DIY Magnetic Chalkboards and Desk

There is something so satisfying in having created something with your own hands. I love some of the DIY projects I have found via Pinterest.  One project I fell in love with was a fold-down chalkboard/desk. What a great way to save space and create a little work area for your child! So, using the tutorial here, I created my own version of that desk. I completed that project this week.
We had a lot of scrap wood and hardware on hand, so I just had to buy the paint for the project. I made a few alterations to the design in the tutorial to simplify it. I made the desk slightly smaller so I wouldn't have to buy additional wood other than what I had on hand. And I omitted the paper roll and the trim (once again to simplify it and because I wanted to create it using mostly what I had on hand). I did make one addition--I bought magnetic primer to turn the chalkboard into a magnetic chalkboard. That opened up a lot of possibilities because now we can use it for storytelling, spelling with our magnetic letters, and more. (The cute five little monkeys magnet printables are from this website.)  And one change I did make after I took these pictures was to add a support hinge inside. The chains were just not quite strong enough by themselves. I am definitely a novice when it comes to building with wood, so even though it isn't perfect, I was happy with how my desk turned out.

Then, using some of the leftover plywood and paint from the fold down desk, I decided to make lap-sized magnetic chalkboards for my boys. I cut the boards slightly larger than a piece of paper so they can do magnet sheets such as these from Making Learning Fun. My boys love having their own lapboards to write and play with. My older boy often gets frustrated when he doesn't draw things just the way he wants to, so using dry-erase boards, chalkboards, and his Magnadoodle have all been great ways for him to have fun drawing without getting frustrated because he can easily wipe away his pictures or letters and try again.

Here are the instructions for the lap-size magnetic chalkboard:

*circular saw
*magnetic primer
*chalkboard paint

*Use a saw to cut a plywood to desired size. I cut my plywood to 10.5 by 13 inches (just a couple of inches larger than a standard-sized piece of paper). I made two boards, one for each of my boys.
*Sand down plywood until it is smooth.
*Coat with magnetic primer. Be sure to mix the primer well, and use a paint roller for a smoother finish. I used three coats of magnetic primer for a strong base.
*Paint with chalkboard paint and sand down as desired. I used three coats of chalkboard paint. I lightly sanded the board between coats.
*Allow the chalkboard paint to cure and prep the chalkboard per instructions on the back of the paint can.
*Have fun with your magnetic chalkboard!

Magnetic Primer is expensive (about $20 for a can), so if you aren't using it for other projects as well, it might be cheaper to just paint an old cookie tray with chalkboard paint to get a similar effect. But since I had magnetic primer from my desk project, it worked well for the lap-boards. In total, I used about half of a can of magnetic primer for the fold down desk and lap-boards. If I owned my house and were able to paint my walls, I would love to use some of my leftover magnetic primer and chalkboard paint to do a whole wall

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

Wow ! What a great idea a magnetic chalk board! Love it :D