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DIY Magnetic Letter Wall

So I've mentioned my magnetic letter wall before, and have every intention of eventually showing off my entire playroom, but for now I thought it was about dern time I shared this fabulous project. I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS WALL! It was a bit time consuming and not cheap, but it was easy to do and I am just so happy with how it turned out! We asked for our letters as a first birthday gift from Nana & Papa!

For this project you will need:
- 6 foot metal strips: We used 4 but if I were doing it again, I would use 6. When you go to Lowes, take a magnet with you to test and make sure they're magnetic!
- Spray paint in whatever color you'd like your strips to be. We chose white
- Bolts & Washers: 4 of each PER strip. We used 16 of each.
- Wood Alphabet Letters:  When you're looking, aim for something sturdy enough to withstand your kiddo(s) but as lightweight as possible. This is SUPER important!! You can find the ones I used at Walmart here or Amazon here. If you find lighter ones (that are still sturdy!!), that's EVEN BETTER!
- Scrapbook Paper: One piece for each letter (unless you use smaller letters). I chose 5 colors and then a couple prints of each color and alternated. Here's a hint! I had recently painted my playroom and saved the paint samples to take to the store. This way, I could make sure the colors I chose matched the rest of the room. 
- Craft Paint & Paintbrush: In whatever color you want the sides of your letters to be. We chose white.
- Exacto Knife: (like this) or Sharp scissors.
- Modge Podge: I use this kind. 
- Foam Brush: Like this.
- Magnet Strips. Like this. I think they're much cheaper in store at Walmart. 
- A REALLY Strong Glue. I used some special concoction epoxy I found in my husband's garage. Hot glue WILL NOT WORK for this project.
- A drill

Step 1: Paint your letter edges.
The paper will not cover the edge of your letters, so you will want to paint them, unless you're cool with the wood showing.

Step 2: Organize Your Paper
I laid out my papers in the order I wanted them first, to make sure that I had them in a pattern I liked. I wanted the colors to alternate and to have my different patterns spread out evenly (no stripes next to stripes!).

Step 3: Modge Podge Your Paper On
DO NOT CUT YOUR PAPER. First, spread an even layer of modge podge over the front of your letter. Then lay your paper on top & smooth it out evenly. 

Step 4: Cut the Paper to size
Use your exacto knife to trim the edge of the paper to fit the letter. I tried this with the letter facing both up and down, and think I like cutting from the top down better. I got less tears in the paper. This is a tedious process. Pull up some Netflix. 

Step 5: Modge Podge the Front
Once you've cut your paper down to the letter, spread a thin & even layer of modge podge over your letter, making sure to smooth your edges down. 

Step 6: Glue Your Magnetic Strips
Measure 1/3 or 1/2 way down each letter and mark where you want your magnets to go. You want to make sure the letters are even when they're hanging on your wall! Peel the back off of the magnets, and then glue them on with something SUPER STRONG. It takes quite a few strips of magnet to get this bad boys to stick to the metal strips, so you'll want to cover as much space as possible. I made the magnet section just as wide as two of the magnetic metal strips put together. 

Step 7: Spray Your Metal Strips
You'll want your strips to have a clean, bright look to go along with your letters. I considered not spraying mine (because I'm impatient) but I'm so glad I did!

Step 8: Hang Your Strips
I hung two strips together to make sure that there was enough magnetic space to hold the weight of the letters. Before you hang the strips, test what height will be appropriate for your kiddo now, but also as he grows. Then test to make sure you're hanging your strips spaced far enough apart (vertically) to fit your letters. If I were doing this again, I think I would hang three strips so that the letters have more space to spread out. When they are all on the wall, they are kind of squished.

Step 9: Enjoy Your Wall!
I love playing with this wall with my son! I hope you enjoy yours too!!

To see some of what has inspired my playroom, check out my Renovation:Playroom Pinterest board!
3 comments on "DIY Magnetic Letter Wall"
  1. I love the whole magnetic strip idea. I can imagine this will get used over and over again throughout the years for so many different activities and projects - even just to hang up artwork (after the fridge door gets filled up).

  2. Thank you so much for sharing the how-to of this awesome project!
    What a fun idea!
    :o) Pam
    Hedgehog Reader

  3. Love this alphabet wall! It would be great in a kinder classroom too!