Thursday, February 9, 2012

{DIY} Vintage Magnetic Board and Magnets

This is one of my favorite projects yet!

(Kind of similar to the "command center" I made from the old screen for my Mom Cave.)

Today's project isn't made from an old screen ...... it's made from an old window.
This window, in fact .....

(I like old stuff .... have I mentioned that?)

The only BUMMER about this project.....?
I didn't even get to keep it!

Here's the story:
Every February, my school has an auction.
Each teacher/classroom is responsible for coming up with a project to auction off.

Being a kindergarten teacher, my job is a little extra challenging where this project is concerned ..... because the students have to "help" with the project.  And five year olds?  Probably not the most ideal "help" when you are trying to create something that will make a lot of money!

Since I have my stockpile of old windows (rescued by the hubster from a job site), I thought I might do something with one of those.
I eventually decided on a magnetic board ..... and "student-made" magnets!


(Kind of a long process to explain here .... so I hope you're ready!)

First of all, materials needed:

  • old window (or a frame would work, too)
  • a piece of galvanized sheet metal to fit inside the window pane (Lowe's)
  • radiator screen (Lowe's)
  • self-etching primer
  • two colors spray paint
  • adhesive (I used e-6000)
  • heavy-duty tin snips

Here are the beginning steps......
The handy husband helped me cut the galvanized sheet metal to fit into the window pane.
The self-etching primer was KEY .... it made the spray paint stick like glue!
The yellow color I chose was Strawflower Yellow from Rust-oleum.  (even though it says cornflower yellow above! ... pretty sure cornflower is blue!  oops!)  

Next comes the part that makes this project extra-special (I think!).
I used a radiator screen (which just happened to be located in the SAME place as the galvanized sheet metal at Lowe's .... and when I saw it .... LIGHTBULB MOMENT!  So even though I went in to buy the sheet metal, I came out with the sheet metal AND the radiator grate!).
I laid the screen over the top of the (painted yellow) sheet metal and sprayed OVER it with Heirloom White by Rust-oleum.
This is what your fingertips look like when you spray paint them.  
(I had to press down on the radiator screen to try to keep the pattern as non-blurry as possible!)  

Moving on to the actual frame ..... 
I painted the entire window (front and back) with Heirloom White, then affixed the sheet metal directly to the window pane using e-6000.  
To give the frame a little extra "antique", I brushed on a layer of glaze, left it on for five or six minutes, then wiped with a damp cloth.    

And now the final step -- the magnets ......
The magnets were inspired by the alphabet magnets I made for Lucy last year.  (You can read about the process more thoroughly HERE if you want!)
But long story short, I painted some wood discs from the craft store with the same Heirloom White, then sanded and distressed the edges using Walnut Distress Ink.  
Finally, I used my kindergartners' finger prints to create the designs on the magnets.  (I let the kids choose what they wanted to make ..... flower, heart, butterfly, etc.)

We finished them off with a fine-tip sharpie for the details and a coat of spray-on polyurethane.  
The magnets were glued to the back with e-6000, as well.  (No, I did not let the kindergartners get anywhere NEAR that stuff! -- I did that at home after school!)

I think these magnets are absolutely PRECIOUS, and all of the parents who got to see them loved them, as well.  
Even if you don't make a magnetic board ..... the magnet project would be so much fun for your kids!  And what an awesome gift and/or keepsake!  
I'm totally making some with Lucy's fingerprints soon!  

Putting it all together .....

You can see the white is more blurry in some areas than others .... and at first, that really bothered me.
Okay, okay ..... if I'm telling the truth, I repainted it THREE TIMES before I stood back and thought -- "What the heck am I doing???  This is an old, shabby-looking window .... why would I want the metal to look "perfect" anyway!?"
As soon as I decided to "leave well-enough alone" --- I immediately LOVED the outcome.

I truly can't tell you how much I love this project!  
I wanted to buy it back for myself SOOOO badly!  (Though I wouldn't have felt right "taking it away" from the parents of my kindergartners who were bidding on it!)

I kept reminding myself ..... there are more windows where this one came from!  I can (and will!) easily make my own.
Such a perfect spot for displaying your favorite photos, invitations, the shopping list, etc....

Not a bad transformation, eh?  
Would you have bid on this sweet project....? :-)

(*linking up with Funky Junk Interiors for the "old window collection")


  1. I love this idea! I have seen bloggers use welcome mats to do something similar but am willing to bet that this costs a little less. Brilliant!!!

  2. This is oh SO precious Bec!! I just LOVE the design part with the radiator screen!! :) I love all of your magnetic board much that I'm working on one right now for myself!! ;) I want one for every day of the year!! ha! And those magnets are SO darling!! Great job!! And yes, I would bid on this one any day!

  3. Hi, Bec

    I love this board! Awesome, you need to make one for yourself too. : )


  4. Ooh, we also have an auction in June. This is such an inspiring idea! So, what did it go for? I always love hearing about the auction wins. ha ha

  5. Cuz you're a GENIUS! Radiator do you come up with this stuff?!?!?!

  6. This is SO awesome. I am going to see if I can wrangle my husband in and us doing it as a family. I love this. Thanks for the fabulous idea and I would have bid quite a bit to take it home with me. Totally worth it.

  7. Oh, what a great project! Those little fingerprint magnets are too, too cute! I'd be thrilled if you'd share here:

  8. much did this beauty go for?

  9. This is such a great idea! I love the whole thing but my fave are the fingerprint magnets. I am a new Pinterest follower visiting from Made By Little Hands. Vicky from Mess For Less

  10. What a super cute idea!! Would love for you to stop by and link up to the Tuesday To Do Party (if you haven't already.) Also, the Pretty Packages Party is going on & I would love for you to share any creative gifts, packages or party favor ideas!


  11. This is adorable. I think I would like to do one in darker colors for my family room... Thanks for the idea. Great tutorial too!

  12. The magnet board and magnets are soooo cute!! Love this idea! We loved having you at our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." Come back next Saturday and share more of your great ideas! -The Sisters

  13. Oh wow!! Bec, this is SUCH a sweet project! I love everything! I love the old window. I love the fingerprint magnets. Everything is so darling! XO

  14. The painted fingers were definitely WORTH IT!!! The result is breathtaking!

    I would LOVE it if you stop by my blog too :)

  15. Gorgeous!!! I love this :) I would love it if you shared it at Toot Your Horn Tuesday over at my blog next week :)

  16. Love it! The magnets are so cute..
    Thanks for linking up!

  17. Love this idea so much that I am featuring it today!
    ~Tonia @TheGunnySack

  18. Featuring you tonight over on my blog! You were one of the top viewed links at last week's {wow me} wednesday party! Congrats! :)

    Ginger @


Thank you for your comments!
I love EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. :-)