Thursday, February 28, 2013

DIY :: Magnetic & Chalkboard Frames

A project I did back in November was quite an evolution. My aunt hosts an art sale every year before the holidays, so I always try to come up with something new to sell for fun and to make some extra cash before the holidays. This project was definitely pin-spired - I'd seen a lot of framed chalkboards, but I wanted to take it a step further to make magnetic boards and magnetic chalkboards.

To keep the cost down I spent months gathering the largest frames I could find from the local 2nd hand stores, or garage sales. My budget was $5 or less for each frame... the best deals were definitely from garage sales. I was mostly looking for great shapes and sturdy wood that I could refinish. The frames weren't the best looking when I bought them, but a little clean-up and paint and they really turned out well!

Another large component was the metal - I knew I wanted to do at least 10 frames, so I priced out material. Home depot sells magnetic metal in sheets, but also sells it in rolls. I decided the roll would be the better investment because I could use it for more frames down the road if they sold well, as well as other projects. The sheets were about $10 a piece while the roll was about $50 on sale (in the roofing supply section.) I also made an investment in an electric metal cutter. That set me back about $40, but was well worth the investment over the $25 manual scissors-type cutter. It was great because it cut through the metal like butter. Definitely invest in safety gloves, the metal is extremely sharp to handle and I made the mistake doing it without and totally cut up my hands. Safety glasses are also a great thing to use - never know what could shoot out flying!

The other part of the project that was a bit time-consuming was covering the metal. I knew I wanted to do some with chalk-board paint, but the others, I wanted to make more like interior art - something that would shnazz up someone's office or workspace. My idea was to cover the metal in really great fabrics. For me, it takes a bit of time wandering back and forth to decide on a fabric that's not too busy that could be more like a show-piece; especially knowing that these boards would have lots of stuff posted to them anyways. My favorite fabric finds were from Ikea... Nice bold, modern, colorful, and neutral selections... I chose 2 main kinds that I felt would be pretty flexible in different work-spaces.

These frames were the first to end up selling. I painted the frames in an off-white,
and painted with a glaze to give them a more distressed and worn look.

The final process to making the boards was creating the magnets. I looked into different options, and was really hoping to find different stones as well to make magnets out of... I couldn't find any that were quite the right shape I was looking for for the budget I had created. I ended up going with clear glass stones from the dollar store that I either painted or cut fabric or paper that I decoupaged onto the back of. They turned out great - like a clear glass bubble with the designs showing through.

I could get a little more colorful with the more plain magnetic chalkboards (where I used scrap decorative paper that I had from previous projects) whereas for the fabric ones, I used pieces of the same fabric to embellish the set.

Here was one of my displays for the show.

My packaging was last-min and not that great, but the boards really turned out well.

A friend of mine ordered a couple for Christmas as well. I found a fabric that was really colorful that I thought my friend would love. The other was for her sister, who is rocking selling Mary Kay. Mary Kay is all pink, but at the same time she lives in Chicago - so I founds something that I thought would be classy but girly with pink. I'm really happy with how these turned out, and the frames are great because they are old, but are a really nice quality, heavy wood.

The possibilities are endless! I didn't end up keeping one for myself (I don't really have the room for it right now) But I envision someday when I have a workspace - say, in the kitchen area, this would be a cool accent to decorate, but still be functional.

I'd love to know if you have ideas, or what you think?

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