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My Total Office Makeover: How to Make a Woodgrain Magnetic Memo Board

by on Jan 13, 2011

Welcome to our newest blog series, My Total Office Makeover, in which Curbly’s editor-in-chief, Chris Gardner, realizes that as a full-time design and craft blogger working from home, he’d better transform his second bedroom into an inspiring space where work can actually get done.

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Part IV: Getting Organized

I need a clean desktop to stay focused, so I knew I would need a memo board to keep current projects, notes, ideas, and “don’t lose me” documents. I seriously dislike the look of white dry-erase boards, and needed something that didn’t require pins or thumbtacks to attach documents. I’ve used magnetic paint before, but found it takes several coats and very strong magnets to make anything work.So, when I found this basic SPONTAN magnetic board at IKEA, I knew it’d work…now, I just needed to make it a little warmer and easier on the eyes.

Here’s how:

Materials and Tools

  • Basic magnetic memo board
  • wood grain contact paper (I could only find marble-y stuff at the hardware store, so I ordered mine from Amazon)
  • Scissors and craft knife
  • Bone folder or large metal spoon
  • Measuring tape

1. Measure the height, width, and thickness of your magnetic board. At the thickness + 1/2″ to the height and width, and cut your contact paper to that dimension.

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2. Peel off about 3″ of the backing paper, and adhere it to board at one side, leaving the 1/2″ hanging over the edge. Work very slowly and use the bone folder to  smooth out any air bubbles. Thankfully, the wood grain contact paper has only a medium-level tackiness, so it’s easy to reposition.

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3. Continue peeling away the backing and applying the contact paper until you have a smooth finish on top.

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4. You should have a bit of extra space on all the sides. To get square corners, wrap the contact paper like you’d do on a Christmas present. Then, use the utility knife to remove any excess.

See how easy that was?!

I also applied a similar technique to a magnetic pencil cup (in a darker walnut finish), and to magnetic knife block to create a safe and attractive way to store my scissors and other cutting tools:

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