A friend of mine several years ago made some really cute magnetic photo frames. She used pieces of metal for the base and then coiled up pieces of wire and attached magnetic tape to them to use as the magnets that will hold the photos in place. Four of these magnets (one for each corner of the photo) held the photo onto the frame and the metal gave it a cool, modern, industrial look.
Recently, my boyfriend was working on installing a new furnace and ductwork in our house. The pieces of galvanized metal reminded me of my friend’s photo frames and I came up with a way to expand on her idea. The pieces of metal used as the base of my creations are known by tradespeople as “end caps”. I purchased them at Home Depot where they are labelled as “block ends”. They are pieces of galvanized metal that have a bit of a lip around the edges and are used as the end pieces for a run of ductwork. Although they are part of a heating/cooling system, my Home Depot has them in their plumbing aisle. They range in size from 8 by 8 inches to 8 by 24 inches and they range in price from $2.85 to $4.78 making them a very economical craft to make.
Instead of making these into photo frames, I created magnet boards out of them. I think they would be really pretty to hang in your kitchen or office and so on as a place to stick little reminder notes. I used gel medium applied with a foam brush to adhere a sheet of scrapbooking paper to the metal as a background as well as to glue on various images to create a collage on it. I wanted the magnet boards to stand alone as a piece of artwork whenever they were empty. I used the gel medium once again as a sealant over the collage once it was finished. Mod Podge might work here in place of the gel medium but I am not familiar with using it on metal so I wasn’t sure how well it would work.
For the magnets, I used clear glass flat marbles. I applied a thin layer of the gel medium to the backs of the marbles and then laid them over a small image. Once the gel medium dries, it will be clear and you will be able to see the image perfectly. I pressed it down to form a flat seal and then used Aleene’s Tacky Glue to adhere a magnet to the back of each marble. I did NOT use magnetic tape. I bought small round magnets at Michael’s because I felt that the marbles would be too heavy for the magnetic tape. Finally, in order to hang up these metal magnet boards, I used hot glue to attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of each board. I find it works best if you use enough glue so that it oozes up through the holes in the hanger.