By Kathryn Weber
Crammed with photos, shopping lists, appointment reminders, takeout menus, report cards and school awards, the refrigerator has become the go-to spot for the paper trail of our lives. The problem is, with the popular new stainless steel refrigerators, magnets won’t stick! A memo board is the perfect solution — and you can make it yourself.
Using some stock items from the hardware store, you can craft a great-looking board that costs far less than pricey examples from decorating catalogs, and offers more options than simple magnetized or cork boards.
In creating a memo board that’s truly functional, the goal was to achieve the utility of a magnetized board, a cork board and a French-style ribbon board combined. When complete, this board would be able to accommodate magnets and push pins, and have a spot to slide photos or papers in, as ribbon boards do. It is sizeable at 2 feet by 3 feet. The total cost for materials was $67 for the frame, cork board, metal flashing, glazing points and spray paint.
- Tin snips
- Cutting tool
- Leather gloves
- Protective eyewear
- One 10-foot roll of galvanized roof flashing
- One 24-inch-by-36-inch open picture frame
- One 24-inch-by-36-inch cork panel with 3/8-inch thickness (Hobbylobby.com)
- Glazing points or nail tacks
- Construction adhesive
- Spray paint
The cork board was about a quarter inch wider than the frame’s opening and had to be trimmed with a razor. Check your cork board’s size and trim, if necessary. Insert the board into the frame and secure with glazing points or small nail tacks.
Next, determine the size, number and shape of metal shapes you’d like for your memo board. The board featured for this project has a large metal diamond in the center and smaller ones around it to provide a big magnetic surface in the center and multiple spots for magnets. However, if you prefer a more contemporary look, you could just as easily use circles or other geometric shapes, such as squares or triangles.
With gloves and eyewear on, draw your designs on the metal flashing and cut them out with tin snips. Once all the pieces are cut, they may have rough or uneven edges; pound these out on concrete with a hammer to make them smooth. Spray paint the shapes or leave them unpainted.
When dry, apply construction adhesive to the back of the diamonds, keeping the glue at least a quarter inch away from the edge. This will allow you to place the diamond on the board and when dried, use the edges and diamond tip as a holder for pictures or cards. Tape down the glued diamonds with painter’s tape to help the adhesive stick. Allow 24 hours to dry.
A memo board such as this one can be put together very quickly, and can be designed in a variety of styles, shapes, or colors to fit your particular “look.” Hung close to the kitchen, the board is a great stand in for the refrigerator and offers a variety of options to meet all your home memo needs.
© Kathryn Weber, all rights reserved