How to Make Your Own Clapper Board

By Dan Chruscinski

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.