Step 1: Buy a large oil drip pan from the automotive section. We bought ours at Walmart for less than $10. The ones at Napa have less embossing on them but they were $20.
Step 2: Hang on the wall using Command Picture-Hanging Strips. These will not damage the wall when removed and they are holding the weight just fine. I only put 4 on the corners but I'd recommend one or two in the middle also to reduce the "flex" which makes it really loud for little boys to bang on! Other sites have recommended using long velcro strips or screwing it into the wall. Just make sure you do the bottom too so it is flat against the wall.
Step 3: Make a fun header to cover the embossed part of the pan. I just used some scraps of paper I had to spell my son's name. I also brought it to be laminated at a local teacher store so it would last longer. Then, use rubber cement to stick it to the pan. The magnets will still work thought the paper and lamination, but mine is actuall above where he can reach at this age.
Step 4: Buy some magnets for your child to use on the board. I bought a set of magnetic upper-case and lower-case letters and numbers because I'm hoping to use the board to help Ryan start recognizing letters and numbers. I bought my set for $25 at the Education Station in Le Mars, but a similar set is Amazon.
- You can use magnetic bulldog clips to hang a piece of paper up and use it as an "easel" or to display finished artwork
- I plan to buy several magnetic photo frames so we can put photos of people or things in them while learning to spell their names.
- You could use this in your kitchen or mud room as a family calendar/reminder board. A coat of spray paint and some shabby/chic magnets would turn the look from "industrial preschool" to "gorgeous organizer".
- Paint with chalkboard paint it doubles as a chalk board.
- Cover with clear or patterned contact paper and it doubles as a marker board.
- Nic & Kate (this seems to be the origination of the Pinterest pin) cemented photo/letter cards so kids could match up the letter with the picture.
- Real Life Travels did the alphabet thing as well, but horizontally.
- Teaching Stars used it to help her daughter learn spelling.
- Beach House View spray-painted her oil drip pan hot pink and displays artwork in her daughter's room.
- Pink Postcard found an old rusty oil drip pan and added old-fashioned "please take a number" magnets.
- Life with Little Ones Modge-Podged old storybook pages all over it. (I may still do this idea!)
- 2teachis2inspire4ever added a border and laminated words so kids can practice spelling high-frequency words.