Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fun With Closet Doors

As we mentioned before, the two of us have six kids between us, but Kim also spends multiple days a week teaching preschool. Between the six kids of our own and all the little ones that Kim gets to teach, we've had fun coming up with new ways to entertain all the little people in our lives. 

The room in Kim's house set aside for the preschool has lots of fun little touches, and one of these fun touches has to do with the closet doors. Wall space runs out quickly when there are bookshelves for toys and books around the room, so the closet doors became an ideal place to have a magnet board and a chalkboard. It's been a hit with the kids so we thought we would share how it came together!

We're sorry there are no pictures showing the whole process, some of these projects are ones we completed before we started the blog and weren't thinking about sharing a tutorial.  


12 Galvanized Steel Roof Flashing Sheets (they sell for about $1 each at Lowes)
Gorilla Tape
Chalkboard Paint
Scotch Outdoor Mounting Tape 
White Wood Casing Moulding (we used 1 5/8" by 5/8")
Miter Box and Saw or Miter Saw
Elmer's Wood Glue
Nail Gun or Hammer and Countersink 
1 1/4" brads 

Galvanized steel is magnetic, and you can actually buy it in much bigger sheets, but we thought the flashing sheets were a better way to go because they are cheaper and you also don't have to worry about sharp edges from cutting a big piece down. We didn't want the sheets to come apart, so we taped them together at the seams with gorilla tape, 3 sheets tall and 4 sheets across. The finished size ended up being 36" tall and 32" wide. Closet doors are obviously different sizes, so you may have to change which way you lay your flashing sheets, or go ahead and cut down a larger galvanized sheet to your desired size. We attached this new "magnet board" to the closet door using outdoor mounting tape. 

On the other closet door we started out with a 1/4" cheap pressboard that we had one of the employees at Lowes cut down to the same size as our completed magnet board. Then, we painted the pressboard with black chalkboard paint. There are all sorts of chalkboard paints out there these days, there are even some tutorials out there on how to make your own. We happened to use a brush on type from Rust-oleum, and then attached the painted board to the closet door with the same outdoor mounting tape.

We wanted the whole project to look a little more finished, so we bought some white wood casing to frame the boards in. It's important to pick a thin casing so that your doors can still slide as designed. We have a miter saw, but the same angles for the corners can be achieved with a miter box and a regular hand-held saw. We cut the casing at a 45 degree angle so that the casing could meet at the corners at a 90 degree angle. It's a little hard to explain, but you want to cut your casing so that the short sides of the 45 degree angles on the casing are 1/2 shorter than the entire length of that piece. So in this instance, the short sides of the 45 degree angles on the pieces on the tall side of the board would be 35 1/2" long, and the short sides of the 45 degree angles on the pieces going across would be 31 1/2" long. 

We attached the casing to the magnet board and chalkboard with wood glue,f and then used a nail gun with 1 1/4" inch brads to make the frames more secure. If you don't have a nail gun, the brads can be installed using a hammer and countersink. If you don't have a countersink, the brads will still work, they just won't be flush with the wood.

The completed boards covered up the original inset circle door pulls that came on the closet doors, so we just added some cute drawer pulls so that the closet doors could still function as normal. Add some colorful chalk and fun little magnets and the little ones will be set for hours of fun!

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