DIY Steel Magnetic Board for Kids That Doubles as A Dry Erase Board!

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For Christmas, we bought my toddler Melissa & Doug magnetic boards, and she loved playing with the magnets.  Thus, I decided I wanted to have a larger magnet board on the wall when we redid our study to include a craft corner for her.  I want to share this DIY magnetic board tutorial with you because it was such an easy project and had such great results!

My Daughter’s Craft Corner

Why did my daughter need a new craft corner?  Well, it had come to the point where her craft supplies were everywhere in our study, and my husband and I decided we needed a little more organization.  We also wanted her to have an area of her own to play in when are in the study working at our desks.  By giving her her own corner, it keeps her from getting into all our stuff.  She knows she is allowed to play with anything in her corner but is not allowed to touch other stuff around the room without permission first.

In this corner, she has all her craft supplies stored in bins and drawers and shelves.  It’s so organized now!  We put her bedazzled IKEA easel (check out the link for how I did it) next to the shelf.  I also decided to put the F box I had made from using an old diaper box and wrapping paper (check out that blog post too!) on top to hold even more goodies.

And on the wall to the right is her new DIY magnetic board!  You want to make a magnet board of your own now after seeing this setup, right?

How to make a magnetic board for kids:

I decided to make my own DIY magnetic board rather than buy one.  Because I was able to get a deal on the supplies, purchasing a comparable magnetic board would have cost me way more.  Plus, this project was so incredibly simple to make and required absolutely no tools!  A win-win situation.

One awesome thing about this kid’s magnetic board is that it will also double as a dry erase board with the proper supplies.  All you need is dry erase markers (kid-friendly ones) and a dry erase board eraser.  Before letting your kids go crazy with the markers, test them on the back of the steel piece to make sure they indeed do erase off your magnetic board though.

And, as if that’s not enough, I later made the magnetic board into a DIY felt board as well.  Really, this DIY magnetic board is so versatile for so little wall space!

Toddler Magnetic Board Supplies:

Here’s what you’ll need to assemble your own board:

  • 2′ x 3′ sheet of galvanized steel
  • 2′ x 3′ wooden picture frame

Yes, that’s it!  I bought the 2’x3′ sheet of galvanized steel from Lowe’s for around $8 or so and had it delivered to my house for free. (Here’s a similar one on Amazon.) Make sure you buy steel that is galvanized if you want it to be magnetic.  I also bought a 2’x3′ picture frame from Michael’s.  This was only $14.99 on one of their good sale days!  They regularly put their picture frames on sale at 70% off, so just keep an eye out.

A Few Easy Steps for the DIY Magnetic Board:

To make the magnetic board, I first took off the back of the picture frame and removed the plastic front.  At this point, you’ll basically have just a wooden frame.

I then discarded the plastic front and put the steel in the back of the frame.  Because you’re putting a 2’x3′ piece of galvanized steel into a 2’x3′ picture frame, there is no cutting required!  It should fit perfectly.

Last, I put the back of the picture frame on again to hold the steel in place.  Simple as that!

Here’s the finished project hanging on the wall!  I put some IKEA Sunnersta buckets on the bottom on a rail to hold the magnets that my daughter isn’t using at the time.  It keeps the space a little more organized, which was my goal!

DIY Magnetic Board Accessories

To populate the board with fun and educational magnets, I first purchased some magnetic letters from Dollar Tree.  These are the alphabet letters you see in the magnet board picture above.

Also, a while ago I upcycled some backsplash into fridge magnets.  These are perfect for this magnet board too.

I also started printing out my daughter’s favorite characters (Mickey and Minnie, Sesame Street, Scooby-Doo, etc) on paper and then laminated them using my laminator with laminating sheets.  I then cut the magnetic tape and put a rectangle on the back of each magnet.  Homemade magnets are cheap, easy, and very easily customized!

I’ve also been searching other blogs for good images that I can print out, laminate, and add magnets too also.  I’m thinking of something transportation-related, food-related, and Biblical.  This is still a work-in-progress!

Study Remodel to Toddler Craft Corner

Because I’m super proud of my study reorganization to create the craft corner with our kid’s DIY magnetic board, I want to share some pictures before it gets all messed up by my daughter!

Here are the KALLAX shelves we bought from IKEA all filled with craft goodies!  And beside it a rolling organizer that holds paper and other small items.

I also added some cute wall decals I found online!  I really like the alphabet letter decals.

So far, my daughter has LOVED having her magnet board on the wall to play with.  She has also loved her craft corner!

Don’t forget to check out how I made this magnet board into a felt board too if you’re interested in that versatility.  And make sure to stop by the DIY & Crafts section of our website as well!


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10 thoughts on “DIY Steel Magnetic Board for Kids That Doubles as A Dry Erase Board!”

  1. I did exactly the same thing a few month back for our fridge magnets. Sourced from Lowe’s and Michaels as well!!! LoL!
    But I used ikea spontan for kids play area. Because I got 4 pieces for $5 and perfect size for our narrow wall. Will pick up buckets and rail on our next trip to Ikea.

    1. Hi! I honestly don’t remember what gauge it was. It shouldn’t matter too much, though. As long as it is galvanized, it should be work and be magnetic. Just make sure the thickness isn’t too much that the steel won’t fit in the frame. The frame should support even thin sheets of steel, though.

    1. We actually just use dry erase markers on the magnetic galvanized steel, and they erase right off after we’re done drawing! So while it’s not a white traditional dry-erase board, it still functions like one.

    1. The picture frame had a couple of metal holders on the back that it hung from. My husband put bolts and screws in the wall to hang the holders on. It was nice and stable after he was done with it!

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