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.


Clipboards are an inexpensive way to display pictures. They’re great for making collage walls and I love that you can switch out the photos from time to time or change up the artwork to decorate for the holidays.

Why didn’t I just pick up a few from Dollar Tree you might ask? I just couldn’t get past the clunky look of the big old silver clip that you find on standard office clipboards. These skeleton clips are sleek and I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to detail!

Photo of a vintage-style clipboard with an old postcard clipped to in a vintage green St. Patrick's Day display with an old Durkee's Allspice tin, clover wreath, ceramic pot of gold cup and an vintage green Katherine Beecher Mints tin lid all set in a wire wall basket.

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.


  • 2″ x 2.5″ skeleton clips (I bought these 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 2′ chip brush
  • Paper towel
  • Kraft paper or something to protect your work surface


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How to Make Vintage-Style Clipboards

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.

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

Decorating With Vintage Clipboards

Here are a few more ideas…


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
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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