The link between creativity and emotional well-being is a well-known topic of study. The budding industries of DIY “life hacks” and adult coloring books are two good examples of that. People love finding new ways to improve their independence and self-expression.
In school, dry erase markers are the main tools of the teacher. A successful teacher will provide plenty of opportunities for students to express themselves with these markers. There’s more to them than just writing questions and answers, instructions and notes.
At home, you can use whiteboard markers for a number of different things, not just writing. Among them, we have found various art projects, organizing methods, reminders, and even some science.
Get creative with these 10 tips on how you can use erasable markers!
1. Vanity Mirror Notes
There are a number of ways that dry erase markers are used on mirrors. That big vanity mirror in the bathroom or bedroom is just asking to be stylized. Use it to remind yourself of upcoming dates, product expirations, phone numbers, and etc.
It’s also a fun way to leave messages for friends or family stopping by. Kids will also get a kick out of using expo markers to draw “masks” on whoever is seated in front of the mirror. Dry erase markers wipe away easily from any glass surface, including mirrors.
2. Reusable Notecards
Take your standard index cards and transform them into portable dry erase boards. All you need is some scotch tape to cover the cards. You can also laminate them for a more attractive solution.
Keep a little microfiber cloth on you to erase on the go.
3. Projects and Plans
Dry erase markers are perfect for brain-dumps and creative thinking. You can either buy yourself a whiteboard or use our DIY surface suggestions in the list. There is an entire community surrounding brainstorming, also known as mind mapping.
There are plenty of templates and techniques out there to help you get the most out of your dry erase board.
4. Car Decals
For those who are tired of the service date stickers falling off your windshield, dry erase markers are your new friends. You should have no problems writing your next oil change or service date on the inside of your windshield with whiteboard markers.
They may also come in handy if you’re ever considering on putting your car out on the market. It’s much cheaper to buy a pack of dry erase markers. If you prefer the chalk-style markers, you can get those for a more professional look.
5. Meal Prep
If you don’t already do it, you should start meal prepping. It will greatly improve your quality of life and health. Meal-prepping requires planning and organization, which is made easier with labeling.
Dry erase markers happen to work great for writing on freezer bags. Most freezer bags are one-and-done style, where you write on them and toss them out after. Well-made freezer bags can be washed and reused, though.
If you use dry erase markers to label your bags, you can still wipe the ink off and reuse them. The same goes for glass containers and even plain plastic wrapped coverings.
6. Write on the Shower
This could become an art project or another handy reminder tool. If your shower door is standard glass, untextured, and not too far away from the toilet, write on it! Keep a pack of markers on top of the tank, trust us.
They say our best ideas come to us while we’re on the can or in the shower.
7. Drafting Tables
If you can invest in a nice glass or acrylic table, you will never need to yell at the kids to stop writing on it. Okay, this will work as long as you give them proper writing utensils, i.e. dry erase markers. You can work and plan on your new table/whiteboard, too.
Add a piece of white cardboard underneath it, if it’s glass, to make it easier to map things out. Hide all the evidence of your work with a quick spritz and wipe. No one will ever find out your plans to build the next Batmobile.
8. Erase Other Markers
Use your dry erase marker to erase permanent markers. Permanent markers are every whiteboard’s worst enemy. They seem to resist every eraser and cleaner if left to set. Ironically, whiteboard markers can lift them off the board and remove them completely.
It will take a few repetitions of writing on top of the permanent marker and scrubbing it off, but you can get all of it off, eventually.
9. Life Goals
Whatever surface you decide to go with, erasable markers offer great opportunities for goal-setting. This isn’t to be confused with mind-mapping or brainstorming. Goals are the milestones you set for both near and long-term future.
It’s often difficult to keep to our goals when we don’t write them down in repetition. Practice writing and erasing your goals every day/week until it becomes part of your routine.
10. Floating Ink Art
Our final tip to use erasable markers creatively involves a little science. Don’t worry, you won’t need any test tubes, flasks, or Bunsen burners. For this experiment in art, all you need is a glass bowl, plate, or container.
It needs to be wide enough to write on the bottom. Take your dry erase marker and draw something easy, like a stick figure. Make sure all your lines are connected and thick.
Next, tip your container a bit and pour about half a cup of water on the side. Slowly tilt the water into your marker drawing and watch it as it lifts up off the bottom.
It will float along the surface as you swirl and stir it around. It works because the dry erase marker is part alcohol solution with dye pigments. The alcohol dries quickly, leaving the pigment solids behind on the surface.
These properties are what set dry erase markers apart from permanent ink markers and wet erase markers. Let’s explore more about these differences.
Wet Erase Markers
You may see these markers labeled as “wet-wipe” pens. These special type of markers are effective an any non-porous material. They will easily wipe away with a wet cloth.
If you use wet erase markers on whiteboards, glass, or polished surfaces like dry erase markers, they won’t come off with your standard eraser. This is because they use a paste-like viscous liquid, not the thin, evaporative alcohol-based ink. Wet-wipe pens are better under outside elements because the ink is so durable.
You can use them on hot surfaces and the ink won’t fade or erode away. Lastly, the chemical odor often associated with dry erase markers is not shared with wet erase markers. They are considered hypoallergenic alternatives to other markers.
Neon Markers and Liquid Chalk
One of the most common types of wet-wipe pens is the one you see on signage, car lots, and storefronts. They do a great job at mimicking neon signs and chalk art. Unlike actual chalk pieces, liquid chalk is easy to apply and clean–all without that cringe-worthy screeching.
You can use these markers all the same, for selling vehicles, idea boards, or spicing up your artwork. As with standard wet-erase markers, these work best on blackboards and non-porous surfaces.
Don’t confuse wet erase markers with actual permanent markers. On a whiteboard, permanent markers usually leave behind enough residue to permanently stain. Some have even used them to dye clothes and fabrics for a semi-permanent change.
Wet erase markers should leave nothing behind and come off with the first wipe.
Dry Erase Markers
We come back to dry erase markers, the most flexible and accessible type of marker. It is also the least permanent of all markers. The best dry erase markers will last for weeks of regular use, all without producing noxious fumes.
Cheap dry erase markers often set a bad example, having poor writing tips, giving headaches, and lasting just a day or two. Look for low-odor non-permanent markers when shopping for whiteboard markers. This will make using them for the reasons in our list a lot easier.
More Tips and Advice
We hope you found our guide on dry erase markers inspirational and useful. As you can see, there’s plenty of possible creative activities from a simple dry erase pen. Your only limit is your imagination.
Save more time and money by investing in the best dry erase markers. On our site, you’ll find more guides like this, as well as reviews of the best marker brands. From Expo markers to professional chalk pens, we test all of them.
If you have any personal advice or suggestions for us, feel free submit a request. Here at Choose Marker, we believe everything is more fun with a marker in hand.