For several months after we moved into this house, we had a huge empty wall in our dining room. We are a family who loves to learn, so I knew early on that I wanted to turn it into a "learning wall" by hanging some writing boards there. The storebought solution would be to buy dry erase boards. But, they aren't exactly cheap. Ones on the cheaper end still go for about $15 or so and I wanted a collection of them on my wall. With our law student budget, I really couldn't justify spending $60 or more just on boards for our wall. Plus, storebought boards don't really have a whole lot of personality. I wanted some COLOR to liven up the wall. So, I decided to make my own.
The dry erase boards weren't really that difficult or expensive to make. I just took some old frames, cleaned them up, gave them a fresh coat of paint, and added some plain white posterboard under the glass. We just use plain ol' dry erase makers on the glass. I even found some colored washable ones that the girls can use without me worrying about them ruining their clothes.
Here's a general overview of how I did it:
I found these little beauties at the local thrift store. Obviously, I didn't care about the art inside the frames -- I just wanted a wood frame that could hold some paint. These cost between $4-6 each.
After cleaning them up a little bit, I painted them with some inexpensive craft paint that I picked up for $1/bottle at Walmart. One bottle per frame is more than enough. I had trouble finding the right shades so I ended up mixing colors to come up with what I wanted.
For the background, I kept it simple and used white posterboard cut to fit. Target had the cheapest white posterboard -- I think it was about $0.40 per sheet. However, if you wanted additional texture, you could try some lightly colored artist paper.
Since we plan on everyone in the family using these boards, I had Brett attach them to the wall with some brackets. We really don't want glass frames falling off of the walls and onto the kiddies!
When all was said and done, I spent about $25 for the entire wall.
For other money saving ideas, be sure to stop by LifeasMOM on Fridays for Frugal Friday.