DIY MAGNETIC CHALKBOARD

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To make this Framed Magnetic Chalkboard, you’ll need just a few things, and most of it you’ve probably already got.

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Supplies:  Magnetic Paint, Chalkboard Spray Paint, Tools, Screws, 2 wooden fence boards, one small piece of plywood, canning jar, pipe clamp, mending brackets, and chalk!

circular saw

First cut your boards.  I used:  2 – 30″, and 2 – 20″ fence boards and cut the plywood to 22″ X 22″.  If you want to make yours smaller, you’ll need to work out the measurements differently.

Another note about the type of wood you choose:  I chose to use old fence boards because they were laying around in my garage, and otherwise worthless.  They also look nice and weathered, because they are.

old-weathered-wooden-fence-texture

You can use new, old, pallets, etc.  If you aren’t satisfied with the color of your wood, just stain it or paint it!  Add your own life to it.  I also chose plywood for the backing.  This is also because it was already laying around.  Some people wouldn’t like that because it is not completely flat, and the chalkboard is uneven.  I personally like the texture.

Now, align your frame in a square.  The two long pieces on top and the others in between.  The reason the side pieces are shorter is because the width of the fence boards is 5.25″.  So, essentially, 10 inches was cut so that I had an almost-square.   You can arrange them however you like.  Here’s another option, though you’ll want all the same size boards:

make frame

You want to be looking at the back side of the frame for the next step so flip your boards over now if you’re looking at the front.  Square them up and now we will add those brackets!

mending brackets

Pictured above are mending brackets like I used.  You can get them at any hardware store, and they come in every shape and size, plus they’re cheap!  You’ll need 4, one for each corner, and they come with the screws you need.  So start screwing them together, making sure you’re squared up along the way.  I always use the square tool, just to be sure.

Now you need to paint!!  Paint the plywood (or whatever you chose for your backing) with the magnetic paint.  You need multiple coats.  I chose to only do 2 coats, and magnets stick, but don’t necessarily hold more than one photo or one piece of paper.  So, the more the merrier here.  This is the time-consuming part because you have to let it dry in-between coats.

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Now would be a great time to paint or stain that frame if you choose.  The magnetic paint and chalk paint can be used if you like and then you could stick stuff to it, or draw on it too!!

DRY…. DRY…. DRY…

Paint the Chalkboard Paint over the magnetic paint.  I used one strong coat, and that’s all I needed.  If you chose not to use the magnetic paint, I’d do 2 coats here.

DRY… DRY… DRY…

Now, assembly! Screw your plywood into the back of the frame.  This also gives added stability to your frame.  I used 1/2″ screws to go through the 1/4″ plywood.   Use as many as you feel are necessary.  I went with 8, which is 2 on every side.  Now flip it all over and get super excited about how awesome you are!

OK, now that you’re calm.  The last little step:  Take that pipe clamp I mentioned, which looks like this:

pipe clamp

Screw it into the frame at approximately 1/2 way up one side.  The trick here is that it has little slots in the back, and you need your screw to go through one of those slots.  I opened that clamp up really wide, and got in there with the screw gun.  It isn’t hard, but you are forcing a hole.  Also: make sure that the part that loosens and tightens it (with a flathead screwdriver) is facing forward so that you can tighten it around your jar.  Once it’s on there, tighten it around your jar!!  Put your chalk and eraser in the jar!!

Now hang it up!!  I used D-Ring Hanging Brackets.  These are also found at your local hardware store.  Just use small screws to attach them to the plywood top.

D-ring hanging brackets

That’s it!!  You’ve got your own!!

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One final note:  You can skip all the measuring, cutting, etc by just painting the back of an existing frame.  I wanted the go-big or go-home look, so I worked a little harder.  If you’ve got a frame that you like, you can also add wood to the inside instead of glass, or just paint directly on the wall behind it!!  🙂  Thanks for reading!

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