Magnet Photo Board

Small Photo BoardI wanted to have a way to display photos that could be changed easily. Of course, I didn’t want a cork board or one of those puffy frilly boards with crisscross pink ribbons to hold pictures. I wanted something with a modern edge.

It was destined for a wall in the living room, the same room with the metal railing, so I opted to continue the metal look.

The solution was to use some simple galvanized sheet metal. I made two different displays: one small one and one long narrow one.

The small board is 3′ wide and 2′ tall. I didn’t even have to cut the metal because it is a standard size available at Lowes in the ductwork area. It comes as a single flat sheet with no crimped edges or anything. I guess it must be for general HVAC patchwork. It only cost about $6.

Long Magnetic Photo BoardThe larger magnet board is galvanized flashing material, which you can find it by the roofing materials. It is 14″ wide and avaiable in several different lengths. I bought a 25′ foot roll and cut it with snips to about 9′ to run along the wall next to my dining table. Be careful to get the right kind. You need galvanized steel. You will also find aluminum flashing. It looks great, even better than the galvanized if it is not scratched up. But you better enjoy what it looks like because you will never get a magnet to stick to it!

ScrewsAttaching to the Wall

Sticking with the modern industrial look, I used exposed screws to attach it to the wall. I used a slightly different variation on the two panels. On one I used a screw with a nut style head.For the other panel I used a common counter-sunk screw with a special washer that matches the tapered counter-sunk side to the flat surface. Both screw types have the simple industrial look I wanted.Alternatively, you could use double-sided tape to attach the metal without screws. It would give a cleaner, less industrial look.

Picture Frames

I used frameless plastic frames to hold the pictures. They are inexpensive and available with magnets already attached. To create a more interesting 3-D look, I attached wooden blocks of different thicknesses to the back of some of the frames, then reattached the magnets to the wood.
3D Frames

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6 Responses to “Magnet Photo Board”

  1. Kathy says:

    Wondering where you found cute magnets to hold your photos on the metal

  2. Craig Bedward says:

    Kathy,
    The magnets came from all over. Some of them are crafts the kids did. Many of them are little trinkets we made into magnets. You can buy strip magnets with adhesive already on the back (I got it at Walmart most recently, in the fabric/crafts area). Then head out for the dollar store, take a nature walk, or just rummage around the house. Some of our magnets are ones I made when I was a kid out of rocks with magnets and googly eyes. Christmas tree decorations are another great source. Take some small ones and put magnets on them.

  3. Jamie says:

    I’m thinking of doing the skinning long one with the flashing in my office. How many screws did you use to hold it up (one on each corner or spaced out from corner to corner)? Do you think nails would work or no? I’m also wondering if once hung with screws if there have been any issues with sharp edges.

  4. Craig Bedward says:

    I used screws about every 16″. The trick is matching up the holes in the flashing to the holes on the wall. The best thing is to make the holes in the flashing a little on the large size to allow for some correction (not too big, though, because you want the screw head to cover up the hole). Drill the holes in the flashing first. Hold the flashing up where you want it and mark the center of each hole. Drill as accurately as you can to place the wall anchors at the center marks you made.

    When all the holes are drilled, attach the flashing by starting in the middle. Work your way out, stretching the flashing as tight as you can. This will keep it flat and tight to the wall. If the flashing ends up nice and tight to the wall, you won’t have an issue with sharp edges.

    If you don’t mind ruining the wall, you can also use construction adhesive (Liquid Nails) to attach it. That will really ensure it is tight to the wall.

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