Old Memo Center to New Dry Erase Calendar

We had this old dry erase/cork board combo laying around the office. Its pretty darn old, too. I got it  around junior high and used it through high school. It then lived with me in college, moving in and out of the dorm every summer. Then T and I got married and kept moving...and the little dry erase board just went with us! Needless to say, it was starting to look a little shabby.


Once we did our office revamp, I was all set to donate it. Then, T convinced me that there had to be something we could use it for. So the gears in my head got to turning and I realized I had the perfect starting point for the dry erase calendar I've been wanting. Originally, I had planned on DIY-ing one of those picture frame + paint chip kinds like you've probably seen on Pinterest, but I could never find a frame I liked for it.

This was an easy solution to my dilemma and cheap, too!

White Primer - Already had
Acrylic craft paint - Already had
New pencil - Already had
Staple gun and staples - Already had
Rubbing alcohol - Already had
Toothpaste - Already had
Sharpie - ditto above.

Total Cost: Free!! - My kind of project.

I started by cleaning up the dry erase side. I had a monkey sticker stuck to it (because I'm a toddler and like stickers...and monkeys) and some of the dry erase marker wouldn't come off. Above, you can see the sticker residue in the corner.

To get off the sticky stuff, I tried a lot of different things. I didn't want to go buy any Goo-Gone. So, I tried acetone, rubbing alcohol, and a razor blade before I had T type "how to get off sticker residue" into Google. One surprising suggestion was toothpaste. Since the toothpaste was upstairs with me and all the other suggestions were downstairs (lazy!), I rubbed toothpaste all over the sticky part and then wiped it off with a damp cloth. The toothpaste didn't really take off the residue, but it did make it not sticky. I then put rubbing alcohol on a rag and scrubbed the spot until it had all come off. So, apparently the combo of toothpaste and alcohol worked...weird.

After I got all the goo off, I wiped down the whole thing with rubbing alcohol. It takes off old marker really well! Then, I reinforced the back of the frame with new staples, since it was starting to feel a little rickety.

Next, I got it ready for painting. To do this, I just slid some newspaper over the cork board and dry erase part, like so:

For painting, I decided to just use white primer. I wanted it to be white and didn't want to buy paint. If you decide to do this, just be aware that you will end up with a flat finish, no semi-gloss here. I was totally ok with that.

Once it was painted, I figured that it needed a little something else. Plus, there was a big scratch in the crossbar part of the frame, which showed through the white primer. I went through a lot of ideas, but eventually came up with polka dots. To accomplish this, I used the eraser end of a new, cheap pencil. It worked really well for messy dots...

Ready for dotting.

I used a bright green acrylic paint that I had. It dried really fast, so that was a bonus. I simply dipped the eraser into a squirt of paint, dabbed off some excess onto the plate and started stamping. The paint is really slick, so pressing too hard will make the eraser slide and give you really messy dots. Overall, I really liked the varied color of the green. I also used a small paintbrush to go around the little groove in the frame with paint...


Once my dots were dry, I drew a grid for my calendar with a sharpie marker. If your lines get messed up, don't worry, rubbing alcohol takes off the permanent marker (as long as you try to get it off right after you make the mark!). My best suggestion for this is to draw out your grid in dry erase marker, then, go over it in sharpie. Let the permanent marker dry for a minute, then wipe away the dry erase lines. Your sharpie lines will stay in place.

Next to it, I pinned a square of felt for erasing and a free "Dates to Celebrate" printable from Delightful Distractions, filled in with family birthdays.

It's not perfect, but I like it! Next up, a sewing machine cover...

Happy Frugal Crafting!

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Hilda! I love your gift jars, by the way. Super cute!

  2. I have an old dry erase board that I should revamp! Thanks for sharing the idea.


    1. Do it while you have time before college starts. :P Good luck!


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