I am so excited to share this sweet little project and tutorial with y'all. For awhile now, I've wanted to create a magnet board for little HDawg. He's in love with the bright and colorful fish in the tank at his school and at his aunt's house, so I thought a fish tank would be the perfect route to go.
So precious, right? And honestly, so easy. Here's the how-to.
What you'll need:
- felt squares
- coordinating thread
- small amount of pillow stuffing
- hot glue gun
- 8 mm craft magnets
- cookie sheet tray
- spray paint
I found a pile of bright felt pieces on sale a few weeks ago (30% off, woot) at Hancock Fabric. They're usually about $0.29 a square anyways, so it's a pretty cheap investment. I actually found the magnets at Home Depot (also pretty cheap, I think $1.99 for an eight pack?). Since I already had the glue gun, thread, spray paint and pillow stuffing, I made out like a bandit with this project under $10.
Step one. Cut your fabric.
I decided to free-hand a few fishies and other aquatic shapes which is pretty easy, right? Wrong. If you're Michelle. Check out my first attempt at a clown fish (sitting next to David's attempt). Yeah, I suck at felt fishies.
At this point, I decided to search Pinterest to see if I could find an aquarium template to help with my ridiculously bad cutting skills. I ran into this divine template from the PurlBee. Sure enough, she had used the template to create a felt magnet aquarium, too! Great minds think alike. So I decided... when in Rome... and used her awesome template to help me create my sea creatures.
Ah, much better.
Make sure you cut out two pieces of each main shape so that you can sew it together eventually.
Step two. Assemble your magnets.
I started off by hot gluing all of the "extra" pieces to the top felt piece (the stripes, polka dots, etc.). Next, I simply hot glued a magnet to what will be the inside of each back felt piece. Since you have two identical felt pieces, one is the top piece (with the decor hot glued onto it) and one is the back piece. You'll eventually sew the two together, so the magnet needs to go on the inside of the back piece.
Next, I hand stiched the two felt pieces together. I could have pulled out my sewing machine (I was all about my sewing projects for awhile!), but I was feeling a little lazy... I didn't want to have to rethread the machine for each thread color or have to worry about moving the machine around the small cut outs. So hand stitched, I did.
I decided to add a very small amount of pillow stuffing to each magnet right before I completed the last few stitches. I wanted the magnets to be a little puffy, if you will. They could easily be completed without any stuffing. Also, I have had no problems with the magnets sticking to the board through the felt and hot glue layer. I didn't want the magnet to be too strong anyways (HDawg is not Hercules) but make sure you get a medium strength magnet for a project like this.
Step three. Create your magnet board.
I saw an adorable (and cheap!) magnet board at Ikea that I had planned to use for this project. But it was a little large and I wanted to use a board HDawg could put in his lap while in his car seat or high chair. So I got creative and decided to simply spray paint an old cookie sheet. Free and free.
I'm in love with the fact that it's adorably blue like the water of an aquarium.
That's it, folks! Now we've got a handy, dandy felt magnet aquarium board!
She's ready for some close up shots.
The star fish is David's favorite. I think the jelly fish holds a special place in my heart. But the best part is that HDawg loves it. This was his reaction when we gave him the board to play with for the first time.
Nope, you can't even see his arms he's flapping them with so much excitement! : ) So far, the magnets have stood up to lots of slobber, gumming and rough housing. Hopefully they stay that way! He also loves to sit on the board... maybe he thinks he's on a boat? It's adorable. I'm so glad I made this for him.