Magnetic Case DIY


Every Fall, we take a roadtrip to visit Grandma and Grandpa. We fill our car with lots of books, toys and an iPad or two and head off on an eight-hour trek. Our kids are pretty good about keeping themselves entertained, but I have to admit, I’ve responded to more than my share of “I dropped my toy and need it back right now” requests while driving. This year, I’m making a couple of magnetic toy cases to take things on the road and, hopefully, keep them (somewhat) in place.

For the first one, I decided to create a series of colorblock magnets that Jenna can arrange and rearrange into different compositions.

Here are the materials I used:

  • Craft box (I purchased mine from Michaels)
  • Magnetic Paint (Martha Stewart brand, also purchased from Michaels)
  • Small wooden squares and circles
  • Magnet tape
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Masking tape
  • Ribbon (optional)

Step 1: Paint the wooden shapes


I started by painting a series of wooden squares and circles in a variety of colors. I also taped some of the squares in order to create different shapes and patterns.

Step 2: Attach magnet tape to the shapes


Once the paint was dry, I cut the magnetic tape into small pieces and attached them to the back of the shapes. I used a magnetic tape that already had adhesive on one side, but you could also glue, if necessary.

Step 3: Apply the magnetic paint to the inside of the box


I painted the inside of the box with Martha Stewart magnetic paint. I used 3 coats per the instructions and let dry completely between coats. You can also paint over this with another paint (if you want a different color surface), but I preferred to minimize the steps involved.

Step 4: Add the magnets


Once the magnetic paint was completely dry, I attached the magnets. I also added a ribbon to the inner edge of the box by gluing it with fabric glue. I’m going to see how this holds up, but might end up using a staple gun to make it more secure.

Although I chose to create my own magnets for this one, I’m also looking at ways to “magnetize” existing toys like Legos, notepads and crayons, etc. Maybe this year, we can also avoid losing any toys!

Post by Julee Dyer : Warm Hot Chocolate


  • Katie

    So great! This is exactly what I envisioned myself making before our long flight cross-country a few days ago. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but I did find a few magnet games appropriate for a 4 and 2 year old and they worked well too (though the littlest magnets went missing in about 1.2 minutes). Thanks for sharing this! Think I’ll pin it for the next time around.

  • Trisha

    This would be perfect for a game of hangman! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • Pete

    Super Rad!!! So beautifully done. We do a 12 hour car trip once or twice a year and I reckon that this sort of thing would be very well received in our car. Now to find some way to stop them dropping the box.

  • Vinyl Banners

    This is a great idea, I didn’t know that magnetic paint even existed! My kids would love stuff like this, and then I’d have time to focus on the road rather than being the ref for the fight that seems inevitable. Thanks!

  • Mollin Von Trapp

    This is seriously such a cute idea! I’m always looking for intellectually stimulating things like magnetic toys for children. Thanks!!!

  • Andrea

    Love this! Do you know if a magnetic painted surface sticks to another magnetic painted surface? For example, could the back of those shapes be painted with the magnetic paint and still adhere to the surface of the inside of the box?

  • Pocket Knives

    Fabulous idea! I will be trying it…I have so many single colors that I wish I could fit in one easy case like this! (The singles take up too much space for me!)

  • Kellie

    Love this! We also have an 8hr road trip to the grandparents and the ‘I dropped my ……. and can’t reach it’ drive me bonkers by the end. I had no idea there was such a thing as magnetic paint! What fun! Thanks for a fun tutorial!

  • doro von Hand zu Hand

    that’s a really fabulous idea.

    I linked to your tutorial on my blog – thanks for sharing!

    ♥, doro von Hand zu Hand

  • Deebi27

    I love this idea…light bulb idea: 1. Two Dollar store cookie trays, 2. Cut 4 ribbons, double the length of each shorter side. Glue to the backs of cookie trays.
    3. Tie the ribbon ends to close and store the magnetic pieces inside!

  • Candace

    Very cute! How about painting a tic-tad-toe, or checker board, or one on each side?