Monday, February 3, 2014

The Magnet Board Comes To Town, Part 1

Oooooohhhh Look At This Fanciness!

It is a distant memory now but there was a time when I could find hours throughout the week to blog, put up magnet boards, watch TV, shower when I wanted to, etc. These days we are happy if we can keep both kids fed.
I had dreams of putting a magnet board up in our main living level before August was born. I thought it would be another fun solo activity for Cora to keep herself occupied while I nursed August.
So I went to the Google machine and found out that people love to use oil drip pans as magnet boards. I liked the idea because it looked super easy. I searched for oil drip pans and they are hard to come by locally.

Amazon had a few options but the reviewers said that the pans often came dented. I nixed the oil pan and decided to look for something that looked a bit more finished.

I went out on my own. I decided that I would just find a sheet of metal and frame it with some wood.
I bought this metal sheet from Lowes. Online it says it costs $9.34 but I'm pretty sure I paid close to $20 in the store.

I bought some wood to trim the sheet out and had them cut the pieces to size for me at Lowes.
I also bought some self tapping screws and some corner braces for extra stability.

My mom was in town waiting for her grandson to arrive and she kindly offered to paint the wood for me. Here she is ready to roll:

And here she is working happily:
That's right... these photos are pretty much the same but she is such a nice mama that I decided to show you both.

If you take on this project make sure that you clean the metal sheet really well. Every time you touched ours you would get totally oiled up. 

Those lovely yellow boards stayed painted and ready to roll for a couple of weeks. I don't think I mentioned that I took on this project the day before I was induced to have August. At about 9pm both Scott and my mom told me to call it quits on the magnet board. So I did. They were right. I was glad to have a nice night of sleep before the start of a new episode in my life called, "You have a wonderful family but nowhere in the foreseeable future will you sleep more than 4 hours a night."

My dad came to town a day or 2 after August was born and that is when phase 2 of build-a-magnet-board happened. The day after we were home from the hospital it seemed like having two kids might be a piece of cake. August slept a lot during the day and we had plenty of family in town to entertain Cora. It was so easy that one day, while Cora was at preschool, I decided I would try to finish the magnet board. I got it all ready to roll and then August demanded some food. My dad kindly offered to finish the job. Thank goodness he did because my plans were different than his and my magnet board would have resulted in a flopsy wopsy (that is what Cora has named all of her stuffed animal bunnies) magnet fest. 

He put the corner braces on:

Then he put the metal in place and started up those self-tapping screws. This is the part where our methods differed... I would have just put a few screws in but my dad used almost all of them and it made a huge difference. If we had just put the screws every 6 or so inches (my method) the board would have been very bendy but with the extra stability of having the screws spaced about an inch and a half apart the board was feeling mega-sturdy.
He also had pretty impressive old man strength (dad, I just said that to teach you a lesson for calling Kelly and I middle aged!!!)

I will tell you about how we hung the magnet board next week.

My parents are pretty awesome, aren't they?! I can't wait to show you more photos of the finished product and tell you all the fun ways we use it. Tune in next week! Thanks again, mom and dad!


  1. OK, fake tears!!!
    It was fun to help and it really did turn out very nicely. I'm glad you didn't get a photo of the back of MY head!!

    1. I'm glad to hear the magnet board is holding up and, don't worry, you will never insult me by saying I have old man strength.