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Magnet Wall DIY

Moses has always had an obsession with letters and one day we found a giant magnet wall at a store and he was in heaven. So I always said as soon as they had their very own room (not in a closet) we would make one. The whole project was so easy and took less than 10 minutes. Both the kids love it and play with it all the time. It’s perfect for a playroom or a bedroom. I would love to do a giant wall like this.

Materials needed: One custom cut piece of sheet metal, nails, hammer, cardboard, lots of alphabet letters! (I got mine from here, I liked the font.)

After I decided where the wall was going to go I took exact measurements. Home Depot sells sheet metal in standard sizes but won’t cut it. So I looked up a sheet metal guy online and got a quote. He cut and delivered the sheet metal to me for $30. The sheet metal is actually quite sharp so be careful as you are working with it.

Step 1: Make Holes. Lay the sheet metal over the cardboard. Take a nail and hammer it into the sheet metal until a hole is created. Repeat on the corners and every few feet along the edges.
Step 2: Have someone hold the sheet metal up to the wall and starting at the bottom put a nail into the hole until it is flush against the wall. Move upwards making sure there are no gaps or holes between the wall and the sheet metal.
Step 3: Add the letters to create a  giant magnetic alphabet wall.

other sources: striped bedding from Ikea (discontinued), artwork by Paul, lights from Paris)

  1. Erica

    August 3, 2012

    I must do this! I think it might be kinda cool to use strips of sheet metal (flashing or something) also to make it a bit of a subtle graphic as well. As long as no sharp edges are exposed.

  2. Amy

    August 3, 2012

    This is so fun! What a seriously great idea. I would have loved this as a kid. If I might ask, where did you get that beautiful orange rug in the boys room from?

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • August 3, 2012

      The rug is a vintage Persian rug I got off Craigslist a few years ago.

  3. Butterfly Mama

    August 3, 2012

    I have long admired your Blog and am dying to see how the boys room comes out. I love this idea. I have a 3 yr old boy and we also live in a small apt and I always feel overwhelmed with the stuff, but want to give him creative options – this is Genius!

    Are the edges still sharp? Did you do anything to treat the sides so the kids can’t get cuts?


    • jordan
      • jordan
      • August 3, 2012

      The edges are sharp but as long as they are flush with the wall it is pretty impossible to hurt yourself.

  4. sp

    August 3, 2012

    i’m in love with the run in this room.
    where did you get it?
    and, what is this kind of a rug called ??

    is it a persian? a kilim?
    i’m confused !!
    any help would be appreciated.

    thanks !!

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • August 3, 2012

      It’s a vintage persian rug from Craigslist. Hope that helps!

  5. Elizabeth

    August 3, 2012

    Brilliant! Can you tell about the rainbow pom-pom looking things across the ceiling? Are they pom-poms? Lights? I love the look of them. Thank you!

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • August 3, 2012

      they are lights! the source is at the bottom.

  6. connie

    August 3, 2012

    love the room as well! where did you get your pouf?

  7. LARY@ Inspiration Nook

    August 3, 2012

    This is awesome Jordan. I hope when I become a mom one day to be as creative as you!

  8. Jenny

    August 3, 2012

    A magnetic wall is a fantastic idea in a child’s room! What a great way to learn to spell, play all day, send message and decorate the area in a colorful way all at the same time.

  9. Kate

    August 3, 2012

    Such a good idea. At my old office we painted a wall with magnet paint and I was so disappointed by how low the magnetic hold is, we have visions of it holding some polaroids up but even the strongest magnets fell off. But this would have been genius and looked cooler.

  10. Viv

    August 3, 2012

    Love the boys’ room, Jordan!! :)

  11. Sarah

    August 3, 2012

    This is like a renters jack pot. Painting chalk board paint is a pain because you have to paint it back, but with this. You just take it down and patch the holes. Genius!!!

    – Sarah

  12. Kacie // A Collection of Passion

    August 3, 2012

    THAT is wonderful! My daughter is 20 months and is so into everything she can move and rearrange! Now if only I could find the right wall….


  13. Gina

    August 3, 2012

    Wow, your pictures are INCREDIBLE.

  14. Christina

    August 3, 2012

    Oh, I just love this! My daughter would too. I’m off to convince the Hubby to cut some sheet metal for me! 😉

  15. Ashley Cooper

    August 3, 2012

    Love this magnet board. What a great DIY project. I will have to remember this someday!
    Have a great weekend dear.
    -Ashley Cooper

  16. The New Diplomats Wife

    August 3, 2012

    love love love! our daughter is just getting into magnets and they don’t stick on our refrigerator so she would adore this. letters but also animals and numbers and you name it. great idea!

  17. Michelle

    August 3, 2012

    Love this idea… and so much cheaper than magnetic paint!
    I sell magnetic letters in my etsy store – (perhaps you would like the font on these too) – so I might give this a go for my kids as they have an extensive collection of letters and numbers!
    Thank you for this inspirational post – love the blog by the way!

  18. Jennifer

    August 3, 2012

    I love those lights. I’ve been admiring them in each boys’ room post and now you gave us a source! Question: how is it working with the different voltage? Did you use the coloured balls on US lights? Do you use a transformer? My girls would love these in their room (so would I!). Thank you!

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • August 3, 2012

      My father in law is an engineer and he rewired several of my lamps we got in Europe. There are other sources like I’ve seen them in Japantown in San Francisco.

  19. maryann

    August 3, 2012

    can you email me the name of the sheet metal guy? we live in SF and haven’t wanted to do this our playroom. thanks.

    • jordan
      • jordan
      • August 3, 2012

      Hi Maryann! I don’t remember who it was. I know I got it from Yelp.

  20. Chelsea

    August 3, 2012

    Awesome! You just wait, magnet walls will be the new chalkboard wall in everyone’s house now. I hate my chalkboard wall now:) just jokin.

  21. Angie

    August 3, 2012

    Hooray…so doing this. Spied it on an insta photo of your and was hoping for a tutorial! Thank you!

  22. Very cute! Such an incredible idea! I know my kids would have loved it when they were little. I can’t tell you the hours spent at the refrigerator playing with letters! So genius! I love so many of your ideas on your blog!

  23. look see

    August 4, 2012

    Awesome! :)

  24. Amanda

    August 4, 2012

    What a fun, easy, and cheap project! This would be great for adults, too! To leave a message, etc., especially with magnetic letters in a nice font!

  25. Luna

    August 4, 2012

    Oh crap! I was going to do this too, but you beat me to it. I just didn’t want to get into the chalkboard craze and magnets are easier to deal with than chalk! I think yours turned out much better than the one in my head 😀

  26. Naomi Bulger

    August 5, 2012

    What a wonderful idea. I love this!

  27. John

    August 5, 2012

    extra help!@! They now have a magnetic paint you can prime with then paint over with your color. also white board (dry erase) and Chalk board.

  28. Ashlea Walter

    August 6, 2012

    I absolutely love this idea. So much better than magnetic paint! And those letters… must have!

  29. aisling

    August 7, 2012

    This is brilliant! I’m thinking of doing it for my home, although no small people here yet so it will have to be for me!
    a x

  30. Jenna Wray

    August 7, 2012

    This is such an awesome idea! So much better than chalkboard painted walls.. Looks great too.

    xo Jenna

  31. SHB

    August 8, 2012

    Can you tell me the source of the reading lights above the boys bed? Thanks!!! Awesome wall! And room.

  32. Kate

    August 8, 2012

    Ooh, their room is delightful! Love how it turned out!

  33. Jennifer

    August 11, 2012

    Yes, please a source on the accordion lights over the beds please! Searching madly for something like this (love the red cord especially). Thank you!

  34. how2home

    August 13, 2012

    This is such an amazing idea!

  35. Michele

    August 15, 2012

    This is fun! I had this idea a few years ago but we had wainscoting and a smaller horizontal space. I love that you got a sheet metal guy to do this! We were living in WY and I went to a shop but they wouldn’t do a custom piece for us and the local hardware store did snip some but it was kind of a mess and as you mention, sharp, so I never ended up putting it up.

    This summer I’ve had the idea to do this on some funky closet doors our house has. They are not solid, but currently a large sheet of hard plastic with a wood frame and wood lattice work. I just need to figure something to attach the sheet metal to as the plastic is old and brittle.

  36. flannery o'kafka

    August 15, 2012

    no. 1
    His name is Moses and that is beautiful.

    no. 2
    I love this but I am terrified that mine would turn out wonky…I’m not a great hand with a hammer.

  37. Sara

    August 17, 2012

    I love this! And it’s so much less dark than a chalkboard wall. It looks shiny and smooth, and so colorful with the letters. That makes me wonder, would this work to write on with dry erase markers? For when they get older and want to magnet pictures, etc. to it and write messages with marker. That would make this a really long lasting project too.

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