. A mark has to be on the angle break, skip it and measure another 16” Do this all the way around the frame including the side pieces and the interior pieces.

    Now you will need to measure on the wall every 16” to account for the mounting holes on the board. Mount up the board with the 4” hex bolts. As you mount up the frame set the whiteboard panels in the frame, brace them with the interior pieces and put the wing boards up. Then put up the side pieces followed by the top. You will need more than one person to do this. If the side pieces or interior pieces don’t fit up like the rest of the frame, you may wish to put the pieces together with magnetic tape or paint. A more permanent though not recommended solution would be to apply glue to the corners of the side pieces and the ends of the interior pieces. Do not do this if you want the board to remain portable. You may wish to put some wood plugs in the holes where the hex bolts. Put the 42” spanner piece in the middle of the board and there you have it. You are ready to take a spin on it. Have some fun. See what you can do on the thing

    If you want to see what the board will look like, take a look at this. This is from my school.

    http://www.kernersvillenc.com/gallery/Education-Grant-Presentations/2005_education_grant_163

    It will look exactly like this when it is complete and mounted up. Pretty nice ehh? This is not for anyone who just wants something simple. This takes some time to build. It is super sturdy when it is mounted up. It is built for play and action. It is very pretty for those who like the vintage look and feel.

    Some extra things you can put on it are a map track and a theatre curtain for added appeal.

    Seriously, let me know if anyone has tryed something like this!!

  • nature is awesome said:

    fantastic! i’m making one!

  • Kenray said:

    It has been my experience that this material will “ghost”. It is not the same density as regular white board material. It may depend on the type or the brand of marker that one uses. It also depends on how long you let the marks stay on the board(Days). I would test a corner before I wrote in the middle of the board.
    Here is a trick that will get rid of ghosting. Get some really cheap hair spray, yep, hair spray. Aqua Net will be fine. Spray or rub on the mark and it will take it right off. Believe it or not, It will take Permanent marker off of many different surfaces! Good Luck!

  • Alex said:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My small room looks brighter and bigger now! Also my productivity was doubled!

  • Stuart said:

    I just finished mine! Awesome work. Thanks for the info!

  • Mayra said:

    I’m really gratefull. Thx for help me to building my own white board!!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  • jimdog said:

    That is great. The only difference is that I would try using screws instead of nails. That will make it easier to remove the board if needed. Drill pilot holes first however. Also, if you cannot find the studs, then you can use screw anchors that will go into the sheet rock and hold it securely, even without hitting the studs. Although hitting the studs is always your best bet. Takes a little more time, but worth it.

  • Scott Palangi said:

    WOW! Seriously, thank YOU! Whiteboarding is one of the MAJOR components of my productivity system, and my biggest gripe was that they are all too narrow (for like story-boarding your dreams, plans, processes, and so on) I just got back from Lowes, and because of this post, I’ll have this thing up in no time! YOU ROCK, THANKS FOR THIS SITE! S.P.

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