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MY HANDMADE HOME: Here’s what happens when pink lace meets sheet metal


Heather’s pretty in pink DIY magnetic board

I needed a place in my office to organize scribbled notes and lists, but none of the store-bought options appealed to me.

I didn’t want a bulletin board — tried it, now use it elsewhere for the kids’ school stuff. I didn’t want a white dry-erase board — they tend to look messy and ugly because the marker never fully wipes away. I also refused to buy one of the magnetic memo boards from the office supply store — they were stark, bland and overpriced.

Naturally, I decided to make my own. I asked my handy husband to pick up a thin piece of sheet metal during one of his runs to the home improvement store. The sheet metal was pricer than I’d imagined (about $45 for a 36x24 inch piece) but it was certainly large — only a couple of dollars for the 1x2 boards to frame it.

Now, I’d probably have just sandwiched the metal between two wooden frames, but my handy husband had the brilliant idea to use our table saw to cut a groove down one side of each piece so the grooves could hold the sheet metal in place.

Once we’d tested the fit — perfect! — I painted the four frame pieces a bright white (Fusion Mineral Paint’s Picket Fence) and turned my attention to the sheet metal.

It was very industrial-looking, duh, and felt out of place in my soft pink-and-white home office. I didn’t want to paint it, since I was sure the magnets would scratch it to heck, so covering it with fabric seemed like the best solution. But what fabric?

I wandered around the fabric store for ages — which was awesome, of course — trying to find the perfect one. Something bright or boldly patterned would look cool, but call too much attention to something that would just be holding memos and lists. Geometric black and white fabric would be neutral, but still too showy. I looked at plenty of pink options, but none were the “right” pink to coordinate with my pink sparkly lamps and pale pink curtains.

Finally, I spotted it — pale pink lace! It was perfect in so many ways. It had enough texture to be interesting, it was light enough to be neutral against the warm greige walls, it would complement the pink in the room and the sheer areas would let some of the sheet metal show through.

I bought 0.9m of the lace and that was exactly enough to double it up. Back at home, I spread it out on the floor, placed the sheet metal on top (“good side” down, gummed-up sticker side up) and wrapped the edges of the lace tightly around the metal.

A bit of hot glue kept everything tightly in place, and even with two layers of lace the metal could still slide easily into the frame’s grooves. I slipped the four pieces around the edge and screwed them together, clamping the metal between them to finish up.

I just love the softness of my new lacy magnetic board. It seems strange to describe a piece of sheet metal that way, but it’s just perfect underneath the pale pink lace. Now I need to take it a step further by making custom magnets for it — stay tuned!

COST: $50

EFFORT: 2 out of 5

RESULTS: 5 out of 5

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