DIY Magnetic Inspiration Boards (on a Budget)! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY Magnetic Inspiration Boards (on a Budget)!

For the longest time, I really wanted to own a pretty memo ribbon board.  I had a boring cork board with equally dull thumbtacks.  The ribbon boards were so pretty, functional, and customizable to your needs.  Then when Pinterest came around, there were tons of tutorials about how to make all types of memo boards!

When I saw the tutorial for a magnetic memo board made from a cookie sheet, it was immediate inspiration.  However, being the overly detailed crafter that I am, I decided to make it a huge project.  The upside is, here's a tutorial about how to make your own magnetic inspiration board!

What You Will Need

  • Cookie sheet
  • Frame (or cabinet door) slightly larger than the cookie sheet
  • Cardboard, if the cookie sheet is not perfectly flat
  • Cotton batting
  • Upholstery nails
  • Fabric
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Blank sheet of paper
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Pliers
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Magnets
  • Embellishments (paint, vinyl, stickers, etc.)

Disclaimer: I've never done a tutorial before, so be prepared for LOTS of pictures!

By the way, my project materials came to me while walking through IKEA.  A couple of As-Is cabinet doors for $4.99, and cookie sheets for $6.99.  I could have probably gotten the materials for cheaper at the dollar store, or with a bit of searching but I was antsy to start!  Also, I got two of each since I was trying out a new project from scratch and was sure to make some mistakes.

Minor problem, the cookie sheet was bent...

So out came my trusty mallet and a couple of pieces of old cardboard!

A few whacks later, and I had a nearly flat cookie sheet.

It looks warped, but it's a camera trick!

It went from this...

To this!

Next, I tried to clean the dinged spots off of my cabinet door with some household cleaner, but it didn't work.  :(  So it was off to my friend's house for some painting!

Luckily, she suggested that we try some solvent to remove gummy sticker residue, and it worked!!!


One less step, which I'm never one to complain about!

There was a tiny bit of space between my cookie sheet and the end of the cabinet door inlay, so I needed a bit of cotton batting for my upholstery nails to go through.

Measure twice, cut once...

And voila, perfect fit!

Now on to some fun stuff, picking the fabric!  These were a few options I had in mind initially.

But I settled on a purple fabric with swirls that I bought for 99 cents, and only used half for my board!  I just cut it a few more inches on each side of the cookie sheet.

Next, came wrapping the board and batting in the fabric.

Just a little bit of tape to temporarily secure the fabric to the cookie sheet.

Perfect fit!

Next gather the following tools.

After figuring out how many upholstery nails you would like to line your board, use a ruler and mark off the exact placement that you would like.  I used two packages, which were $1.30 each.

Use a straight nail to start the hole for your upholstery nails and use the pliers, if needed, to remove the nail.

You could actually skip this step, but this is what happened when I tried to nail the upholstery nails in directly.  :(

Repeat for the next side, but to make everything easier, transfer the markings to your blank sheet of paper to ensure that you have the same nail placement.

Now, use the mallet to hammer your upholstery nails through the cotton batting and into each of the pre-made holes.

Time for the embellishment!

I chose to use my Silhouette to cut some vinyl words and swirls.  I even cut some letters for the magnets from the scrap pieces that were left over.

And the best part is, that I didn't totally screw up the first board...

So I made a second one!

If you look closely at the two boards, you'll notice that the fabric on the second board has inverted colors from the first board.  I chose the fabric without noticing that the wrong side of the fabric was just as pretty.  I love that they're nearly the same, but different!

I have yet to decorate the magnets on the second board, because I'm out of ideas.  I'll just wait for my Inspiration board to inspire me soon.  :)

Since I mentioned that this would be done on a budget, the whole project cost me just over $15!  It's actually one of my more expensive projects, but I think it was well worth it.

I hope that you guys find this helpful and make beautiful boards of your own!  If you do, feel free to leave a link to your project in the comments below.  Enjoy!


  1. This is awesome! It gives me hope of doing something like that for Susanna one day when she's older, or making one with her!

    1. Thanks! It would also be really easy to personalize with her name if you have a large enough area around the magnetic board, like I did.

  2. Replies
    1. Me too! Even better than I thought, especially after adding the vinyl fancy schmancy swirls. :)

  3. Great post! I love how you flattened it, lol. Girls with tools rock!
    I found you today at Adventures of a DIY Mom's Linky. I hope you are able to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

    1. Thanks! I'm only semi-handy with tools, although I'd love to learn how to use some bigger, fancier power tools! I wasn't going to buy sheet metal and cut it down myself, but I can swing a mallet with the best of them!

  4. I love this! You did a really good job. Thanks for the tutorial! I followed your link from the Frugal Girls . I'm glad I came and looked!

  5. awesome! Love the creativity behind this! Great tutorial!!!
    Thanks so much for linking up at Give Me The Goods Monday! Can't wait to see what you link up next week!
    Amy from

  6. Thanks for sharing such a fun tutorial! I have been wanting to try making something like this for my craft room/office!

    Ashley @

  7. Love how this turned out and I love the tutorial! Thanks so much for linking up to Handmade Tuesdays @

  8. Very pretty! I like how you used the inverse pattern of the fabric as well. Thanks so much for linking up at Real Family Fun.

  9. Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop!
    Hope you can join us again this week!

  10. What a creative idea! Love how everything worked out so nicely to create such lovely inspiration boards!

    Thanks so much for linking up last month!


  11. This is such a great idea! Your tutorial seems simple enough for even me to follow. lol

    Also -- I'd love for you to share this at my link party "Organize My Life". Stop on by!


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