DIY Magnetic Chalkboards

Chalkboards seem to be the biggest craze right now, and I’ve totally jumped on board.

I’ve been looking for something to make my own for awhile, but haven’t had much luck. I like the framed chalkboard look, but couldn’t see a piece of glass being sturdy (or safe) enough. I thought I could get just a piece of wood, but then I’d have to sand it, cut it, etc.— too much work!

I was shopping at the Dollar Tree the other day, though, and found these silver square metal serving trays. There were other shapes, some fancier than others, but I liked the square ones best for the space I was looking to use them in. They were somewhat small, 10″x 9″, but only a buck a piece, so I decided to get four of them — one for each member of the family: my husband, myself, our daughter and our baby on the way.

Each family member can have their own designated board for appointments or notes to each other to stay organized.

I then ventured over to Walmart. There, I found chalkboard paint for $4.77 and some colored chalk — Roseart brand for only $.47. There are many recipes out there for DIY chalkboard paint that you could use too, but I decided to take a shortcut and purchase it ready-made.

I also picked up a 16-pack of round sticky-back magnets for $1.97 to put on the back of the trays so that I can hang my chalkboards on the refrigerator. I had considered hanging them on a wall with ribbon, but with the layout of our kitchen, the refrigerator is our best option.

If you don’t have any foam paint brushes, I’d recommend getting one of those, too. I already had a bunch from another project, so I didn’t need to purchase one at this time.

It’s a very simple process… You open up your paint, and you paint your silver trays. I do recommend a few coats. The packaging for the paint says two coats, but I actually did three because the coverage didn’t seem all that great the first two times around. Let each coat dry before starting the next coat.

Once your final coat is dry, you can add your magnets to the back of the tray. I tried it at first using three magnets on each tray in a triangle shape, but found that they wobbled as I wrote on the chalkboards, so I had to add two more so that there was one in each corner. So, if you do use the round magnets, I would recommend using four magnets for each tray!

I also found that sometimes the magnets didn’t hold well. I found some extra-strong magnets that come in a four-pack, so I just stuck one to the middle of each tray (I didn’t adhere them!) for a little bit of reinforcement, so that’s a little fix if you are finding yourself having the same problem.

If you decide to use ribbon or have another hanging method in mind, you would go ahead and do that at this time.

The best thing about chalkboard paint is that you can let your ideas run wild — you can use it on just about anything you please, so if metal trays aren’t what you’re looking for, you can opt for something else! Try a ceramic pot or use it on your bins for organization!

You can have so much fun with it!

My total spent on this project was $11.21. Not too shabby!

6 Responses to DIY Magnetic Chalkboards

  1. I had no idea you could buy the chalkboard paint in that size container! awesome DIY

  2. I love this idea! And that small bottle of chalkboard paint is a great find.

  3. I am so into the chalkboard ideas right now. This is awesome!

  4. Love this idea! I’ll have to make some for my daughter. She absolutely loves chalk but it’s getting too cold to play outside.

  5. How did I miss this? I love it!

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