Whenever time allows, I prefer to make gifts over buying them. For my friend's son's birthday, I decided to get creative without spending a dime. I stumbled upon a bag alphabet magnets in the garage (AKA my hoarder's den) and thought wouldn't it be fun to created a magnetic surface that he could play with on the go?! Next I found a rusty cookie sheet in the back of a cabinet that I was more than willing to sacrifice. I'm a little ashamed to admit that up until now I've been cooking on this rusty mess. See exhibit A below.
Totally scary right?! Here is everything you will need to make your own repurposed activity tray!
- metal baking tray
- spray paint (any color)
- chalkboard spray paint
- painter's tape
- contact paper
- sheet magnets
- alphabet magnets
- If you are repurposing an old baking sheet, start by sanding the surface to get rid of any rust and baked on grime. If you have a new or good condition baking sheet you can skip this step.
- After sanding, wash your baking tray with hot soapy water then dry throughly.
- Once the tray is completely dry, spray paint the top surface with chalkboard paint. This may take several coats. To avoid drips and imprecations, be patient and let each coat dry before applying another. Once you are happy with the coverage, allow the paint to dry and harden for several hours (or overnight).
- Once the top of the tray has completely dried, tape a clean, straight line around the edge of the tray using painter's tape. Flip the tray face down and spray the back of the tray with the color you have selected. To personalize, cut letters or shapes out contact paper. The color that you paint first will be the color of your text or design.
- Apply an few light even coats of paint, allowing time to dry in between each coat. Once you have achieved your desired coverage, set aside to dry for several hours (or overnight).
- When the first paint color is completely dry and hardened, remove the backing from the contact paper and press your letters or shapes firmly on to the surface. Using your second color, spray a few even coats over the entires surface. Once the paint has dried, peel off the contact paper to reveal your design!
DIY Magnent Instructions
- Firmly press the stickers you have chosen on to the sheets magnets. I used stickers from an old coloring book and advertising magnets that I received in the mail. Thanks to my excellent hoarding skills I didn't pay a dime for this project. To finish, neatly cut around each sticker and arrange on your tray!