Picture Frame Light and Dry Erase Board { Tutorial }

May 31, 2011

This is the latest post in the Epic Decorate-My-Bedroom-With-Crafts blog series. Click {here} for more cool and admittedly crazy decor creations.

Why, hello, there! I'll bet you have stayed up many a night, wondering how to put a nightlight in a place that has very little space.

No? How silly. I've stayed up a wee bit late for two full nights, pondering just such a crazy contraption.

And I call it... The Picture Frame Light and Dry-Erase Board!

*cue applause*

In order to maketh this materspiece, thou shalt require:

-An old picture frame
-Decorative paper (and vinyl paper)
-A 5' strand of Christmas lights
-Duct Tape
-Dry erase markers
-A chocolate bar to munch on :)

You might recognize this picture, from the post where I talked on and on about my awesome new bedroom that I share with my little sister. 

Her bed is made from an old bunk bed and a really old, very hefty chest of drawers-- all nice and green and brown because they came from my brothers' old room. The chest of drawers serves as a shelf and would have been the perfect place to put her extremely necessary night-light... except for the fact that she kicks everything off that shelf while sleeping.

This light was designed to hang on the wall next to her bed.

We actually moved it to the "fort" beneath her bed, because it is insanely dark under there! So it is not being used as a nightlight, after all.


  Take an old picture frame that still has a glass. It doesn't show in this picture, but this frame has seen many years and too many fall off of little boys' walls.

Paint the frame. Oh, yeah. This makes me feel like "one of the gang"-- while browsing the blogosphere, I have seen countless crafts that require painting a frame. I finally did it! (Albeit in my little sister's choice of colors!)

Attach the Christmas lights. (Side note: I've taken a very long time to get this tutorial posted-- I made this craft just a week or two after Christmas!)

If you are smarter than me you will use duct tape, not staples. 
(If you decide to do staples, be sure to staple around, not through, the wires.)

If you are smarter than me, you will also check and make sure that the cord you leave hanging is both long enough and on the correct side.

Cut out scrapbook paper and vinyl paper so that they fill the glass.
Why vinyl? My scrapbook paper was too thick and the light wouldn't shine through. Plus, my vinyl paper was insanely pretty.

(Worried about the safety of putting paper and vinyl up against Christmas lights? My dad is a forensic engineer and he said that it is safe, as long as the light is not on for hours upon hours at a time. Overnight is fine. Any longer would probably overheat.)

Tape the paper to the glass...

And put the cardboard picture-frame backing on. Bend down those funky little metals tabs whose name I can't remember.

The frame will not be able to shut completely because of the thickness of the lights. Use duct tape (or metallic duct tape) to help it stay shut... forever.

There you have it. A beautiful, decorative, and unobtrusive light.

(I meant it when I said that this craft is old. I hadn't even decorated my light switches yet! See them {here} )

But that's not all!
Oh, no.
That's not all!

The glass doubles as a dry-erase board!

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. ~G.K. Chesterton

You can't make a much prettier dry-erase board!

If you wanted to skip the whole night-light thing, putting a piece of scrapbook paper or fabric behind the glass can make a beautiful dry-erase board! Much prettier than the typical white things.

Adelynn can't get over this. She loves it. She says it is "magical-- it's just like lightning bugs that you can draw on."

(Notice her drawing? She drew bunches of hearts with "16"s in them. Because 7 loves 16-- she is 7, I'm 16. Isn't it sweet?)

Here is is, hanging on the wall in the fort under her bed!

...under her bed, which is quite the mess. (Recognize the clothespin picture holder?)

Did this project inspire you to make something? Please share!
By the way... the comment box loves to eat comments, cookies, questions, chocolate, feedback, lasanga, and bits of fairydust. 

Linking up to { these } lovely blogs.

You Might Also Like


  1. ok I give what was the chocolate bar for?

  2. lol, I was just being silly while I wrote this...

  3. very cute and creative :)


  4. How fun!! I love it!! :) Thanks for linking up!

  5. I agree with Adelynn about it being magical. Beautiful work. :)

  6. These are truly amongst the wonderful informative blogs.ReMARKable whiteboard paint


Like us on Facebook


Flickr Images