Today was my first attempt at making a magnetic memory board and I'm very happy with the results. I took pictures along the way so you could make one too!
First, decide how you want to frame your board, if at all. After searching countless thrift and craft stores, I finally decided to just take the picture frame off my own bedroom wall. Shhhh....don't tell Ted. He doesn't know yet!
Next, a trip to Lowes was in order. I bought a 24 x 30 piece of galvanized steel. Very important: Make sure it's NOT aluminum. Magnets will not stick to aluminum. While there, you may also want to either buy your own tin cutters or ask if they'll cut it down for you to size. Also, be very careful. Once the metal has been cut, it's very sharp.
I had two choices. I could either just cover this and have a huge magnetic board in Mary's room or put it in the frame I pilfered from my bedroom. Although the idea of her having more space was tempting, I chose the frame. It's much prettier and at 22 1/2" x 18", it's still a good size, yet wouldn't overwhelm the room.
Using a permanent marker, cut out the size needed (I just traced the cardboard backing that was already in my frame).
While researching how to make these, one tutorial used just scissors to cut the steel. This person must have had an extremely flimsy sheet because I could just about cut it with the snippers.
Surprise, surprise. Mary picked the color pink for her board. After spray painting it, I lightly sanded it and distressed it with Walnut Ink. This was very faint though. Mary doesn't like the distressed look. But, a little shabby chic never hurt anyone!
Next, choosing a fabric. Would Mary like a spring green to complement the pink or a pale pink to enhance the frame? Do I even need to ask?
Make sure to iron it!
With steel, both sides are magnetic, so it doesn't matter which side you choose for the front. Using Aileen's Tacky Glue, I attached the fabric to the sheet.
Then I made sure to pull it very tight and fold it on the back. I kept it together using double-sided tape, but I'm sure hot glue would work just as well. It doesn't matter that this part doesn't look pretty. What matters is that the front is taut to prevent bubbles.
Maybe I was getting carried away, but I thought it needed a teeny weeny bit more texture so I added white lace.
What makes this even more special is that the kids made bottle cap magnets, using images from old children's books. There's even a picture of Mary in one.
It'll probably be another month or so before the attic is finally finished being renovated, but when it is, we'll be ready!
The only difficult part about this project was cutting the steel, but it was still doable and worth it in the long run. I still have almost half the steel left over to make smaller boards and I finally got to use some of my pretty toile that's just been sitting in a cabinet. And I love that the kids' bottlecap magnets are part of this project too. If you've got any questions about this project, just send me a line and I'll be happy to help.