How to Make a Vintage-Style Decorative Clipboard

I developed today’s project–a vintage-style decorative clipboard–for a special group of ladies who are part of an organization called Eyes Wide Open. It provides sanctuary, healing, and hope for victims of sex trafficking.

I cannot tell you what a true blessing it was to get together with them and spend a creative afternoon together. At the end of the post, I’ll share some of their beautiful creations.

How to Make a Vintage-style decorative clipboard

Note: This post contains affiliate links for [the same or similar] products used to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my website, since I receive a small compensation whenever you click on a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you 🙂 See my full disclosure here.

Materials for Vintage-Style Decorative Clipboard

This post contains affiliate links for products necessary to complete this project. If you make any purchases, I will receive a small compensation–thank you in advance!

  1. Clipboard
  2. Vintage paper, e.g., music or dictionary
  3. Aging spray (coffee, see directions below)
  4. Mod Podge
  5. Tacky glue
  6. Foam makeup sponge
  7. Sizzix machine w/floral die cuts [OR Flower paper punch]
  8. Scrapbook paper
  9. Small circle paper punch
  10. 1/4″ Hole punch
  11. Craft paint
  12. Decorative stencils, e.g., small dots or squares, postal cancellation
  13. Tim Holtz Distress Ink
  14. 5″ x 7″ quote (I have a number of FREE printables in my Member Library. You gain access when you SUBSCRIBE HERE.)

Cover the Clipboard with Vintage Paper

Applying vintage paper to create decorated clipboard

Step 1. Generally, you’re going to be tearing up vintage paper and Mod Podging it onto your clipboard randomly. However, to get started, you want to focus on covering the area around the clip at the top.

To do this, I cut a straight edge on a piece of music paper (a couple of inches wide by several inches long) and glued it under the clip, immediately next to the back part of the clip (photo #3).

Then I worked on covering the rest of the area around the clip (photo #4). Finally, I went to town covering the rest of the board. Be sure to cover the edges and glue any excess onto the back.

vintage style decorative clipboard covered with vintage music paper

This is what the clipboard looks like after it’s completely covered.

Aging the Papered Clipboard

vintage style decorative clipboard covered with vintage music paper after aging with coffee spray

Step 2. Age your clipboard by spraying it with a commercial aging product (available in craft stores) or use my “secret aging potion.”

Secret Aging Potion: Place about a teaspoon of instant coffee in a small spray bottle and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Done. Experiment until you get the color you want. (Add a pinch of alum to ensure freshness if you like.)

Spritz the coffee onto you clipboard until it achieves the desired affect.

Step 3. Rub Tim Holtz’s Distress Ink (or even regular stain) around the edges of your clip board a few inches at a time. Rub with a wet finger to smudge it a bit up onto the surface of your clipboard.

Here’s a video showing how to age your project:

Add Color & Texture to Your Vintage-Style Decorative Clipboard

Paint and stencils for decorative clipboard

Step 4. Next it’s time to add some color and a bit of texture to your project by stenciling on some small, repeating patterns.

I used the dots you see on the left (above) and a postal cancellation stencil (on the right). Not shown is a stencil with repeating tiny squares that I also used.

vintage style decorative clipboard after some stenciling

I like to use a makeup sponge when applying paint to small stencils. Use the larger flat end to paint with (see photo above).

Above you can see I’ve stenciled on some pink dots and a couple of burnt umber postage cancellation marks. I also randomly stenciled some tiny squares, sometimes right on top of the pink circles (not shown).

Step 5: Give your clip board a coat of Mod Podge to protect it and give it a finished look. If you prefer a less glossy appearance, use matte Mod Podge instead.

Make Some 3-D Scrapbook Paper Flowers

3-D Scrapbook paper flowers

Step 6. Make some three dimensional flower accents. I made my flowers using a Sizzix die cut machine and a Tim Holtz Alterations “Tattered Flowers” die. But similar 3-D flowers can easily be made with simple paper punch flower shapes.

Materials to make 3-D flowers for vintage-style decorative clipboard

Here you can see the materials needed to create the flowers.

Here’s a video showing how to make the flowers:

3-D Scrapbook paper flowers

The basic steps for making 3-D flowers:

  1. Cut out flower shapes,
  2. Curl petals forward using scissors,
  3. Glue shapes together with tacky glue, starting with largest shape and ending with smallest,
  4. Add a floral center using the 3/4″ circle punch or a 1/4″ paper punch,
  5. Age the flowers with coffee spray, as you did the clipboard, and
  6. Repeat, until you have as many flowers as you want. Make them in various sizes to create interest and balance.

Compile Your Project

How to Make a Vintage-Style Decorated Clipboard Bottom of project corner shot

Step 7. Experiment with placing your flowers in various locations. Glue them in place. Clip your 5″ x 7″ quote or scripture in place (age its edges with the Distress Ink if you like).

How to Make a Vintage-Style Decorated Clipboard

And the project is complete!

3-D Scrapbook paper flowers

Here are some of the Eyes Wide Open ladies’ works in progress. I loved watching their creativity flow and the pleasure they derived from their completed projects.

Vintage Mixed Media Decorated Clipboard projects from art class

What a tremendous blessing and privilege it was for me to share this mixed media project with them. I’m SO looking forward to being with them again next month.

Their courage and determination in the face of many obstacles already inspires me and I’ve only just met them!

Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you’ll subscribe and never miss a post.
You’ll receive access to my MEMBER LIBRARY and get loads of FREEBIES!
Sign up and receive your Vintage-Style Decorative Clipboard tutorial for FREE 🙂

Subscription form with DIY Vintage Clipboard Art tutorial

Bye for now,


I’d love it if you’d pin for later 🙂

Learn how to Make a Vintage-Style Decorative Clipboard

Learn how to Make a Vintage-Style Decorative Clipboard

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  1. What a beautiful project for such a great cause:) You really are becoming the video maven! I also love your Bible verse, one of my favorites. I know this post took you a while to make — so detailed and full of great instructions. Thanks for sharing. xo Kathleen

    1. I’m so glad you liked the project and the video, Kathleen 🙂 And yes, it’s one of my favorite scriptures as well. I’m trying to make my posts more comprehensive, to provide more value for readers–thanks for noticing!

  2. Your clipboards turned out so well, Diana! The mixed media style is really unique. Thanks for sharing it with us at Tuesday Turn About!

  3. These are so pretty! They stopped me on IG while I was scrolling through… love the Bible verse you used, as well! Pretty colors, too! Blessed to have you at Tuesday Turn About!

  4. These are great. I have a bunch of clipboards I bought at Goodwill to make crafts with. I do crafts once a week, mostly crochet, with girls at a home for recovery from various situations. How long do they need to dry before you start putting on the flowers, etc? Can it be done all in one afternoon or would it need a little more time?


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