elvis magnetic board

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my craft room makeover, and a few people have asked me how I made my Elvis magnet board. Well, it just so happens that I took pictures of the whole thing. Uh-huhh..

I was inspired to store my beads with a magnetic board when I saw THESE and THIS at Ikea. These are awesome, but the only problem for me was that only a few canisters fit on the magnetic strip (which are $14.99 each…ouch)…I needed a lot more storage than that. By this point, I’d already bought pegboards for the walls, and so I decided to make my own magnetic board with a piece of sheet metal the same size, instead of using the strips from Ikea. (My magnet board is really humongous, but still, this whole thing would work for any size.)

I also didn’t want to spend a fortune buying tons of those canisters (I did buy one pack in the beginning, and they ARE really nice, but…), so I started searching around online for cheaper magnetic canisters. I quickly found that there is no such thing as cheaper magnetic canisters. In fact, these things are ridiculously expensive! But, I did find THESE. Much cheaper to buy a bunch…

tin canisters

I just glued my own magnets to the backs with E6000:

glue magnet to back of canister

(By the way, I know you’ll be really excited to try out your handiwork, but it’s important to put the lid back on before dashing off with it to find a magnetic surface…a million seed beads everywhere will really slow you down.)

bead disaster

Originally I just planned to stick my piece of sheet metal right to the wall as is, so at the advice of my dad, I drilled a pilot hole in each corner. It’s really easy to drill through sheet metal, even when you’ve only actually used a power drill like once before in your life. At first I thought it must be impossible. I drilled and drilled and the beginnings of a fire were about to erupt. When I took the drill out of reverse though, it went right on through!

drill pilot holes in the sheet metal

Once I got the sheet of metal into my craft room and was about to hang it on the wall, I changed my mind about it. It just looked too ugly. Even though I’d picked the best looking sheet of aluminum I could find at Lowe’s, it still looked icky to me. So I sat on the floor and stared at it for awhile…

sheet metal for magnet board

And then I looked out the doorway to my living room coffee table and had an epiphany!

elvis book

I’ve had this book for a few years, and it’s always just sitting there not getting a whole lot of use, but still…it took me about 2 hours before I finally worked up the nerve to tear the first picture out of it.

I picked out a few of my favorites. Which was hard to do. I love Elvis.

pictures for magnet board collage

And then I spent another hour laying them all out so they would look nice and cover the sheet metal.

lay out photos on sheet metal

Once I had it all laying out the way I wanted, I used Mod Podge to glue it down. I folded the paper that was hanging over the edges around to the back, to cover the sharp edges of the sheet metal.

glue down paper with mod podge

I attempted 3 coats of a spray on acrylic sealer before I realized I was wasting my time. So I went ahead and Mod Podged the top. I didn’t want it to look glossy, so I used the matte finish Mod Podge. And this ended up doing the trick.

coat the top with Mod Podge

It didn’t take long at all to dry. I stuck a thumbtack through the pilot holes from the back of the sheet, so I could see them again…which is really hard to see in this photo, but it’s a great shot of Elvis and Liberace!

find pilot holes

And this…this is what happens when you spend too long looking at pictures of Elvis instead of a mirror. Many thanks to my sister for snapping this photo and alerting me that I should go find my hairbrush or at least maybe a rubber band.

terrible hair

And ta-da!

bead storage board

elvis collage

handmade bead board

elvis magnetic board

One thing I would still like to do is frame it in with pieces of molding…I think that would really finish it off.

Obviously not everyone is an Elvis fanatic like me, but the possibilities for what you could use to decorate this with are pretty much endless. Book pages, photos, scrapbooking paper…all thanks to Mod Podge, the best thing in the world. After Elvis, of course. Sigh…


  1. Cyndy Stephenson on September 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

    For some reason, not all of your pictures are coming through.

    • ornamentgirl on September 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      Sorry about that, Cyndy…my site was having some connection issues for a few days, but I think I’ve got it fixed..

  2. Jenn on December 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

    This is so cool. It seems like a lot of work but you end up with a very creative personalized useful work of art. You can even store jewelry this way if you put magnets on the back of hooks for hanging jewelry. And the little cans can also store braceletes and rings.

    • ornamentgirl on December 27, 2011 at 2:20 am

      That is a really good idea, Jenn! Maybe a smaller version of this done with scrapbook paper or book pages or something like that, done to match the decor in a bedroom….that would be a perfect way to store jewelry AND look really pretty, too. Thank you!

  3. Rebecca on October 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Wow, this is so helpful! Thank you for sharing! Do the canisters stay shut, though? I’m so worried that if it’s not a screw top or somehow more secure, that they will eventually open up and spill out. Or, if I drop one (I’m awesome at dropping stuff!) that they will open then. Has this happened? Thanks!!!

    • ornamentgirl on February 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      You know, it actually HAS happened, haha. But, only on one of the canisters. For some reason, one of them just has a loose lid. I put it up there anyway hoping that it would stay there (and it DID for like, months!) and then it came crashing down one day, and beads went everywhere. If you make sure to use canisters with tight lids though, you should be fine!

  4. […] Magnet board for beads by ornamentgirl (blogged about here) […]

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  6. Pamela on April 9, 2013 at 3:11 am

    LOVE your idea and your instructions with commentary are awesome!! LOL Thank you for sharing where you found the tins, too. I have been looking everywhere for something that would not be so costly! You have helped me tremendously. And your board is rockin’ Love that Elvis

  7. Shannon on April 7, 2014 at 3:45 am

    Wow! What an awesome project! It really looks great! Thanks for sharing where you found the tins, too!

  8. Charlotte on August 14, 2014 at 1:14 am

    I have tried this and my board turned out great, but I am having issues with the magnets sticking to the sheet metal
    any suggestions. I have put more magnets on the back of my containers and nothing is working and I am really getting frustrated, especially since some stick and some don’t. so I thought at first it was because they were too heavy, but its happening with the light ones as well. any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • KF on February 23, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Aluminum is not magnetic. You need to get the zinc coated steel sheet metal! It is found in the hardware store with the plumbing stuff (something about “joist” metal — true sheet metal is more expensive).

  9. Renee Lassus on January 28, 2022 at 11:56 am

    Hi, great idea for storage. What did you use to hang the sheet metal to the wall? I’m worried I would put too many containers on it and make it too heavy.

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