Magnetic Sheet Metal Wall

Confession Time:  I’ve had “Household Command Center” envy for a while now.  I have seen them all over the web and I have longed for a place in my home where all school papers are MEANT to go and important things could be pinned up as a reminder.  My fridge isn’t even magnetic so what am I going to do, tape things up?  No.  So, I looked and looked around my house for a long time trying to figure out a good place to set up a solve-all-my-problems command center and could not figure something out.  So, as it goes, things have piled up in my desk area in the kitchen.  Notes for school have gone unsigned.  Important flyers have gotten lost.  Basically, chaos has ensued.  For five years.

Then, one day I was in my kitchen and noticed this atrocity.  Apparently, if you live with an atrocity long enough it becomes invisible.  Well, I saw this dead area to the side of my fridge with new eyes.  Could this be an area I could transform?

Art work had been haphazardly taped up.  Hooks stuck on randomly.  The soda can recycle bucket tucked in the corner (sadly, that fills up quickly).  This wall served no purpose in the hardest working room in the house.  After thinking about it for a while, I came up with a 2-step plan.
PLAN:
1. Make this wall magnetic.
2. Add organizational accessories to magnetic wall to create some kind of command center.
Simple enough, right?
I had heard of magnetic paint.  It tempted me for a while.  But then that seemed a little permanent and I’ve heard it splatters like a banshee.  I wasn’t in the mood for a mess.
I then started thinking about sheet metal.  Did you know that your local heating and air company can hook you up with any size (within reason) piece of sheet metal you need?  I needed a 23″x 95″piece.  The heating & air company I tried here in CO needed some intense explanations, however, to get what I needed.  And then I didn’t hear back from them for a long time as they needed to “check with their people” to see what they could do.  So, when visiting my in-laws in Logan, UT we called Advanced Heating & Air and they were like “Oh yeah, sure.  You can pick it up tomorrow. It will be $38.”  Score! Apparently they are used to crafters needing pieces of sheet metal?  They even rolled the edges so it wasn’t sharp.  Perfect!
I didn’t get a picture of the piece by itself for some reason, but here it is in another “before” photo I took. This also gives you a closer look at the hawt mess atrocity.
Installation was fairly simple.  I measured out 5 spots along each side, put a board under the piece of metal and drilled holes where I had marked where I wanted them to be.
I then pulled out the fridge. Gagged.  And cleaned (this step may not apply to you if you are one of those types that cleans out under your fridge regularly).
Wow.  I mean . . . wow.
Don’t judge me for that, by the way.  You can’t even see the popsicle stick that was absolutely cemented to the floor and would not come off.  I had to soak it a few times and then chip it off.  Grody.
Anyway, then we held up the sheet metal and marked where the to drill holes into the wood.  We attached it with a large washer on the back for extra stability and support.
Front
And when we were done…..
LOVE!!
Now, a few organizational things.
School papers are the bane of my existence so I started there.
I got some clear plastic wall files from Staples and glued magnets on the backs of them.  I then made cute labels with the ole Silhouette machine for each kid and then stood back and cried a little at the sheer beauty of it all.
Here’s a detail of them in use since school is now underway.
I then basically demanded asked Shelly nicely to get some dry erase vinyl and send me this!
Doesn’t it look like a fancy clip board?  I know sheet metal can be used as a dry erase board but I wanted something separate.  I will most likely be using it to leave bossy notes to my family members.  What good is a command center if I can’t use it to command, right?
One last purchase of that aqua magnetic organizer (to hold my soon-to-be-bossy dry erase pens) from Target and I was all set.
What I love about this is I can keep changing it around as much as I want.  I now have a reason to craft some cute magnets!  I have a place to display the kids artwork until I “file it away” (in the garbage).  I have a feeling this will be an ever evolving area as my needs change/I have brilliant ideas.
Do you have an under-used area that could be transformed into something functional?  This here was a life-changer.  And, no,  I’m not being overly dramatic.
**********EDIT**********
I’ve added some more function and fun!  Click HERE to see the scoop.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    WOAH! first of all, you have a BRYNN? I have a Jemma Brynn! funny! anyways, this is pure genius. As per usje (how do you abbreviate “usual?”). Also, NOTE YOUR FOLLOWER COUNT! girl, you are my hero. With ideas like this, you deserve 10x that! go Landee!!

  2. says

    Where did you come from? And how did you hide this craftiness all those years? I’m thinking you were holding out on me!! That looks absolutely amazing Landee :D

  3. says

    Where did you put your soda can recycling trash can? Is that metal a pain to keep clean? Are the kids constantly moving their tubs around? I am seriously considering doing this but am curious about the down sides.

  4. says

    Oh you’re so smart! I have a very similar wall that I can do this with…time to get on the phone and start calling heating and air companies!

  5. says

    I’m not even joking, yesterday I thought to myself; ‘I wonder if Landee ever figured out that magnetic thing she was wanting to do…’ Ta Daaaa!!! You did, and I want to cry I would love a wall like that so badly. I want some metal. Will you help me figure that out? Apparently the people here are lame, and I’m won’t be making any trips to UT any time soon. Love love love it and love you.

  6. Cindy T says

    It looks great!

    You know, you can scan cute artwork your kids do and save the image with your photos. Then toss the paper object without guilt. Years later, it is pretty amusing to look at them again.

  7. says

    This is darling! Of course my fridge is not a built-in so I have magnets and papers ad recipes all over! I love those holders and putting their names on them is genius! I have used the magnetic paint in my pre-k classroom and I love it but….it would have cost you alot more in paint than you paid for the sheet metal and it would not hold up anything heavy. We use is for lightweight magnetic foam letters and they slip off some. Great job!

  8. says

    Thank you everyone!! Cindy, I do take a photo of some of the more “sentimental” art work my kids do. Scanning is a great idea too!

    Mrs. C. Thank you for confirming that every decision I made was correct! :)

    Stands… let’s do this thang!

  9. says

    And also…thank you for the reminder that we are all human and living “really living” in our homes is what they are for.

    Here’s what I mean.

    I watch all these home improvement shows…mainly to drool over their makeovers, etc….{and wish I could afford to do them all}…. and also to get ideas for my own do it yourself projects.

    Well one day as I was looking at their perfectly staged “kitchen”…I was thinking….eeek….we must be slobs or something, I have stuff & pictures magnetized to my fridge. Is that normal? hmmm maybe it’s not….cuz I never see it like that in those shows.

    Anywho…. I think I began to ramble…but hopefully you get the point.

    I love the coziness of my “lived in” home.

    Thanks love.

  10. Julie says

    Love, love it. I have a similar place in my kitchen that would be perfect. I just covered it in the chalk contact paper for doodling, but this is even a better idea. I see changes in our kitchen’s future.

  11. Anonymous says

    I had my husband wrap a 4×8 sheet of metal around a sheet of plywood to give it depth and hung it in my laundry room, I love it.

  12. says

    Great project! I like functional butifications. Well done. I think everyone has dirt under the fridge. My daughter pushed a magnet under our fridge recently and omg! One should perhaps clean under there once in a while… He he

  13. says

    Love too. Thanks for the tip on getting sheet metal and having the edges rolled. I wondered how people handled the sharp edges. And thanks for the reminder to never, under any circumstances, move my fridge… :o)

  14. says

    Hi…I just found you on pinterest and am determined to do this to the side of my fridge!! I have one question…what type glue did you use to adhere the magnets to the clear files? I imagine these will hold a lot of school papers and I want to be sure they are sturdy! Thanks. Nicole

  15. Sonya says

    Found you on Pintrest too! Sending hubby out today to get the sheet metal. I was wondering, has anyone ever covered theirs with contact paper and would that affect the strength of the magnets?

  16. says

    Landee –This is such a great idea and one that my husband actually agree to!! I called the local HVAC but they said the sheet metal is galvanized and not shiny. I can’t tell from your pictures. Any suggestions?

  17. says

    I absolutely love this idea! I don’t have an area like this one next to the fridge but I have a door leading to the garage that is looking like it needs a makeover! Originally thought of painting it with chalkboard paint but this is so much better!! Already has a big dry erase board on it….let’s see if I can get hubby on board. Just found your blog and am going to sign up! Be here often for sure. Your witty, creative and funny. Thanks for the fantastic idea!

  18. says

    I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but I’m a visual person and couldn’t quite “see” it until now. Thanks so much for sharing. You should have a Pinterest button!

  19. says

    After a couple of months of searching, I *finally* was able to get someone local to sell me a 4′ x 8′ piece of sheet metal. I originally called around to a couple of HVAC places (Philadelphia, PA area) but they were no help at all. I ended up getting help from a nice old man who owned a metal manufacturing company. Cost of the metal, finishing, and delivery came to $292. Definitely not a cheap project, but worth it.

  20. Mag says

    I have done this to my blank fridge wall too and it’s great! I just today got super strong rare earth magnets from Lee Valley and crazy glued them to my plastic bins (also for my three kids). However, even though the magnets are very strong, as is the glue, I still find the bins slip a little on the wall. What kid of magnets/glue did you use?

    Also, where do you get vinyl for die cutting?

  21. Kara says

    Love this idea! I need a command center so bad. My poor kitchen table is not useable because of all of the clutter. I realize this is an old post but was wondering if you had any ideas on a less permanent way to install the sheet metal? We rent and I don’t think the owners would appreciate me drilling holes in their beautiful cabinets. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kara! I wonder if several command strips would work? Sheet metal isn’t that heavy. I bet if you had several along the edges and a few in the middle it would work! What do you think?

      • Kara says

        Thanks! That is what I was thinking! But since I have no previous experience using sheet metal I wasn’t sure if it would hold. Thanks for the info about the sheet metal not being very heavy. It helps to know that.

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