Homemade Magnetic Fabric Bulletin Board – This was so easy!

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Do you remember these garage sale finds?


The 2 picture frames and the horrible gold shelf?  I took out the pictures and glass and spray painted the frames and shelf black.  I made them into magnetic, fabric covered bulletin boards!  I love how they turned out.  This is the same wall that I took the before picture on, but I have since painted over the thin coat of builders paint.  This is the hallway between the kitchen and the garage where everyone passes when coming and going.  It will be a great place to put reminders and schedules!  What do you think?

Ok are you ready for me to tell you how easy it is to do?  I decided I wanted to do a magnetic board because a cork board would mean I’d be putting holes in the fabric and I didn’t want to do that. I went to JoAnn Fabric to look for inspiration fabric.  I found these 2 coordinating fabrics and the best part is I was able to use a coupon on one of them and the other was a remnant fabric so it was discounted. I wanted it to look like artwork even if there was nothing displayed on it.  Then I headed out to my favorite Home Depot where they accept competitor coupons, and got my supplies.  You will need a piece of zinc-coated steel (aluminum and stainless steel will not hold magnets).  I took a few magnets with me and the fabric so I could make sure it was going to work.  You’ll need heavy duty magnets and you should be able to buy these at the hardware store as well.  My husband thinks it’s funny that the Manager who was assisting me, didn’t even know they carried magnets.  I graciously showed him where they were..hehe.  Now I chose a large piece that I could cut to size at home.  It was cheaper than buying 2 smaller ones.  Your hardware store might cut it to size for you if you take in your measurements or even the frame you will be using.  If you do it yourself, you’ll need a pair of scissors that will cut metal.  They sell these for about $10 or you can borrow a pair from your sister.  Thanks sis!  I laid out the cardboard backing to the original picture frames and used them as a template to measure the cuts.

BBTemplate BBcut

Now you can begin your cuts.

Remember it’s always better to cut a piece too big and trim later, than cut it too small and waste a piece.  You may want to use gloves for this part.  Cut metal is sharp and I for one didn’t want a cut!  Once it’s cut you’ll want to place it inside your frame to make sure it fits.  Mine was a little large so I had to trim some off of one side.

BBfit BBfabric

Cut your fabric so you have about a 1-2 inch overhang all around the metal.  I used spray adhesive to adhere the fabric.  I started with a small piece on the back to get it lined up exactly the way I wanted it.  Then I flipped it over and sprayed about 5 inches of metal at a time and laid down the fabric.  This is where you have to be very careful because the adhesive is strong and you don’t want any air bubbles or wrinkles.  You might get someone to help you if you are working with a large piece.  The only thing left is to place it inside the frame, secure it, then hang! I’m so excited about how well it turned out.  I have not decided what to put on the shelf yet. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Here are some more Bulletin Boards I’ve done:

Office Bulletin Boards

Teacher Appreciation Gifts


  1. says

    Great thrifty idea!!! Wonderful job on your message boards! I need to to this as I am always loosing my little pieces of paper (usually the back of an old envelope) with things to do or phone #’s – feel so silly having to tell someone months later I couldn’t get ahold of them for I threw the envelope out!


  2. amber says

    I just thought i would throw my 2 cents in. you can also buy syraypaint that makes ANY surface magnetic,so you coul just spray the glass and then cover it!

      • Libbie says

        Hobby Lobby sells it, so I am sure you could find it any craft store. As far as Hobby Lobby goes, it goes on sale 30% off almost every other week ( I work there). You can also use a 40% off coupon on the original price anytime you’d like. You can find those at hobbylobby website, your local newspaper ( mine is the AJC), if you have an iPhone we have an app, facebook, or a few magazines we sell in stores. With my experience though, the magnetic spraypaint is not as strong as I would like it to be. I have things fall off my magnetic board at home all the time, which is why I will probably be making one with zinc-coated steel :)

  3. Colleen says

    What perfect timing..I was going to give away my picture frames through freecycle.org but now I have an idea for Christmas gifts!!!! Excellent!

    • Karen says

      I bought the frames for about $5 a piece, I used a 40% off coupon for the fabric at the craft store. The metal scissors I borrowed from my sister and the adhesive I already had. I think the large metal piece may have been about $17, but I can’t recall for sure. It was huge and I was able to make several frames with it.

    • Chris says

      Ooo, that’s a cool idea too, Noelle. They also sell chalkboard fabric, so you could cover them with that as well. I wish I’d seen this project before I bought all my Christmas gifts! Karen, what is the spray adhesive called? I just discovered your site…I’m a subscriber now!

  4. Amanda says

    These are AWESOME! I am going to watch out for fabric sales so that I can be as frugal as possible when I buy the perfect swatch for each of the gifts I am going to make! It’s so versatile this is a great gift for ALL ages and genders too! I have some great tractor, sports, and dino patterns in my mind! I want to make up a bunch of these this Christmas and give them out as Birthday presents to my kids’ friends! THANKS SO MUCH! I always overspend for birthdays, but this is a great gift that I won’t need to overspend for!
    Amanda C.

  5. Jessica says

    Thank you so much!!! Keep the great ideas coming… and H. D. accepts competitor coupons? learn somthing new everyday…. thanks again!

    • Karen says

      I just used what ever was originally there. Cardboard and the metal flip pieces on the edges that hold it in place.

  6. Joanna says

    Okay, this may be a silly question….but at one point you said zinc coated steel then another place you said magnet. Is the zinc coated steel magnetic? Or is it two completely different things?



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