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Magnetic Messages

Martha Stewart Living, August 2007

Magnetic bulletin boards are handy, but the color options are limited. Make your own and you can match the powder blue of your kitchen. First, paint a prestretched artist's canvas. When it's dry, turn it over. Coat a piece of cut-to-fit sheet metal with spray adhesive, and attach it to the back of the canvas. Place a same-size piece of foam board on top of the metal. Then screw mirror clips (one on each side) into the frame and a sawtooth hanger on the back, toward the top. Glue ribbon around the edges for a finished look.

Comments (49)

  • Northland 18 Dec, 2012

    The design can make a lot of changes in the office. This is great! Thanks for the tips!

  • Northland 18 Dec, 2012

    The design can make a lot of changes in the office. This is great! Thanks for the tips!

  • Darby 922 26 Jun, 2012

    Why not just use a cookie sheet?

  • Sheryll 5 Oct, 2010

    And by the way, less you have found some modern, wonderfully easy spray adhesive.. I hate using it, always a mess and always stick my fingers together while spraying it, even with vinyl gloves.

  • Sheryll 5 Oct, 2010

    You need the foam board to keep the canvas and metal from caving in toward the wall. But unless you find some cheap, fake stuff , artist's canvas is expensive. So I am with mom7 about using fabric.

  • Sandra-Nana 7 Jul, 2010

    Can the directions for this project be printed with step-by-step pictures. I could really use this magnetic board, but am not sure how to complete it. One question I have is does the metal sheet adhere to the canvas or against the open end of the frame?

  • craftygrrrl 20 May, 2010

    abudden - the canvas is thin enough (even with paint) that most magnets should "stick" to the metal through it.

  • abudden 26 Apr, 2010

    I am not very handy - how does do the magnets stick if the sheet metal is inside the frame

  • MarthaFanPatty 23 Apr, 2010

    LOL i agree with pcdew :)

  • MarthaFanPatty 23 Apr, 2010

    LOL i agree with pcdew :)

  • ginahaase 10 Nov, 2009

    Love it! I just made one of these, although I framed it in wood instead or ribbon to match the cabinet door profile. Great option for someone who wants a magnet board, but has built-in (non-metallic) appliances.

  • pcdew 10 Nov, 2009

    Isn't that what your refrigerator is for?

  • hunnymumma 9 Nov, 2009

    I grabbed a piece of sheet metal from Home Depot and just put wallpaper over it to match my kitchen. Much easier!

  • rtcwoman 9 Nov, 2009

    I already have one of these - and it matches my kitchen perfectly....it's called the refrigerator!

  • Gumby55 27 Jan, 2009

    I have an Ambassador level (juniors

  • euphrasyne 10 Jan, 2009

    Old flat cookie sheets can work well also. I've used them under fabric and paper.

  • katwoman50 7 Jan, 2009

    Another way to do this would be with magnetic paint under the colored paint. I found magnetic paint at HD yesterday and it sparked a bunch of ideas.... magnetic chalkboard, whiteboard (also available as spray paints).

  • Meglywegly 4 Jan, 2009

    Sheet metal is usually found at hardware stores. I find mine at Home Depot in a "scraps section" down one of the isles. It is not something all the employees know about. I asked for it once and they said they didn't have any, but then I found some on the bottom shelf of one of the isles. They come in different sizes in that section. You may also be able to find it in large sheets they would have to cut for you. But larger sheets may be much thicker than you want for this project.

  • Meglywegly 4 Jan, 2009

    Sheet metal is usually found at hardware stores. I find mine at Home Depot in a "scraps section" down one of the isles. It is not something all the employees know about. I asked for it once and they said they didn't have any, but then I found some on the bottom shelf of one of the isles. They come in different sizes in that section. You may also be able to find it in large sheets they would have to cut for you. But larger sheets may be much thicker than you want for this project.

  • JenniferRobin 4 Jan, 2009

    Very fun project! It works great !
    I thought the descriptions were fine.
    The metal goes on the back, the foam board next and the mirror clips on the wood frame of the pre-stretched canvas.
    It works great in my classroom!

  • Michele0318 3 Jan, 2009

    I AM CONFUSED ABOT THE IZE OF THE FOAM BOARD...DOES IT FIT INSIDE? OR COVER THE BACK. I ASSUME IT FITS INSIDE, BUT THEN THE MIRROR CLIPS GO WHERE? ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BACK OF THE FRAME, WHAT THEN ARE THEY HOLDING IN IF THE METAL SHEET AND FOAM BOARD ARE INSIDE THE USUAL 1" FRAME OF THE CANVAS. I NEED PICTURES TO EXPLAIN THEIS BETTER.

  • grammabetty 3 Jan, 2009

    Martha, did you knonw that they make a paint that acts like a magnet? My granddaughter painted one wall in her new bedroom with this paint. Now she puts all kinds of item on the wall that are magnetic. I make pictures of her cats on magnetic backed paper and she put them on there too. It is so neat. Thank you for letting me add this.

  • pas_non 2 Jan, 2009

    this paragraph is a little too vague for the project. unless you know what you're doing, it's hard to visualize the process with that lower picture of the materials.

  • screaminscott 2 Jan, 2009

    I imagine the reason for the foam board is to add some stiffness to the sheet metal. Thin sheet metal will flex too much if you only use 4 mirror clips. I suppose you could get around using the foam board if you put some mirror clips every few inches around the back of the frame, but it's just easier to use the stiffness of the foam board to support the sheet metal, and then only use one mirror clip per side.

  • tuzday 2 Jan, 2009

    I'm not too craft savvy. Sometimes the directions for these crafts assume novices know more than they do. On this particular craft, why do you use the foam board over the metal sheet?

  • mom7 2 Jan, 2009

    I wouldn't bother painting artist canvas, but use spray adhesive to attach my choice of fabric to the sheet metal. This will match my room decor. I'm thinking about putting the assembled project behind a refurbished picture frame.

  • bobbie68 2 Jan, 2009

    most items can be found at a place like Lowe's or Home Depot, canvas board can be found at Michaels or an art store, I always call around to the stores to make sure they have the item first saves gas

  • bobbie68 2 Jan, 2009

    most items can be found at a place like Lowe's or Home Depot, canvas board can be found at Michaels or an art store, I always call around to the stores to make sure they have the item first saves gas

  • shaz5980 1 Jan, 2009

    Saves my fridge getting cluttered with all the messages etc

  • cotnoe 1 Jan, 2009

    help w/ foam board...where, need to cut, etc...
    thanks

  • Mascarello 1 Jan, 2009

    Wow why is it that everytime I go to make a Martha Stewart craft I am unable to find the things needed go complet the project? So frustrating. While the craft looks like a great one I lose my enthusiasm to make it. I can't decide if I want to go to several stores to find the metal.

  • computergirl 1 Jan, 2009

    This is really nice, I need one of these on all three floors of my home...just to leave notes or what ever...I'm going to e-mail this to my Granddaughter's teacher.
    Great idea....

  • Sweetpea67 1 Jan, 2009

    What does it matter if you cover the sheet metal with foam board? It won't be showing right?

  • PixieGrammySheila 1 Jan, 2009

    Oh man I agree with Atlasrelo!! I am soooooo "instructionally challenged" it isn't even funny! I read these instructions 5 times before I FINALLY figured it out! lol God Bless, Sheila in Decatur, IL

  • thebeez 1 Jan, 2009

    Ikea has metal magnet boards that can be coverd if you can't find sheet metal.

  • atlasrelo 1 Jan, 2009

    cool, but I would like a few pics here and there~ since I seem to be instructionally challenged~ giggle
    and this goes on all the projects~some seem more detailed while others~ not so much~

  • barbless 1 Jan, 2009

    This looks like a wonderful idea. Better Homes and Garden's newsletter had a similar project - they used a cookie sheet.

  • cythiejane 1 Jan, 2009

    I have already done this some time ago and have painted flowers and bugs on one to match my daughters room. It is great very inexpensive and a fun project to do with the family.

  • jerzee_mom 1 Jan, 2009

    did you check lowes or home depot? you wiil have to have it cut down, the sheets are big.

  • rexfluffy 1 Jan, 2009

    This is a very attractive board; I certainly intend to try making it.
    You can get magnetic metal sheets in the plumbing section of your hardware store.

  • snaterg 1 Jan, 2009

    I have been looking everyehere for sheet metal

  • winterbeach 1 Jan, 2009

    Now this is the kind of Martha thing that made her a household name and that is easy and elegant. LOVE IT.o

  • JMcGauley 1 Jan, 2009

    I put up a 40" X44" sheet metal in the hall way and covered it with family photos (old and new) for our family reunion. What a conversation piece and enjoyed by all. Covered it this Christmas with all my cards. Beautiful...

  • RunAliceRun 21 Nov, 2008

    This is a great idea and will work perfectly with the domino magnets I create! Thanks!!

  • kathiguam 7 Jun, 2008

    I'll stabilize mine by adding metal L brackets painted the same shade (or not) and use them to attach to the wall. 2 for the top and top under the bottom. The board won't move (or fall) and that's imortant around young children and old toes here in earthquake country!

  • Alysyn 5 Jun, 2008

    If you paint a white magnetic board then you have a greater chance of scratching the surface paint off than you do with a canvas. It might be a little more work, but the results will last a lot longer.

  • trekkiemom 5 Jun, 2008

    Why not spray paint a white magnetic board ayn color you want? Much simlper!

  • carolelw 4 Jun, 2008

    There is definitely a quicker way to achieve a magnetic surface. Magnetic paint applied where ever you wish then paint over with colour of your choice.

  • Carolleehall 4 Jun, 2008

    This is just what I need. I like the option of color and where I can go with it. Size is another area where I can have choices. Why, I can go wild or mild! A youngster's room would lend itself to some very cute ideas. And the ideas keep going. Good work and thank you.