DIY Projects for Your Small Business—Recurring Customer Counter

August 14, 2011

DIY OfficeFor small businesses, securing recurring customers is a big deal.  A couple years ago, Peter saw a small business that kept a count of their recurring customers on a LED sign posted in their team office.  This seemed like a great idea for thinkspace!  It would give us a strong visual of where our company stood and it would decorate our bare walls in our new team office.  There was one problem—the price tag was $300-$3000.  So being the scrappy, fun-loving bunch we are, we decided to make our own counting system using recycled clipboards, paper and a few other items we found lying around the office.




3 clipboards
30 sheets of card stock
Recycled newspaper, cut into small squares
Recycled holiday wrapping paper or construction paper
Decoupage (purchase at any craft store)
Scissors, craft knife, sandpaper, foam paint brush, towel, number stencils


1. Prepare your work area by spreading out old newspaper (it makes it okay to spill).
2. Lightly sand the surface of your clipboards and wipe off the dust with a towel.  This allows the decoupage to adhere to the surface better.
3. Spread a light coat of decoupage on the surface of the clipboard with the foam brush.
4. Arrange the pieces of newspaper on the clipboard and be sure to smooth out the wrinkles.  Apply a coat of decoupage over the newspaper. TIP: Don’t be afraid to let pieces hang over the edge or the clip because you can always trim them later with a small craft knife.
5. Let the clipboard dry for a couple of hours.  I balance the clipboard on a cup so it doesn’t stick to my work area.
6. Reapply 2-3 coats of decoupage as needed.  When you are finished, let the clipboard dry for 24 hours to ensure it sets properly.  Trim the edges of the clipboard with a utility knife.
7. Using your number stencils (I made mine by hand, but you can purchase them as well), cut out three sets of numbers (0-9) with the recycled holiday wrapping paper.
8. Glue or decoupage each number to a separate piece of cardstock.
9. Once all of the pieces have dried, clip a set of numbers to each clipboard and watch your number of recurring customers grow right before your very eyes!


Bonus Idea: If you’re feeling really creative, you might want to try using this technique to color-code different clipboards, make a picture frame or keep track of various TO DO lists.


Picture of thinkspace