DIY Magnetic Makeup Board

Project Rating: Intermediate

My Finished Magnetic Makeup Board

Ever wanted to find out how to make one of those nifty DIY Magnetic Makeup Boards? I did. You see, I’ve been fussing with my makeup for years. Trying to pare down what I don’t need and trying to store what I do. When I first saw the idea on Pinterest over  a year ago, I was intrigued. And as Mother’s Day rolls around, it seems only fitting to show you how to do it.

One of my main complaints with the tutorials currently out there is that almost all of them say “which your local hardware store can do” or, something equally as obnoxious, “you can find this anywhere”. It’s a lie. I know, I’ve tried getting my local hardware store to do any number of things, and finding a frame? Ugh. So here’s a Real Girl’s DIY guide to actually knocking this project off your to-do list.

Project Level: Intermediate


You will need the following items in order to complete this project. Sizes vary so you need to match the size of your final object to the supplies you gather.

  • Steel sheeting, 10-20 gauge works best [Fast Buy: Stainless Supply]
  • Offset Metal Clips [Fast Buy: Home Depot]
  • 1 square yard of a thin material
  • 1 Wooden picture frame [Size Guide: The edge should be at least 1.5″ – 2″ wide at a minimum to provide strength]
  • Spray Craft Glue
  • Preferred spray paint color
  • Any required hanging material [depending on the frame’s pre-existing hardware]
  • Rare Earth Magnets
  • Hot glue and hot glue gun

I have added some Fast Buy options to make it easy for you. I chose to use these options myself because they were the cheapest options that managed to fit all my needs while not compromising quality. Also, you don’t have to go do research. Love me yet?

Some notes. In regards to your steel, most of the current tutorials say that you can get the local hardware store to cut you a piece. This is incredibly unlikely. I’ve spoken to Lowes, Home Depot, and Ace. All of them said they do not cut wood or metal for ‘safety reasons’. The majority of them do not sell pieces of sheet metal as small as the normal female needs for a simple board. So getting your piece custom cut is the only option left unless your husband is a metal worker. Stainless Supply will do small orders at the best price I’ve seen. The majority of the price is actually shipping costs due to weight. This will decrease as your gauge decreases [gauge meaning thickness and pliability of the metal].

Original Frame

My GoodWill find

I found my frame at the local GoodWill. I recommend this option as you would be hard pressed to find a frame under $20 at your normal craft shop. I only paid $7 for mine.

The magnets are harder to find, but I was fortunate in that my husband was planning to create a large hadron collider or something. So I stole his.


  1.  Find the frame you want and measure the interior area. This is the size of the steel piece you need to order +/- 1/8th of an inch.
  2. Order your steel sheeting. This may take up to 2 weeks to arrive depending on your location so make sure you can work on the other parts of this project in the meantime.
  3. Sand and spray paint the frame in any way you desire. Make sure you use a spray paint that will seal the wood as well as cover it. A glossy paint is best as it cleans better.
  4. Cut your cloth so that it is about 2″ larger on each side than your steel sheet. This is so you can tuck the cloth around the sharp edges prior to insertion into the frame.
  5. When the metal comes, spray the steel with the tacky glue. Make sure that the glue is applied evenly.
  6. Lay the cloth over the glued side of the steel. Gently work out any bubbles and make sure it lays evenly across the surface of the steel. Allow to dry.
  7. Turn the frame painted side down towards your work surface. Place the steel in the picture slot, cloth side down. You should now be looking at the unclothed side of the steel with the unpainted side of the frame.
  8. Fold the edges of the material down so they lay more or less flat against the steel. Attach 1-2 of the offset metal clips on each side so that the steel is held firmly in place. You DO NOT WANT THERE TO BE ANY SHIFTING. <<<< This is important. Depending on your frame, you may need to experiment in the best way to apply your clips.
  9. Once the steel is in place, add any necessary hardware to the rear of the frame so you can hang it.
  10. Hang the frame using a Hercules hook or something else that will bear the weight of the frame as well as the makeup you’ll be hanging on it.
  11. Glue the magnets to the makeup. I recommend experimenting so you can figure out which side will make it easiest for you to know what is what. Be warned, the hot glue doesn’t always hold. However, using stronger glue may pose a problem when you have to take the magnets off before throwing empty makeup containers away.

Wrap Up

Spray The Frame

The Spray Paint Stage

This makes an excellent gift idea and can usually be done in a single afternoon once you have all your items. Some final thoughts.

  • You can scuff the painted frame up a bit with a gentle sandpaper and then apply a coat of gloss spray paint over it. This will age the frame and give it some character.
  • You can go to the dollar store and get some cheap metal containers. Spray paint them and glue them to magnets. Now you can store your brushes and tools.
  • Don’t ever put glass up. Should the glue give way, well…you get the idea.

I hope you find this DIY helpful. Please share it and let me know of your ideas and how your project turned out in the comments below!


  1. says

    Great variant of the magnet board. We deliver these boards and the magnets for years now in Holland. This is an idea we can use to offer to our clients.