Review: Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Dry Erase Decals

We receive a lot of offers to test products and write reviews for the site, and we almost always decline. Very rarely do the items look like they would actually be useful. A few weeks ago, however, we got an offer from the Martha Stewart company to try out their new dry erase boards that looked like they might be useful, so we agreed to give them a try. I received the new Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Dry Erase Decals (free of cost from the manufacturer) to test out a few days later. Two of the key features are that they can stick to many surfaces (including walls, stainless steel, glass, and plastic) and they’re removable (and, therefore, can be repositioned as many times as you want).

At first glance, they look like giant gift labels (about the size of a piece of notebook paper), but they’re really a bit more than that. They can be used to write reminders, to do lists, a grocery list, or even a fun, positive quote for the day. Since I really like to handwrite lists, I was curious to see how well they would work.

I decided to use one of the decals for a task list and placed it in a location that was very visible (so that I would be reminded to use it) — on the glass window of the main entry door to our house. This was the perfect spot for me as I often remind myself to take things when I’m leaving home by putting them by that door. To remember everything on my list, all I had to do was snap a picture of it before heading out to run errands.

Here’s my to do list from last week:

I used the other label on the wall adjacent to my daughter’s room door. This time, I wrote down books I wanted to remember to buy for her. It could be used by older children (or their parents) to jot down updates to their schedule (like a change to an extracurricular event). Or, you could write the instructions for a new recipe or a note to call a client at a certain time. Perhaps you need a visual nudge that says, “Work on important project today!” (that could work well if the decal is placed by your workspace) or a happy face to help you get through an eventful day.

The decals were very easy to apply to both the glass window and wall, and I had no problem removing or repositioning them on either surface. It didn’t leave a residue or take off wall paint. The writing surface is very smooth and erasing was just as easy as using a typical dry erase board. They work well for capturing ideas and reminders, though you will need dry erase markers close by. I will be continuing to test the decals in my home office (to write future blog topics) as well as on the fridge (to write a grocery list). They seem to be a nice solution for someone living in an apartment with restrictions on nailing things into the wall. If you want to give them a try for your home, office, or dorm room, you can find them on Amazon and at Staples. They cost in the $3 to $5 price range and come in a variety of styles, which is relatively inexpensive especially in comparison to most traditional dry erase boards.

24 Comments for “Review: Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Dry Erase Decals”

  1. posted by Marie on

    Thanks for the fieldwork! I’d be worried that when I went to erase the dry-erase ink, it might smear beyond the borders of the sticker and get onto a painted surface. Was this an issue for you?

  2. posted by Karen on

    When I first saw these advertised, I thought about buying some. Then I looked at my large existing stash of office supplies and decided to repurpose some of them.

    I printed a calendar, slid it into a sheet protector envelope, and taped that to the refrigerator with blue masking tape. Voila – a wonderful dry-erase calendar which has worked well for me for several months.

    This might work for printing my standard grocery list, checking off needed items, and snapping a photo of the result to take to the store. Thanks for that photo idea, Deb.

  3. posted by Mimi on

    i´d like to add a multitasker-idea.
    as you have written that you put that dry eraser decal on the glass window of your main entry door anyway: take dry erase markers and just write on the glass! it also works with mirrors, picture frames…
    look: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/02/nyttja-frame-becomes-notice-board.html

  4. posted by JustGail on

    I too wonder about the dust and stains after erasing if this is used on non-glossy walls.

    Anyone else see the humour in the nicely styled photo, but with a cup of pencils and paper clips, and no dry erase markers or erasers in sight?

  5. posted by Emery on

    I have these and love them, mostly. I’ve used them twice, on the fridge, and unfortunately they didn’t come completely clean after erasing them. It may just be that I used a cheap dry erase marker so I’m going to try again with a better marker.

  6. Avatar of DebLee

    posted by DebLee on

    @Marie – Actually, I didn’t have that problem, though I used a damp paper towel, so maybe that helped.

  7. posted by JP on

    We use Smart Sheets here at work, which are similar and replace the need for a whiteboard (or, in my case, extend the whiteboard). 3M has a similar product.
    http://www.smart-sheets.com/

  8. posted by Marie on

    Thanks, Deb!

  9. posted by Nana on

    Without a handy near-by place to keep the marker…ugh. And I’d worry about smearing on the wall. And I love the idea of slipping a week-at-a-glance into a plastic cover. Ecologically sound, too.

  10. posted by Shalin on

    Sounds very clever – like reinventing the Post-It note!

    @JP – what’s the 3M product? I’m not quite finding it on their website.

  11. posted by Anita on

    I had the same question Marie posted. Even if you do clean up the wall smudges as they happen, I’m thinking there would eventually be build-up around the edges of the board, so you might be left with a “frame” when you reposition the board?

    My second concern is with having dry-erase markers nearby. If you’re using this in a home office, with a pen holder and eraser nearby, it isn’t an issue. But if I had this by the front door or in a hallway, I’d need some place to store a dry-erase marker and eraser, otherwise the board would never be used. I don’t suppose the boards come with a pen-and-eraser holder?

  12. Avatar of DebLee

    posted by DebLee on

    @Anita: From what I’ve seen, they do not come with a holder for a marker/eraser. The packaging suggests placing them on the kitchen wall, office wall, or refrigerator (places you’d probably have drawer to keep markers). In my case, I have table (and a drawer) close to the entry door.

  13. posted by Thrift Store Mama on

    These look really neat !

    I love the idea of using them to help kids develop a new routine and placing them right on the wall in the relevant location in your house. I think I’ll improve on this idea slightly by hanging a dry erase marker on a string (using a 3M removable hook thing) right next to the board.

  14. posted by Elizabeth on

    I have had a similar product stuck on my fridge door for years (it was a marketing freebie picked up by my ex). There’s no sign of ink smeared onto the surrounding door nor any serious problem of ink traces left behind on the board after wiping (gradual ageing means it’s not as immaculate as new but nothing ever is).

    The problem is about storing the markers (as others have said). Mine came originally with a holder for a thin marker attached. But eventually it tore itself away and now I don’t have anywhere convenient to store a marker nearby. So the board doesn’t get used as much because the automatic thought is ‘where did I put the marker’. I’m still looking to see if anyone makes a magnetic individual pen holder.

  15. posted by Anna on

    I have used sticky notes in various sizes in a similar way for years. They are cheaper (obtainable almost anywhere), they take any pencil or pen you happen to have handy (no need to search for a special marker), and they are disposable (without guilt).

    Although the Avery decals don’t qualify as a unitasker, as defined by this wonderful community, they seem to me to have serious limitations. I think I’ll pass.

  16. posted by wednesday on

    I have to confess to avoiding Martha Stewart products. She lost me a few years ago when she had out a bilious green seed dibbler (what’s wrong with a branch or, oh horrors, your finger for planting?). Shortly thereafter, her magazine contained a wonderful idea for running chicken wire down the length of a table and tossing a few fake or real leaves onto it by way of an autumn theme. I’ve come to think of her ideas as second-rate, catering to people who can’t come up with their own — and better — ideas. I’ve watched her invade K-Mart, Michaels, and now Staples. That she’s partnered with Avery impresses me not at all.

  17. posted by Rae on

    I’m glad to hear the dry erase labels work well as I debated whether or not to pick up a pack. I recently bought the chalkboard labels and have been very pleased with them so your testimonial about the dry erase ones has been helpful.

  18. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Anna — Actually, at $3 a piece, these decals are significantly less expensive than the same number of Post-It notes you would use during the decal’s lifespan. It’s cool if you don’t like the decals, but they are less expensive than Post-It notes.

  19. posted by Peggy on

    I actually have one on my desk at work for quick notes in order to cut down on post-its. It works great!

  20. posted by Katie A. on

    I bought one of these last week for our fridge. My only complaint is that it’s very hard (impossible, in my case) to get the bubbles out from behind it. I suppose if you keep a clean squeegee around the house you could get them out that way… Maybe someone should invent a dry-erase decal installation squeegee. ;-)

  21. posted by Maddie on

    I have a frame in my hallway, glass works as a great dry erase – a gold nail in the corner of the frame hangs the marker (eraser on the cap one)…I just used a spare piece of pale blue wrapping paper as “art”.

    You can also use a mirror the same way.

  22. posted by D. A. Conn on

    Good idea but needs to be stiffer so the surface you stick it to doesn’t protrude through.

  23. posted by ANGEL BLAIR on

    I noticed today that there is a 25% off coupon for Martha Stwart products online at Staples!!!

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