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Tie Dye Clipboard Tutorial: Colorful Swirl Clipboard

Tie Dye Clipboard Tutorial: Colorful Swirl Clipboard

Tie Dye Clipboard

Nothing says summer like tie dye! It’s fun to grab the dye and water and rubber bands, but it’s also messy and time consuming. If you’re looking for a way to bring in the tie dye pattern into your repertoire, this is the Tie Dye Clipboard project for you!

No summer is complete without a brand new clipboard to take to camp. Sure you’ve seen the plastic storage clipboards with an interior pocket or the kind that also stores custom stationery, notepads & notecards, books stickers stickerbeans and more! But these storage Tie Dye Clipboard get heavy and when you want something to take with you, an old fashion clipboard fits the bill! Creating a tie dye clipboard can be a fun and creative Tie Dye Clipboard project! This is one of my favorite gifts to give to a first time camper. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you make a tie dye clipboard pattern:

Materials Needed:

  1. Clipboard
  2. acrylic paint
  3. Stencil (You can either buy a pre-made stencil or create your own using stencil paper)
  4. Paintbrushes
  5. Palette
  6. Plastic sheets or garbage bags to protect your workspace
  7. Water
  8. Paper towels
  9. Painters tape
  10. Foam brush


  1. Prepare Your Workspace: Lay down a plastic sheet or garbage bags to protect your work surface from any paint spills.
  2. Prepare the Clipboard: If your clipboard has any metal parts that you don’t want to get dye on, you can cover them with painter’s tape.
  3. Prepare your paint: Shake paint bottles before applying colors to paint palette. Put a small dab of white paint onto your palette: Using the foam brush, paint the clipboard with a thin, smooth layer of white paint (edges too!). Keep moving your brush in the same direction. Let the first coat dry and apply a second coat of white paint, repeating the same process. Let both coats dry completely. It should be dry to the touch.
Paint your clipboard with a base coat of white paint
  1. Attach the stencil or design template: Place your stencil onto the clipboard and secure it with painter’s tape or any removable adhesive. Make sure it’s firmly attached and there are no gaps between the stencil and the clipboard. If you’d prefer to use your own design elements library, you can do that, too. But I prefer the reusable stencils found online or at your local hardware store. Real people (artists) have their own design library to work with, but to save time I used the tie dye stencil because I wanted to make the classic multicolored tie dye background. But you can totally do one color or just two.
  1. Prepare brushes: Grab a stencil brush or foam brush: Wash your foam brush in a cup of water and use a paper towel to make sure that it is completely dry. A wet foam brush will not work with a stencil. You can also use a dry stencil brush to achieve the same outcome.
  2. Begin painting: Choose your first paint color. It is very important that you are thoughtful about the order of colors used. For best results, paint in the order of the rainbow. As the colors mix, they form new colors and that is how you get the tie dye effect.
Add a small amount of each color of paint to your paint palette
  1. Shake paint bottle and put a nickel size circle of the paint color you would like to use onto the paint palette and use your (now dry) foam brush to begin dabbing until your inner circle is about the width of a tennis ball. Add more paint to your palette as needed.
  2. Do not wash your foam brush yet. Just take a paper towel and try to squeeze some of the color out of the brush.
  3. Move onto your next color, repeat process: shake bottle, put on palette, and dab with foam brush in an overlapping ring around the perimeter of the first color.
Apply each color in a ring starting from the middle
  1. Do not wash your brush. Just squeeze out some of the color. Then move to your next color. Make sure you are dabbing and NOT painting. 10 Continue until the clipboard is fully filled with paint.
Continue dabbing each color in a ring until the clipboard is filled with paint
  1. Lift the metal part of the clipboard and carefully release.
  2. Add touch ups: Using the same paint color at the top of the clipboard, use your foam brush and lightly dab the unfinished lines to the top of the clipboard. This will complete the tie dye shape. Let clipboard dry completely.
  3. Let dry: Once clipboard is completely dry, flip clipboard over and repeat all steps on the other side.
  4. Enjoy Your Custom Clipboard: Once everything is dry and finished, your tie-dye stencil clipboard is ready to use! Enjoy using it for school, work, or any other activities. Your child will be using their modern combination clipboards to write their first letters 
Finished tie dye clipboard

Color Mixing Guide

  • Pink + Yellow = Orange
  • Yellow + Blue = Green
  • Blue + Pink= Purple

Tips and tricks for creating your tie dye clipboard

Acrylic paint washes off of your hands but does not wash out of your clothing so we recommend wearing a smock or an old shirt when painting.

  • Make sure you dab and not brush. If you brush, the paint will get under the stencil.
  • If the paint starts to turn brown, you can wash the brush. However, completely dry the brush before moving to the next color.
  • Let clipboard completely dry before removing the stencil to prevent smudging.
  • If there are any areas that need filling in, do this with your foam brush after the stencil has been removed.
  • The stencil can be reused for other projects.

What other items do you need for your camper’s first summer away

  • Label daddy labels so your clipboard and other items are personalized
  • boys camp bedding or girl’s camp bedding
  • suits, hats
  • sticker sheet with return address and addresses pre-printed
  • Colorful items for spirit days
  • Bunk decorations
  • Shower caddies shower shoes toiletry bags
  • tees sweatshirts and sweatpants
  • small water resistant labels for waterbottles
  • tie dye shirts and colorful, cozy clothes
  • mattress pads
  • labels pens and paper to accompany the new tie dye clipboard
  • toiletries
  • labels equipment labels
  • large water resistant labels
  • banners photo albums
  • spirit wear
  • bus bags 
  • colorful envelopes
  • booty shorts or comfy sleep shorts
  • fuzzy shorts
  • bus bags day trips
  • bead boxes lock boxes
  • pants hoodies rompers
  • long sleeves 
  • fun pillows

I love the website bee bee designs for all of you camp needs!

Remember to have fun and get creative with your design! Experiment with different colors, patterns, and techniques to make your stencil tie dye clipboard truly unique.

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