DIY Whiteboard for under $50


Start–ups can get by with very little. The saw horse desk. Garage as office. Stealing your neighbor’s wireless. There’s a lot of ways to be scrappy. But I know very few start-ups who are able to get by without a whiteboard. For years, I’ve often heard folks say, “Those are so expensive! Isn’t there a cheaper alternative?”

Turns out there is. It’s called Tileboard, Melamine or Showerboard. Special thanks to Scott Doorley, Dave Baggeroer and Erika Basu from the d.school for pointing me in the direction on this one. I purchased a 4′ x 8′ sheet at Pine Cone Lumber for $25. You can get it at most large hardware stores.

There’s one issue. Typically, the Melamine is attached to flimsy Masonite or particle board. So unless you want to screw it into the wall, you need to reinforce it. These instructions show you how to create a 4’ x 8’ whiteboard with minimal effort for about $40-50. It’ll take a little time (a couple of hours – most of which is waiting), but if you are cash strapped, it’s a good alternative.

This was particularly effective solution for Kicker since we needed a mobile whiteboard that was light, easy to move and carry up and down stairs. It’s something we can prop up against a wall, window, or stash behind a desk when not in use.

For the next iteration we’re trying to make it faster and with less glue.

Download the instructions. (1MB)