Saturday, July 4, 2009

How To Make a Magnetic Message Board

Magnetic Chalkboard Paint - The first step is choosing something to serve as a frame for your magnetic message board. The best and most available option is an ordinary picture frame. When selecting a frame, feel free to be as normal or eccentric as you want. Picture frames come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. The only thing that may limit you is size. Determine what size is best for your situation and take off from there. You won't need the glass window, but keep the cardboard insert, and the picture backing.

Once you've settled on a frame, now you can focus on the magnetic message board itself. You have some choices to make here: If you simply want to be able to use magnets to hang notes and messages, then just about any magnetic sheet metal will do, such as galvanized metal, steel, and some stainless steels. If you also want to be able to write on the board's surface, you will have to obtain the enameled sheet metal used for dry-erase boards. Make sure the metal is magnetic. Dry-erase metal may be difficult to obtain as raw and uncut, nevertheless, try your local arts and crafts stores or even local sheet metal shops. If none is to be found, you may have to purchase a dry-erase board from your favorite big-box store and strip it down in order to customize it with your frame. Again, use a magnet to make sure your board is magnetic before you buy it.

Then, taking the sheet metal that will be used as your magnetic message board, trace the cardboard backing that you removed from the picture earlier onto the metal. Pick up the tin snips and carefully cut out the traced piece. Be careful of the sharp edges.

For this step, you will create a backing for the message board that will give it some extra rigidity. Depending on how your picture frame accepts pictures (i.e. - slide-in, clamp-in, etc.), determine how thick of a backing will work. Corrugated cardboard will be the best option for a backing - if it will fit. The cardboard insert that you removed from the picture may work for this. If not, try something else. For example, linoleum, plastic, wood, an old book cover, etc. Once you have the material for your backing, trace and cut it to the proper size. Glue the backing to the back of the magnetic message board with the appropriate glue.

Last step! Insert the message board and backing into the picture frame, add some creative, funky magnets, and there you have it! Finished! Unless you chose to go with dry-erase, then you may want to attach some markers. Buy some Velcro squares from just about anywhere and stick one to the marker and one to the board. Now you a place to attach your marker.

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Happy trying!

( Magnetic Chalkboard Paint )

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