It's Stephanie (AKA Mama Pea) from Peas in a Pod here again for another tutorial. This time around I have a project that requires NO SEWING and is somewhat KID FRIENDLY for those out-of-school, I'm-so-bored-Mom kids! (Skip to the bottom to see my daughter making hers!)
So, how about we make this little magnet board and magnets that you could hang in your kitchen or in a kids' room?! Well, all right then....let's rock and roll!
If you prefer a downloadable version of this tutorial, here it is: Download Magnet Board Tutorial (Fair Warning: It's a fairly large file due to the number of photos.)
Skills you will learn/practice:
In this tutorial, you will learn how to adhere fabric to other surfaces using Mod Podge, and you will learn to use a button-covering tool to cover your own buttons!
(This is what I used for my magnet board. There are lots of places where you could substitute things to meet your needs, which I encourage you to do!)
Cookie sheet. You can use an old one that you have, or I found this three pack really cheap ($4 for all three) at WalMart! Or, like I said, use an old one you have or that you pick up at a resale shop. This is a great project for “up-cycling!” We are going to be spray painting the cookie sheet, so you won’t be able to use it for cooking again!
Spray paint in a color of your choice. Make sure you choose a paint that is made to be applied on metal, like Krylon Outdoor or Rustoleum. We are going to use this to spray paint the cookie sheet to match our fabric.
Sugar and Spice fabric scraps that are large enough to cover the flat part of the cookie sheet. You don’t even need one piece that will fit the entire sheet. You can cut it up and apply it as patchwork in any way you like.
You will also need some ribbon or trim. I only needed enough to go across the narrower width of my cookie sheet for my design. You may need more or less, depending on your design and your cookie sheet.
(Optional) Pellon Medium Weight Fusible Interfacing. I ironed this onto the back of my light colored fabric because I was afraid the color from the cookie sheet below my fabric would show through. But, after making another where I did not include this, I’m not sure it was really necessary. If you are concerned about color showing through the fabric, I suggest backing it with some medium or heavy weight fusible interfacing.
Mod Podge. I used matte. I didn’t want my project glossy. But you might prefer the glossy! I’m told by my good friend, Jackie, that if you live in part of the world where you cannot get Mod Podge that equal parts of white glue and warm water work just fine. (Jackie says the warm water makes the glue dissolve better.) If you cannot get it or don’t wish to spend the money on it, try that tip! Thanks, Jackie!
A foam paintbrush. I like the cheap, disposable ones you can get at the craft store. I do rinse them out and reuse them, but after a while, they get gunky, and I don’t feel one bit guilty throwing them out!
Button cover kit(s). You may want to get a few of these in different sizes, if you want your magnets to be different sizes. If your magnets will all be the same size, then that’s fine, too. This kit came with one tool for covering buttons and three buttons. To make additional buttons, you can buy refill kits so you don’t have to buy the tool again.
I also used a couple kinds of glue. I wanted to try this Elmer’s Household Cement for gluing the magnets to the buttons. It worked great. You may have another glue that works very well. I also used some FabriTac glue for gluing the crocheted flower on my magnet board. The cement would have worked here, too. Look around your house. You probably have some good glues that you can use.
A variety of embellishments. I used some little “bling” stickers, buttons, pearle cotton, embroidery floss, and a little crocheted flower (from Riley Blake). Be creative! I bet you can find some fun stuff around your house!
- Scissors (paper and fabric)
- Rotary cutter
- Acrylic rulers
- Drill bits (I used 9/32 and 5/32)
- Rat tail file (a round metal file)
- Small hammer
- Nail setting tool/punch or a large nail
- Marker and pencil
- Newspapers or something to protect your work surface
- Water soluble marker (optional)
Much of this can be done with children. But the first few steps should be done by or with an adult!
NOTE: I did this first step last. That’s why you’ll see that my project is already painted. You will be starting with an unpainted cookie sheet. My husband teased me for drilling AFTER I painted and said it would be much better if I had done the drilling first instead of last so I didn’t mar my paint job. LOL. So, I’m telling you to do this step first. Do as I say, not as I do, as they say. LOL.
Step 1: Drill Holes for Hanging Magnet Board
As you can see by the photo on the cover of the tutorial, I hung my board the long way. So, my holes are on one of the short edges of the cookie sheet. Measure in 1.5” from one of the corners and mark a dot in the center of the side of the cookie sheet at this mark.
Before drilling the holes, it will help to make a small dent in the side of the cookie sheet where you plan to drill. This will keep the drill bit from wandering all over your cookie sheet. Position a punch (or nail setting tool) on your dot, and give it a light tap with your hammer. Repeat this on your other mark as well.
Next you are going to drill. Start with the smaller bit to drill a pilot hole. Use a 5/32 drill bit first. Then, drill again with the larger bit to make a larger hole (9/32). Because you made a pilot hole, the larger hole will be easier to drill.
When drilling, hold the cookie sheet up on its end and drill down through the side. Please notice how my husband positions his holding hand far enough down the cookie sheet that the drill bit will not hit his hand when it comes through. Please be safe when doing this!
You could also drill it while it is lying down, but we found this more challenging, because on my cookie sheet the sides were slanted a little. When it was lying down like this, the drill bit wanted to wander. When my husband held it upright, he could move the cookie sheet to keep the side horizontal with the table. But do what is comfortable to you.
Use a rat tail file. (It’s round, so it makes it easy to get in that hole.) Lightly file the hole. This will get rid of that burr and smooth out the edge. Do this until there are no sharp edges. (This is where it helps not to have already painted the cookie sheet! “Ahem…” I can just hear my husband now.)
Now, we’re ready to go on to the really easy stuff! The rest of this can really be done with kids (unless you don’t want the kids around the paint fumes).
Step 2: Paint the Cookie Sheet
Spread out some newspapers to protect your work surface. (I am working in my garage, out of the wind, but well ventilated.) Lay your cookie sheet face down and spray paint the edges. There is no need to paint the flat surface or the back side. Neither will show. Use as many coats as necessary to get good coverage. I think it took me three coats. This Krylon paint dried in 5-10 minutes between coats.
Step 3: Make Paper Pattern
See this ridge here? I want my fabric to sit just inside this ridge, so I want this to be where I draw my pattern. If your cookie sheet doesn’t have this ridge, you can just trace along the edge of your cookie sheet.
My piece of fabric wasn’t big enough to cover the entire back of the cookie sheet, so I decided I’d put two pieces of fabric on it. I wanted to determine where I’d put my seam, which I planned to cover with this red ribbon. My next step was to determine where I wanted that seam to be. I thought 6” from the bottom looked good. Your cookie sheet may be a different size than mine, so 6” may not be a good distance for you. On my board, this seam is about 2/3 of the way down from the top of the board. Just estimate about 2/3 from the top of your cookie sheet or eyeball it.
I transferred this line from my cookie sheet to my paper pattern by measuring up 6” from the bottom of my pattern.
Step 4: Cut Out Fabric for Bottom of Magnet Board
Next, I laid my pattern on the fabric I wanted to use for the bottom of my magnet board and roughly cut out the fabric around the pattern. Notice my “seam” line on the pattern…I only needed a little piece to cover this portion of the magnet board.
I lined up my ruler with that fold line and trimmed off the fabric. (Don’t get the ruler too close to the fold so that you cut your paper pattern. I did that. It’s not the end of the world, but I wanted my pattern to stay intact. LOL.) TIP: IF YOU ARE DOING THIS WITH CHILDREN, YOU COULD JUST HAVE THEM TRACE AROUND THEIR PATTERN BY ALIGNING THE RULER TO THE PATTERN AND MARKING WITH A WATER SOLUABLE MARKER. THEY COULD THEN CUT WITH SCISSORS INSTEAD OF USING A ROTARY CUTTER.
I then aligned the ruler with the sides and trimmed those off.
Then, trim the corners off. I am doing it here with my rotary cutter, but I found it easier to just take the scissors and do this free hand (without the pattern). It’s pretty easy, and you don’t have to be all that exact.
Step 5: Apply Fusible Interfacing (OPTIONAL!)
If you elect to apply fusible interfacing, you can do it here. (You could also do it earlier, before you cut out your piece of fabric. But I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. LOL.) Here, I have a Teflon pressing sheet on my ironing board to protect the surface. I have the piece of fabric right side down, and I have the fusible interfacing with the fusible side down to the wrong side of the fabric.
Step 6: Cut out Fabric for Top of Magnet Board
This is the same as what we did in Step 4. Here, I’ve folded my pattern on the “seam” line again, but this time, I am cutting out the larger portion of the pattern. I am just rough cutting around the pattern.
Next, I trimmed around all the edges and rounded the corners, just as in Step 4. NOTE: If you opted to add fusible interfacing to the bottom piece of fabric and also want to do that to the top piece of the fabric, this is the time to do that. Refer to Step 5 for those instructions.
Now, check the fit. Make any adjustments necessary. Don’t worry about how well your fabrics meet up at the “seam” line. We’re going to cover that with trim anyway, so it won’t matter. This looks good! Now take them off and set them aside.
Step 7: Glue Fabric Down
Pour some Mod Podge on your cookie sheet. Spread the Mod Podge with your brush until the entire flat part of the cookie sheet is covered. Don’t worry too much about slopping it over the edges. I found it really didn’t matter, and you couldn’t see the Mod Podge when it was dry. It’s important to get it all the way out to the edge. It’s better to have the glue extend too far than not far enough. Remember, it dries clear!
When you have the fabric on, gently rub your hand across it to ease out any air bubbles below the fabric. I found these really showed when the glue dries, so work all the air bubbles out as best you can. (It might be helpful to use a credit card or a plastic pan scraper or even a wallpaper scraper to smooth it.) Again, don’t worry about that “seam” line too much. We’re going to cover that later.
I also found it helpful to run my finger gently along the edges as I put glue over the top to be sure the edges of the fabric were well adhered to the cookie sheet. If you get a stray thread, the great thing is you can just ease it back into the fabric with the glue.
Gently “lay off” the glue, just like you would lay off paint. This isn’t completely necessary. I just thought I would run my brush very lightly over the surface after getting all the glue on to be sure it was smooth.
Step 8: Add Trim
Add a little more Mod Podge over the ribbon. (All this Mod Podge on top will protect the fabric and make it easy to wipe down your magnet board if you plan to hang it in your kitchen or someplace where it may get dirty.)
Set it aside to dry for a while. Mine needed to dry overnight, but it’s fairly humid where I live. If you live in an arid climate, it may not take that long.
Step 9: Make Magnets
We’re going to make magnets in two different ways. I wanted variety in my magnets. You can probably come up with lots more ideas for making your magnets! Try making some out of glass cabochons, found objects (like bottle caps, interesting rocks), etc.
The buttons included in my button kit had shanks…these are the little things that you sew the button on through. Since I’m using these for magnets and not buttons, it would be better not to have shanks. So, I just pinched them, twisted them, and easily pulled them out of the button.
The back of the package has pretty good instructions for assembling the buttons. Also notice that they provide a pattern for how big of a circle to cut out as a pattern for the fabric you’re covering the button with. I cut out this pattern and used it.
This is the bottom of the button tool. Put it down on your table, and place your fabric face down onto the tool, centering your motif if necessary.
Then, pull the gathers down a little with your finger and hook them over the little teeth around the button to ensure a smooth look on the other side. The teeth are a little sharp, so you may have to help smaller children with this, but older children should be okay with it.
There is a little flange around the outside of the button back. That flange should be pointing up to form a little ridge where the back of the tool will fit into it.
I made another style of magnet by tying two buttons together using some embroidery floss. Cute!
I also glued a magnet to the back of the button. I like these silver magnets better than the black ones because they aren’t as thick. But they are far more expensive, and my store didn’t have enough of them.
Step 10: Finishing Touches
After your board is dry, you can add more embellishments. Here I stacked two buttons and tied them together with pearle cotton (you could also use embroidery floss). I glued the buttons to the center of a crocheted flower using my FabriTac (but you could probably use cement), and then I glued the flower to the board with FabriTac (again, I could have used cement).
Take a piece of 7/8” wide grosgrain ribbon and thread it through one of the holes in your board.
Bring it through the back and out the other hole.
Pull it tight and it should look like this. Make sure you have about the same amount coming out on either side.
To finish the end of the ribbon nicely, I folded it in half, and cut it from the fold to the outer edges…make the cut so that the cut on the folded edges starts higher than where you are cutting to the open edges.
And here is one that’s going to live in Utah. I did use the interfacing on this one. I don’t see a lot of difference between this one’s appearance and the one that’s hanging over my desk (which has no interfacing). The white on the fabric is just a little bit brighter on this one.
To show you that this is a good kid project, I cut the fabric for my 6-year-old daughter and did the painting for her (it was easy to spray a bunch of these at once). She enjoyed spreading the glue. (Older children could cut their own fabric.)
She got a LOT of Mod Podge on this coat too. Oops… Mama should have supervised that better! LOL. She also liked helping to glue the backs on the magnets. She was really proud of this project when it was done! She did more steps, but I forgot to take photos of them all.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll do my best to help you! There are tons of ways you can adapt this pattern. I would love to see your version! Please feel free to post it to my Flickr group, “Mama Pea’s Pod!”
Until next time,