In case you missed it, I’m in the middle of a little series about how to make your office awesome. Because having a cool office is fun, of course, but also because the condition of your office can actually help you be better at your job.
In my last post, you got a peek at my friend Austin’s wooden pallet wall and, today, I want to keep this trend going with a feature in my office that I absolutely love: custom dry erase boards. I’ll tell you how to make them and I’ll give you a free download with the templates to make them yourself.
I have three of these custom dry erase boards in my office…
- A 12-MONTH SCOPE & SEQUENCE. On this board (pictured at the top – it’s blank at the moment) I chart our teaching plan for the school year. This board has twelve mini-calendars, representative of the entire year. On them, I chart the timing of our teaching series (which will usually be six weeks long this year) and the specific topic for each week. This helps me see what’s coming up and gives me a quick holistic view of what we’ll be doing with our students over the course of a year.
- A 2-MONTH CALENDAR. The purpose of this board is pretty obvious: upcoming events. While I have a full listing of all the year’s events elsewhere, I like being able to see what’s coming up on our ministry calendar at a glance. Seeing two months at a time seems to work best for me.
- A BIRTHDAY CALENDAR. I’ve got a lot of people on my team whose birthdays I want to remember. Staff members, Small Group Leaders, Greeters, and Cafe volunteers. As you can see, I only have staff members’ birthdays marked at the moment. I’ll add the rest of my team all at once, when our volunteer teams for the new school year are finalized. Prior to our weekly gatherings, I can take a peek at this calendar, see whose birthdays are coming up, and pull some notes and gift cards together for them (I keep blank note cards and $5 gift cards in my office at all times).
So you want to learn how to make them?
It’s easy. First, gather up all the supplies you see over on the right. And, just to clarify: those IKEA Noticeboards can be found here. And this is what I mean by 8.5 x 11″ transparent labels – they’re full-sized sheets of sticky, transparent paper. Then here’s what you do…
1. DECIDE WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO DISPLAY ON YOUR DRY ERASE BOARDS. If you don’t like my ideas, you could also use these boards for your task lists, brainstorming, reading lists, or important due dates. Here’s how Ben Read of Youthmin.org uses them.
2. CREATE YOUR BACKGROUND IMAGES. These images are the things that will not change on your board (like outlines, titles, borders…). Create your own, or just use mine. Grab ’em here!
3. FLIP YOUR IMAGE. You’ll be sticking these background images to the back side of the glass boards. Because sticking them on the front would kind of defeat the functionality of a dry-erase board. So, before printing, you’ll need to flip your image horizontally (like you’re looking at it in a mirror). (If you’re using my images, they come pre-flipped. So don’t worry about this part.)
4. PRINT, CUT, STICK. Print your images on transparent labels, then cut them out and stick them to the back side of the glass, being careful to flatten any air bubbles as you go. (FYI, if you’re printing my Birthday Calendar, it’s 11″ x 17″ instead of 8.5″ x 11″, so you’ll need to split the image onto two separate sheets of paper when printing. Or find 11″ x 17″ labels, I guess.)
5. MOUNT THE GLASS BOARDS ON YOUR WALL AND START USING THEM! You can use wet-erase or dry-erase markers on these glass boards with no problem. And, since they’re made with frosted glass, your writing will still be visible even when the boards are hung on darkly-colored walls.
And if you ever get sick of your layout, or you want to use your boards for something else, just peel those transparent labels off. Good as new!
What do you think? Think you’ll use them? What are some other ways you might use these dry erase boards?