How to make a Magnetic Frame to display artwork

(I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.)

My daughter LOVES to draw and is very crafty. We have artwork all over our fridge and taped to the walls. I made her a magnetic frame for her to display all her artwork, photos, notes, and cards. It looks a lot classier on a magnetic frame instead of taped to the wall!

The frame is quite large. I wanted her to have enough space to display LOTS of artwork, not just a picture or two. Now she has plenty of room to expand her collection.

  

I couldn’t help but pull out some of my favorite old photos of her. Gah, she was just the most adorable little girl. Now she is 10! Time flies.

Here’s how to make your very own Magnetic Frame. I wanted something simple that I could make in a day. I started by purchasing a piece of magnetic sheet metal from True Value Hardware.

For the frame I used planks of MDF. These are 4″ wide that I had leftover from a previous project. Using the sheet metal as a guide, I cut the MDF with mitered edges, glued them together with wood glue, and then added some stapes on the seams on the back for added support. I let this dry overnight.

Once dry I lightly sanded the seams and all the edges.

I used some Painters Pyramids to support the frame while I sanded and painted it. These things are great and as you can see by how colorful they are, I use them frequently.

Once my frame was sanded, I added a coat of primer. MDF guzzles paint so it’s always a good idea to prime first. My favorite is Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Primer.

I let it sit for a few hours to completely dry before painting it. I used a leftover color – here is a similar one called Lemon Kiss at True Value. You can see in the picture below that I like to store extra touch-up paint in smaller glass jars. Much easier to use for small projects than a big metal paint can.

When the frame was dry I gave it a once-over with a can of satin clear top coat spray paint. Here is the exact type of top coat I like.

The sheet metal I purchased at True Value had a thin coating on it that I had to buff off with glass cleaner.

Once the frame was totally dry and the sheet metal was clean it was time to attach it to the frame. I did this using Liquid Nails.

I coated the inside perimeter of the frame with the Liquid Nails and then placed the sheet metal on top of the adhesive. I also set a few heavy paint cans on the corners of the frame to create a tight bond between the liquid nails and the frame.

From there it’s time to add the picture hangers. I love these picture hangers that you don’t need little tiny nails to attach. You simply hammer the picture hanger directly into the frame.

While I was making the frame Kinsey was busy making bottle cap magnets with a friend. She used leftover bottle caps, glued a magnet to the top of the bottle cap, flipped it over, decorated the inside of each cap, then gave it a good coating of mod podge dimensional magic. Aren’t they so adorable?!

From there it was just a matter of hanging it in her room and adding her creations!

I love all the little bottle cap magnets she made. It adds a nice finishing touch.

How do you display your kids artwork in your house? Artwork has a way of taking over the entire house. Have fun making your very own Magnetic Frame!

Check out all my other True Value projects here!


     

The plans for the new kitchen layout

As promised, I am here to show you the new kitchen layout. I talked about our plans in my first “We’re renovating the kitchen!” post last week, but as per the usual, once I published the post with all my plans, I freaked out and changed all the plans. I’m very consistent in my inconsistency. :)

I’m going to show you several before photos first to give you a good feel for the space before I show you all the changes we are making. I used painters tape to measure off the new layout and live with it for a week or so to make sure I LOVED it before gutting my entire kitchen and building the new one only to find out I hated it. That would suck.

I have lived in this house for almost a year now and feel like I really have a good “feel” of the house and how we live here. There were times that I hated this kitchen, the layout, pretty much everything about it. But I’ll be the first to admit I was being just a tad dramatic.

The kitchen layout isn’t really that bad, and once I stopped fighting against the layout of the house and started to try to work with the house, things started falling into place.

I spent months trying to design a kitchen that involved moving load-bearing walls, or adding an addition onto the house for a big breakfast room. I’ve drawn up every possible layout one can conjure up. At the end of the day? It just does not make sense to tear down half the house and move load-bearing walls. It is inefficient and costs loads of money.

So that’s my new motto… to stop fighting against the house and start working with it instead. This new attitude has helped me to fall in love with my new home. The new kitchen renovation will just solidify that this is my forever house, I love it, and we are never moving again. We are working with the layout, but are just tweaking it to make it the best weird layout it can possibly be.

These columns have to stay because they pretty much hold up the entire ceiling. When we bought, I was like, “Oh, I’ll just take those out and open the space up! No biggie!” Um, yes, BIGGIE. They aren’t my favorite, but they are staying and I have some really exciting plans for making them look better.

One more “before” of the kitchen before I get to all the new changes… Those big windows? One of my favorite things about this kitchen – tons of light and a great view of the driveway so I can watch the kids play.

Are you ready to see my vision? I hope you like it because the cabinets are already being built as we speak. If you think of any really awesome change that I could sneak in real quick, I can probably make a few more little changes over the next couple days.

Remember when I said we were doing a separate tall oven cabinet? We aren’t. We were all set to do it, and after blogging about it I just couldn’t shake this terrible feeling about it. My gut was just screaming at me that I would hate it. So it got nixed. So did the appliance garage. We are sticking with a basic range, but trust me, I am much more at peace with this decision and am very happy about it.

We are adding a huge island that will seat 4 people and will add a bunch more storage (plus a pull-out trash can!). All upper cabinets will be tall (42″ tall). The far left, middle, and far right cabinets will be 6″ taller than that. The fridge will have a box around it and the cabinet above will be the depth of the fridge (24″ instead of the standard 12″). All our appliances will be stainless steel (except we are keeping the fridge for a few months because we are already over budget. We will buy a new matching, possibly counter-depth fridge once we have the cash to purchase it).

Looking from the other angle, the awkward area to the right of the window will have a built-in desk that seats two people. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and it seems like a good space to have the kids’ computer. I will also use one of the spots for my desk and computer area. I’m getting tired of blogging from the couch or dining table and am really excited to have a designated space once and for all. Desks in kitchens don’t make sense for everyone, but it does for our family.

We are adding an in-cabinet pull-out garbage can to the island, but we also went a little overkill and added a 2nd smaller pull-out garbage can to the left of the sink. We need a garbage can next to where we do most of our food prep (the island) but we also wanted a small one near the sink, so we just said, “Why not?!”, and added both. We are also dropping the bar to counter height. The counter will extend between the columns slightly into the living room but will be one continuous counter.

And one final “vision” one to help give you an idea of how everything will flow. After tons of research we made sure to leave about 50″ between the back of the bar and the sink and desk areas. That way there is plenty of room to walk through the kitchen even if someone is at the island and the desk at the same time.

And here’s one final *bonus* photo of the kitchen looking in from the dining room. It doesn’t really go with this post but it’s here so I’ll just throw it in anyway, in case I’ve never showed this angle before.

As I mentioned in a prior post, the cabinets will be dark brown. We went with a very traditional raised-panel door. The wood is knotty alder so the doors will have a few blemishes and knots in them, which makes me weak in the knees. Here’s a very loose rendition of what our cabinets will look like:

They look very red in this picture (taken at a home around the corner being built for our friends) but it was dark so I had to use the flash. In real life they are pretty dark brown. So there you have it. That is the plan, Stan.

To see the other posts in this series, start here:

1. Let’s Talk Kitchens. More Specifically My Kitchen Renovation.

2. Let the Kitchen Demo Begin!

3. More Kitchen Demo & Updates.

Or you can also just click on this –> Kitchen Renovation tag, but they display from newest post to oldest post. Thanks for following along, and as always, I really appreciate your thoughts and input. You guys usually give me the best tips and advice!


     

More kitchen demo & updates

Hey guys! This kitchen renovation is in full force around here. As promised, I’m back with a few more updates so you can follow along in as close to real-time as I can muster.

Monday night the cabinet maker… (and his assisstant? Helper? Friend? I’m not sure exactly who the other guy was. He only spoke Spanish and the extent of my Spanish is “Hola! Como estas? Muy Bien! Y too?”. <-- That's what 3 years of high school spanish will do for ya.) Okay, so Monday night the cabinet guy and his buddy came over to do a final measure for the cabinets. We had to have the entire kitchen cleared out before then, hence the frantic gutting of said kitchen over the weekend.

Can I just say I really really like this cabinet maker? His name is Armando and he runs his own little custom cabinet business. From what I can tell he works pretty much exclusively through the builder we hired, so if you want him to do your cabinets for you you have to hire the builder. He is so nice, and the more he comes over and chats the more Ben and I just like him. Super duper nice guy.

So he measured and drew out our kitchen old-school on graph paper. If you can interpret his plans, you probably will notice that the layout and plans have changed slightly from the first time I told you about the renovation. I will give an update on the new layout and ideas in another post.

Ben works hard at his real job, so he hasn’t been much help in the demo department since Sunday night. I have been pulling up the old wood flooring, and trying to do so in a clean manner so we can salvage the floor and hopefully put it on craigslist. It’s taking longer than I assumed it would though because whoever laid it glued each plank together in addition to their locking click together design. The planks are mostly coming up in one piece, but because of the glue I’m not so sure how salvageable they will be.

Yesterday afternoon the big ol’ dumpster was delivered. It was very exciting to watch and was an entire family affaire for all of us.

The driver pretty much just backed into our yard and then dumped the thing using some hydraulics from his truck. We were mesmerized and I took about 25 photos of the entire production.

The driver showed us how to open the back door, which was a nice surprise for us. I assumed we’d be lifting and dumping everything into the dumpster so we are relieved that we can just use a dolly and a wheelbarrow to move trash directly into the bin. The kids were very excited about this fun new addition to the yard, and we’ve had to remind them multiple times since then that this is not a toy.

I also want to address how we’ve been living, or more specifically eating without a kitchen to cook in. Well, it hasn’t been the easiest, and we’re only a few days into the ordeal, so I’m sure our lifestyle will evolve over the next several weeks, but for now we’ve set up a makeshift kitchen in our dining room. We moved the fridge into the dining room and set up our old microwave on a cart to use until we get it sold on CL. We also have a grill outside.

We’ve got a few non-food items on top of the piano, which has been covered by a sheet to protect it from dust. While we are chipping away at flooring or sheetrock I’ve been covering all the stuff on top of the piano with a sheet as well.

The guest bathroom in the hall has turned into our kitchen dinette area. I wash big items in the bathtub and small stuff in the sink, but we have been trying to use as few washable items as possible. I went to Costco last week and stocked up on paper plates and bowls, and plastic utensils. In case you are a detective and are squinting to see what all is in the photo, you may have noticed two coffee makers. We aren’t that obsessed with coffee – the kids use the Keurig for making instant oatmeal.

John, our builder, also stopped by yesterday to go over all the steps in the renovation. He is going to be scheduling the electrician, plumber, and framers to come out and is helping us get our countertops and flooring selected.

I was going to lower the bar to counter-height myself, but we also need a few other things framed out, so he is going to have his guys come do all this work. I chatted with him about turning the pantry door and also the door to the mud room (which we removed when we moved in) into pocket doors, and he said he’d make it happen so I am very excited about that little project as well. I have never lowered a bar, or turned a normal door into a pocket door, though I am 100% confident I could do it myself with some research and enough time. Well, there is only one of me, and I have a list a mile long of stuff I have to do, so having his framers do it all in a day makes the most sense for us. Of course, this is the plan for now before I’ve gotten a quote from the framers, so if they are too expensive my tune might change and I might be doing it all myself anyways!

On my list for today:
- Finish pulling up all the wood flooring and the underlayment
- dump all the 6 trash cans full of tile into the dumpster
- start hauling the piles of trash from behind the shed into the dumpster
- remove several large areas of sheetrock (the plumber and the propane guy need it removed before they start their work)
- get more organized with the kitchen areas and all the other random crap all over the house
- finish washing all the laundry, and then fold a total of about 10 loads that are currently in a heap on my bedroom floor
- run the kids to all their activities this afternoon
- worry about dinner
- start a post about the new layout plan

Somehow in there I also have to actually mother my children.

On my list for tomorrow:
- I don’t know. I can only think one day at a time.

I’ll try to get that post for you guys by tomorrow, but we’ll see if I have any energy left to write it. Also, when I do lots of manual labor (painting, hauling, hammering, lifting, etc), I start to get carpel tunnel in my wrists (just another fun side-effect of being pregnant 12 and 9 years ago), so sometimes after a few long grueling days of hard labor my hands are too numb to type. Hopefully that won’t be the case, but I’m already starting to feel it, so… ugh.


     
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