Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY Magnetic Staff

After playing with the colors about a million times, I think I like the shade of aqua that I see on my screen! (Who knows what everyone else is seeing, of course!) I also followed an incredibly clear tutorial on Bite Sized Thoughts on how to create drop-down menus. (Thank you, Kari!) It took a lot of experimenting with the code even after reading, but that blog entry was the only one that made any sense to me after many Google searches!

Anyway, you've probably seen this before, but just in case you haven't.....I thought I'd show an easy and fairly cheap way to make magnetic staves for your classroom.

You might get some weird looks, but get to your local Dollar Tree and head to the checkout with an armful of $1 cookie sheets:

If you buy more than 10 or 15, they may or may not call a manager over to approve the purchase. A little embarrassing, but well worth it. :)

For the next step, it depends on what you use as notes. I use little math counters that are 3/4" round and they came in 4 different colors. Basically, they look like tiny poker chips. (I added magnetic tape on the back of mine.) I did an internet search just now and can't seem to find the exact kind, but there are so many types out there. I do like the kinds that I can split by color though because it helps me manage groups in various ways - "Yellow notes, put your materials away first," or "Green notes, sing your pattern to me."

I used my craft machine to cut strips of vinyl, but you can easily use drafting tape as well. Just space out your lines according to the size of your chosen note size.

Spacing the lines to fit your notes...
Just 20-something more to go... :)
My next step, which I will have to update on a bit later, is to cut out some do clefs and some ledger lines. I'm waiting on this step because I'm going to cut them on printable magnetic paper and they only take up a small amount. I'm trying to think of something else to take up the rest of the paper....I don't want to waste it.

And if you're lucky, you might find these little storage containers at the Dollar Tree as well. They are great for storage for your little magnetic notes! I've seen round containers and these square ones and then sometimes they have nothing at all. I tend to grab a package when I see them in stock. They are popular!

Overall, I think these magnetic staves would be great for centers (if you only want to make a few and not a class set) and you can always use the other blank side for other magnetic manipulative activities!


  1. Thanks so much for the acknowledgement :) I love your colour scheme, and overall blog, too. I also love the magnetic staves, despite not being a teacher. I just want one for myself!

  2. Thank YOU! I couldn't have gotten drop-down menus to work if I hadn't found your blog. :) The magnetic cookie sheets are great for all kinds of things, like menus, calendars, chore charts, memo boards....the possibilities are endless! I love a good magnetic surface. :)

  3. LOVE this idea! Can't wait to make some of my own :)