Sunday, June 8, 2014

DIY Magnetic Frames: "Class-Up" Your Classroom Whiteboard!

My classroom has two ginormous whiteboards that cover the length of two of my walls. It's a lot of whiteboard space. More than I need, really. So this past year, I started using picture frames to help break up the space and focus students' attention to certain sections of the board, like my reading group schedule for example. The frames also added a little charm and uniqueness to the room.

So here's how I made them:

First, I went to Goodwill and bought a few cheap, framed pictures. (The ones I bought were each less than $5.) I tried to choose ones that had "real wood" frames so they would last longer.

Next, I removed all of the artwork, glass, staples, and paper, so I was left with empty frames.

Then it was time to paint the frames. I used one color of semi-gloss spray paint to help unify the variety of the frames' shapes and sizes.  I propped up the frames on some wooden blocks and sprayed two coats onto the fronts and edges. For a more "blingy" look, try using a high-gloss paint--I think a glossy black on one of those fancy guilded frames would look totally cool.

After the frames were dry, I hot-glued magnets around the backside of the frames. You need some strong magnets for this. I used thick, disc-shaped magnets that have a strength rating of "6."

You can buy packs of 50 of these magnets at craft stores like Hobby Lobby.  The number of magnets you'll need for one frame depends on its weight, but I ended up using at least a dozen magnets per frame.

Once I added enough magnets so the frames wouldn't slide down the board, I was finished! I use these frames for morning messages, math group assignments, reading group schedules, you name it.

Don't forget to stop by my blog, The Thinker Builder. Have fun building!


  1. What a great idea! I have so many old frames that I didn't know quite what to do with. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Linda! Hope you are having a great summer!

  3. What an awesome idea! I can't wait to make some of these for my classroom. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. You're welcome! Glad you'll be able to use it!

  5. I absolutely love this idea! Such a cheap and easy way to make your room feel more inviting.

    Tales from Outside the Classroom

  6. I love this idea too. I will be working on some this summer. I like the way it can help students focus on one area of a large whiteboard.

  7. Good idea for next summer! I like it.


  8. I have done this in my classroom, too. But since I am an art teacher, I use the frames to spotlight my student's artwork!

  9. Was your whiteboard already magnetic?


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