How to Make Vintage-Style Clipboards

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Square feature photo of four vintage-style clipboard frames with black and white architectural photography of staircases and other outdoor views clipped to them.

Learn how to make vintage-style clipboards and get ideas on how to decorate your home with them!

I made a few vintage-inspired clipboards and I thought I’d share how to make them for those of you looking to add a touch of nostalgic charm to your decor.

These are great for displaying pictures that you want to switch out from time to time or seasonal artwork.

My DIY clipboards measure 7.5 x 10 inches and I was able to make six boards (with four clips leftover) for just a few dollars each. Get all the details to make them below.

Photo of the supplies used to make vintage-style wooden clipboards. The skeleton clips and 10-inch craft boards can be found on Amazon. Also shown is a chip brush and burnt umber acrylic paint.
Supplies used to make Vintage-style clipboards.


  • 2.28″ skeleton clips (similar ones in Medium size can be purchased here on Amazon)
  • 10.6″ x 7″ x 0.23″ unfinished wood craft boards (these are the ones that I purchased on Amazon)
  • Dark brown acrylic paint (or stain)
  • A chipbrush or old paintbrush
  • Paper towel
  • Kraft paper or something to protect your work surface


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How to Make Vintage-Style Clipboards – 3 Easy Steps

STEP 1: Paint or Stain

Paint or stain your unfinished wood boards. Here I used a brown acrylic paint wash (paint with a little water) to give my boards a stained look. Wipe away any excess with a paper towel. Apply a second coat once dry for a darker look.

How-to photo of staining an unfinished wood craft board with an acrylic wash or brown umber to make DIY vintage-style clipboards.

STEP 2: Let Dry

Let your painted/stained boards dry before assembling!

Photo of skeleton clips and wood craftboards that have already been painted with a brown acrylic wash to look like liker they were stained. A stack of black and white photos in once corner waiting to be clipped to the finished vintage-style clipboards.
Finished clipboard to be assembled

STEP 3: Assemble

Add photos to your clipboards and check out more uses for them below!

Photo of four clipboards finished with black and white photos. Photos are architectural details, a staircase, railing, a city building and rocky shore.

More Uses For Vintage-Style Clipboards

Photo of a vintage-style clipboard used as a display board for travel pins. Travel pins are attached to an old coffee sack and there is a vintage globe, old binoculars and a stack of old hard cover books below the hanging clipboard.
Travel Pin Display
Finished vintage-style clipboard being used to feature a vintage postcard. The postcard has a unique stamp and stamped markings from the post office. It's handwritten with the word Post Card in scrolling old print type. In front is another post card with an ivy leaf and a Durkee's and Katharine Bercher tin in a green hanging wire rack. This is a display for St. Patrick's day.
Display Vintage Postcards
Welcome sign made from a DIY clipboard with a brass welcome knocker hanging from the skeleton clip and an old brass handle holding a bouquet of peach, yellow and dark pink silk flowers.
Welcome Sign
Photo of a vintage clipboard used as a recipe holder set on a kitchen counter with a vintage recipe card clipped to it and mixing bowls with measuring spoons around it.
Recipe Holder


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