How to Make Your Own Clapper Board

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When filming a music video, it is vital to label each shot so that the editor can piece together the correct segments for the finished product. This is done with a clapper board, an instrument used to signify the beginning of a shot or a take. These boards can be purchased or created using a few pieces of wood and paint.

How to Make Your Own Clapper Board
(Andres Arango/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood
  • Block of wood measuring one inch by 20 inches
  • Chalkboard paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Small brass hinge
  • Hammer and nails
Step 1

Cut the one-by-20 inch piece of wood in half. You will be left with two pieces that measures one-by-10 inches. These will be used for the movable portion of the board.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 2

Measure and cut a sheet plywood into a rectangular shape measuring 10 inches long by eight inches high. Use thick plywood to create a sturdy board.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 3

Nail one of the one-by10 inch pieces of wood onto the top of the plywood. Don't worry if the wood is wider than the plywood, this will help provide a grip during use.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 4

Attach the second piece of one-by10 inch wood to the top of the first piece using the brass hinge. You will secure the hinge on the end of the wood, allowing the top piece to open up and down.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 5

Using chalkboard paint, cover the entire surface of the wood. This will give you the ability to write on the board with chalk to label each shot. Allow the paint to fully dry before continuing.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 6

Section off the clapper board using the white acrylic paint. Use the image in this guide for an idea on how to create the sections of the board. You can also use the paint to decorate the clapper portion.

Andres Arango/Demand Media
Step 7

Label each area of the board with information that will be needed during your shoot. This can include the production name, director, date, shot number, scene number and take number. Once the paint has dried you can begin using the clapper board

Andres Arango/Demand Media

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