Other Hobbies

DIY Magnetic Chore Chart

Hello, and welcome to another DIY craft. I have for you today a simple chore chart that you can use to assign household tasks to each member of a household — roommates, children or other adults in the house. I made this as a housewarming present for my sister & brother-in-law when they bought a house recently. I looked up a few chore charts and then came up with my own task list based on what I know about their household. They are a pair of highly competitive individuals, so I incorporated a public-shaming mechanism (buttons that say “FAIL!”) to incentivize completion of tasks. Obviously, if you’re making it for children, you might want to hold off on that! The beauty of this system is that you can customize it to your unique situation/needs.

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Here’s how it works: You have one disc/button for each task. Each person in the household is assigned a colour; here I have two people, so I made orange and blue buttons. There is one button for each task, for each person, making a total of 24 buttons (12 tasks × 2 people). Next, I made little buttons saying “DONE” or “FAIL”; this was the public-shaming incentive mechanism! And that’s it, simple as that! So here’s how you can make your own.

You will need:

  • A metallic surface to stick the magnets to — I used a sandwich-cookie sheet from the dollar store, that had shallow, round indentations in it (see below)

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    Metal cookie sheet & magnets
  • Modeling clay I used this
  • Small, round cookie cutter (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Magnets — I got mine at the dollar store
  • Superglue, Krazyglue (Kragle!) or other strong glue
  • Acrylic paints
  • Markers 
  • Magnetic tape (optional)
  • Washi tape (optional)
  • Mod Podge or acrylic sealant spray (optional)

Steps:

1. If you want to paint the metallic surface, start by doing this.

2. To make the discs/buttons, knead a chunk of modeling clay. I used Crayola Model Magic, which is a foam-like compound, is extremely light and dries to a firm but spongy finish. Once the clay has warmed up somewhat, roll it out to about a ¼-inch thickness. Using a cookie-cutter, cut out 24 discs (or more depending on how many household members and tasks there are; just multiply the # of tasks to # of members to get the required number). Because I used a  cookie sheet with round indentations in it, I had to make sure the discs would fit within the grooves. Let the buttons air dry for 24-36 hours, flipping them over after about 24 hours. When they have completely dried, you can choose to sand the edges using some fine-grit sandpaper to make them smooth.

3. When the buttons have dried completely, paint them with acrylic paint (pictured on the left below). I painted half the number of buttons (so, 12) orange, and the rest blue, painting thin layers and letting the paint dry completely before applying another layer. I used three coats of paint for complete opacity. I also painted the backside for completeness, but that is optional.

4. Make a list of tasks and decide on appropriate pictures to represent each task (if you want to include them). I found it helpful to draw a rough outline of the picture I wanted in chalk (pictured in the center) before proceeding to the next step.

Next, you want to ensure that the paints you use for the pictures stand out, especially against the dark background. To do this, draw the outline of the picture in white acrylic paint and then fill it in (pictured on the right above). I also did the same for the text on the darker navy buttons. Once the white paint dries completely, colour in as you wish, filling in details. You can use acrylic paints or markers; I went with the latter. Let the paint dry completely.

5. When the paint is completely dry, flip the buttons over. Use a strong glue to adhere the magnets (pictured in the very first picture, along with the cookie sheet) to the back of the painted buttons. Let bond and they are ready for use!

6. You can choose to seal the buttons to make them water- and wear-proof. I applied a thin coat of Mod Podge to each; this applies as a white layer but dries clear. You can also use another acrylic sealant to do this.

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7. If you want to make the tiny magnets that show whether a task has been completed or not, now would be the time. I cut out strip of magnetic tape and covered the sticky side with washi tape. Next, I cut out small rectangles from the taped strip and wrote the words “Done” on 12 pieces and “Fail” on 12. You can choose to skip this entirely, only make “Done” buttons, write “Completed” and “To Do”… the options are many.

You can drill two holes on the two sides at the top of the cookie sheet and loop a ribbon or string through it to hang it up, or apply an adhesive backing and stick it to the fridge, hallway or any other area that makes sense to you.

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And that’s it; your new chore chart is ready for use! This is a really simple chore chart that is also kid-friendly. You can organize the buttons any way you like – have separate rows for weekly and daily tasks, organize by priority or member, have separate columns for “To Do” and “Done” tasks, etc. Let me know what you think of this & how it turns out if you decide to make it!

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