Sunday, March 8, 2015

DIY Sunday: Sheet Metal Magnet Message Boards

Good Weekend!

I have a pretty simple project to share today. Sometimes I take pictures of a project as I'm doing it with the thought that I'll do a tutorial. Then I go to write the tutorial and realize there is maybe two steps and the word "tutorial" is probably a bit of a stretch. Today's project is one of those "tutorials." It's so insanely simple there is only a few steps.

As you know, I'm in the middle of an office renovation. One thing I need as part of this renovation was a larger message board. My previous one was a 12 x 12 piece of cork board. Bit of an upgrade when it came to the real estate I was giving my message board.

I did some research to decide exactly what I wanted to do for my message board. I considered magnetic paint but nixed the idea when a friend didn't have a great experience. I attempted to buy some really cool cut metal sheets that are normally used as radiator covers, but had to return them when I realized they weren't magnetic (duh!). I finally ended up with some sheet metal and simple ribbon.

DIY Sheet Metal Magnet Boards

Sheet Metal. (FYI: No one at any of the stores had any idea where this stuff was located. At Lowe's they have a section of "strip metal" which had sheet metal. I found the stuff I liked at Home Depot in the Heating and Cooling section. It was thinner and lighter than the sheet metal at Lowe's. )
Drill & Drill Bit
Hammer (and spare piece of wood if you have it)
Ribbon & Scissors
Tape Measure

Total Cost for 3 Magnet Boards: $30.00


1. Drill Holes

The first thing you need to do is put your gloves on before you handle the sheet metal. You will find that the edges are extremely sharp. That also means that if you use my method, the board needs to be somewhere you won't come in contact with the raw edges. (My boards are behind my desk) If you're going to put them in a high traffic location, I suggest you build a frame for the sheet metal or even use some duct tape around the edges (you could use the new duct tape that comes in fun designs). I have the injury to prove that the metal will cut you. It's no joke people! The metal will take no prisoners!

Second, you need to drill a hole through the sheet metal. I chose to drill two holes five inches from each side. I made a small mark with dry erase marker (which wipes off) where I wanted the holes. Since this sheet metal is so thin, I didn't need any lubricant on my drill bit to cut through it. I put a piece of scrap wood behind the sheet metal and simply drilled.

2. Smooth Holes

There are special tools that can be used to smooth down the hole you cut. I chose to do the simple option and simply bang down any sharp edges. I took my scrap wood, placed it on the front of the sheet and then used my hammer to bang down the sharp edges sticking out from the back.

3. Thread Ribbon

Thread the ribbon through the holes, going from front to back. Gently pull the ribbon through (there are still sharp edges that will shred the ribbon if you move too quickly). Knot the ribbon and then carefully move the ribbon so the knot is up against the hole in the back therefore not noticeable.

4. Hang Your Board

I did three large boards, so I had to measure out where the middle point of each board would go. A laser level was extremely helpful for making sure my boards were even. I also made sure each ribbon was the same length so they would hang level. Although each board is very light, I figured it would eventually get heavy as I added notes to the board, so I used a drywall anchor if I didn't hit a stud.

So there you have it, a simple easy project that makes a big impact. Up next is the BIG office reveal!



Bernice Parsons said...

Wow, those DIY magnetic plates are really nice, and quite useful too. I bet a lot of people could use these kind of things. Just be careful on handling them next time. You wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself every time you’re trying to reach for it. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Bernice Parsons @ Badger Anodising

Bernice Parsons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Despite the cut on your finger, I think you were able to create a really lovely looking magnet board. I hope it’s holding up quite nicely, and that it was a lot of help to you. Thanks for sharing this with us, Krista!

Rosemary Bailey @ Wabi Iron & Steel Corp.

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