Silhouette | Back to School with a DIY Weekly Dry Erase Board

It’s time for back to school at our house next week, and so we are in full preparation mode! This year, preparation is a bit different as we are planning to enroll our daughter for the first time in virtual school as she goes into 6th grade. So instead of buying backpacks and school uniforms, we are worrying about turning her computer desk into a full-time school area at home for her.

One important part of virtual school will be keeping track of when her lessons are, to make sure that she doesn’t miss attending one and that she gets all of her hours in. So after some research I have come up with the idea of a dry erase board that can be refreshed weekly with a schedule of her lessons and activities. Regular weekly schedules are designed for office cubicles so they are expensive, small and boring. We wanted something fun, large and affordable for our new “classroom”. So I decided to make a DIY weekly dry erase board with the help of my Silhouette Portrait machine!

Weekly Dry Erase Board

The blank dry erase board is from Walmart, and cost about $8. It’s 17″ x 23″ in size, and came with a pen and two colorful magnets (it’s also a magnetic surface).

The first step in creating the weekly design was to create the grid on the board. I did this with washi tape, so it was quick and easy. The washi was a great way to add some of my daughter’s favorite color (pink, of course) to the board, too! The tape is a Scotch Expressions brand washi with a really pretty pattern, and it stuck beautifully to the board but will remove easily if I want to redesign the board or it gets dirty from ink. I could have drawn the grid on the board, but that would have risked being erased every time I cleaned the board.

Washi Tape crossover

To keep the patterns neat and clean (instead of layered and muddied from the translucency of the tape) where the lines cross in the middle of the board, I didn’t want the tape to cross. I first applied the grid as long strips of tape and just let the strips cross. Then, I went back with a craft knife and carefully scored the top layer of tape along lines that lined up with the edges of the bottom layer of tape. Then I was able to peel off the layer of tape that was crossing over. This was infinitely easier (and faster) than piecing each of the shorter strips that would have crossed over as two individual pieces.

Then it was time to label the spaces. Self-adhesive vinyl was the perfect way to do this beautifully and non-destructively (making it possible to alter and change the board later). My unknowingly-trendy daughter went straight for the gold Silhouette vinyl! Gold goes with everything and it works perfectly with the pink tape and the elegant design on it.

I chose the cut file “Script Days of the Week” by Kolette Hall and resized Monday thru Friday to fit the spaces I had to work with. To keep the font size the same on all of them, I started with the longest day (Wednesday) and made it an appropriate length. Then I resized all of the other days so that they were the same height dimension as Wednesday. Voila! Now they are all the same font size!

Gold Vinyl Days

I easily got all of the days out of one letter-sized sheet of vinyl. It was so simple to adhere the days to the dry erase board using the gridded transfer paper, by lining it up with the washi tape. The vinyl adhered beautifully to the board and seems really secure.

For the weekend, I only had one block for two days. I opted to use the word “weekend” instead of day names to save space. Hero Arts had the perfect file, called “Weekend” in their Silhouette library, that celebrates the weekend with a bit of font craziness. The dramatically different font sets the weekend apart from the rest of the week and covers for the lack of the word “weekend” being available in the original font. (It’s not a problem – it’s a feature!)

Gold Weekend vinyl

I was stunned how fast and easy this project was! It looks gorgeous and my daughter loves it. Best of all, it is flexible and can be changed if our needs evolve over the school year!

When I bought my Silhouette Portrait, using it for vinyl was the furthest thing from my mind. I thought that material was useless to me because we have textured walls at our house. Then Silhouette gave me the opportunity to try it for a promo, and it gave me the chance to broaden my vinyl horizons. Since then I’ve put vinyl on doors, my car, and now a dry erase board – and have plans for some canvas projects with it as well. I have learned that vinyl is absolutely not just for inspirational wall quotes! I’m so glad I gave it a try!

If you are ready to take the Silhouette plunge then Back to School is a great time for you because Silhouette is running a great promo right now!


For this promotion the machines are bundled with lots of great specialty media by Silhouette:

CAMEO Bundle – $269.99 (save almost 30%):
  • Silhouette CAMEO machine
  • Specialty Materials: 1 pack of chipboard, 1 pack of silver foil, 1 pack of white sticker paper, 1 pack of clear sticker paper, 1 pack of gold foil, 1 pack of printable cotton canvas and 1 pack of our washi sheets
Portrait Bundle – $149.99 (save over 40%)
  • Silhouette Portrait machine
  • Specialty Materials: 1 pack of chipboard, 1 pack of silver foil, 1 pack of white sticker paper, 1 pack of clear sticker paper, 1 pack of gold foil, 1 pack of printable cotton canvas and 1 pack of our washi sheets

As you can see the bundle with the Portrait – which is my machine of choice – is an especially great deal!

To get these great deals while they last, all you have to do is visit this link and use promo code “UPDATE” when you check out!

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4 Responses to Silhouette | Back to School with a DIY Weekly Dry Erase Board

  1. michelle August 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Very clever project. I love the fonts you chose and you’re so handy with your silhouette. Michelle t

  2. gabmcann August 14, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    That looks great Nancy! What is the difference between the Cameo and Portrait? Is it just the size of the cuts?

    • Nancy Nally August 14, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Yes Gab, it’s just a size difference. Cameo can cut 12″ wide, and the Portrait can cut 8″ wide. So it just really depends on what kind of things you like to cut. If you like to make cards, Project Life elements, and smaller things like titles for your 12″ layouts, then the Portrait works great for that. The Portrait is also a much smaller footprint – it takes up so little room on my desk, it’s amazing! If you like to do large 3D objects (because most of them cut in pieces, you can do smaller ones with the Portrait – I’ve written articles with some on Craft Critique) and large things like backgrounds for your layouts, then the Cameo is the way to go. I hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Nancy Nally August 14, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Oops, I always forget that the Cameo has an SD slot and little screen but basically this duplicates functionality you get through the computer software with the Portrait (is my understanding).

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