Nothing says back-to-school like early mornings, freshly sharpened pencils, and the yearly scramble to get organized. Since we can’t do much about the early mornings (though may we suggest coffee?), we’re focusing on the fun parts of gearing up for a brand-new academic year—like getting your desk decor on point.
This year, take your deskie game up a notch with these DIY magnetic memo boards, customizable in the shapes and colors of your choosing. Give your to-do’s a pretty new home and add a fresh pop of color to your wall, to boot. Being organized never looked so good.
At a glance
Time: 6 hours (including drying time)
You will need
- MDF cutouts in your desired shapes and sizes
- Magnetic paint
- 1 package of foam brushes
- Craft paint in your choice of colors
- Small brass shapes (one per magnet)
- Magnet rounds
- Metal picture hangers (one per board)
- ½-inch nails (two per board)
Step 1: Prep the cutouts
Paint one side of each MDF cutout with magnetic paint, using a foam brush. For optimum magnetic stickiness, add two to three layers of paint, letting the boards dry for an hour between each coat.
Step 2: Paint
Once the magnetic paint has completely dried, use a foam brush to apply colored craft paint to the various cutouts, layering it on top of the magnetic paint. Depending on your choice of colors, you may need several coats of paint to get an opaque look. (We used three to four coats for our cutouts.) Once you’ve achieved your desired level of saturation, set the boards aside to dry.
Step 3: Create the brass magnets
To make your magnets, position the brass shapes on a clean surface and apply a small dollop of superglue to the backside of each shape. Carefully place a magnet round on top of the glue and leave it to set. Repeat this step to your heart’s content, creating as many brass magnets as you’d like.
Step 4: Attach the hangers
Now that the boards have dried, it’s time to attach the hangers. Apply a thin line of superglue to the back of a metal picture hanger and press it firmly onto the backside of the board, making sure that it’s centered one to two inches from the top of the board. Repeat for each board.
Step 5: Secure with nails
Once the glue has set, hammer two 1/2-inch nails into each side of the picture hanger for extra hanging security.
Step 6: Style!
Your memo boards are officially ready to be hung on the wall and styled to suit your space. Add the magnets and toss up your to-do’s—we opted to include a few fun magnetic planters for extra flair (they’d be perfect for mini pens or pencils, too). Last, but not least—don’t forget to snap a deskie!
Photos by Ashley Rose.