The Chart à la Carte Blog

Tips & Tricks for Your Organized Life

A DIY Magnet Board Secret

If you’ve ever searched the internet for DIY magnetic boards, you know there is a wide range of projects involving everything from a simple baking sheet to constructing actual metal walls in your home.

We’re sharing a secret about an in-between option that is surprisingly multi-functional, beautiful in any home and, both easy and fun to create in your style for your life.

I got the idea two years ago, when my attempts to create a chore chart for my home were disappointing. Here’s that story: I bought an ordinary magnetic board and glued fabric and ribbon to it. Then I made magnet pieces out of glass tiles and clear, printed stickers. But, then I realized that I didn’t love the fabric as much as I thought I would– and the plastic frame looked cheap and tacky on the wall. And the glass magnets would fall and break. And I couldn’t change the words on them. Could there be an easy way to add a new fabric? How could I make it actually look nice on the wall? Maybe if I could make it both a pin board and a magnetic board at the same time, then I could easily PIN fabric to the board…? How could I make dry erase magnets that look nice and don’t shatter glass everywhere when they fall?

But, to be honest, I’m not skilled in sewing, and I didn’t want to have to hem a new fabric every time I wanted a new look for my home. So, I designed a larger wood frame to sit on top of the inner frame, attached by magnets. THIS frame would cover the rough edges of the fabric and the push pins!

Those questions lead me to design a cork board with a steel mesh surface built into a wooden frame. This way, I could easily decorate the board with any style or color of fabric I wanted, just by attaching it with push pins around the edges.

From here, my dad suggested a storage compartment, for extra magnets, markers and push pins. My friend asked whether I might occasionally want a chalkboard or whiteboard, so I designed a reversible panel that stores in back but can be easily placed in front, transforming the board into a chalkboard or whiteboard.

So, it’s fun to change the aestheic of the board (and my home) by adding a new fabric, and it’s practical to be able to swap out a chalkboard or whiteboard, but, what can the board be used for? Then I designed a variety of accessory magnets from wooden letters to 3 sizes of acrylic dry-erase frames, printable charts and inserts to go in the frames, wooden pegs and felt flowers. The possibilities are endless.

And the good news is that you don’t have to build the board, because I had they professionally made, and you can use your creativity to add beautiful fabrics and accessorize however you desire.

For more ideas, see 17 Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Chart a la Carte Board.

New: Facebook Shop!

I know I’m a bit behind, but I finally figured out how to create a facebook shop!  I’ve added some new fabrics for fall and winter, plus we now have wooden snowflake magnets, so take a look!  Also, let me know if there are other things you’d like to see available in the future, would love to hear your thoughts.

Feeling especially thankful today for all your love and support!  So blessed to have the opportunity to follow this dream and see it move forward.

Love! Sarah


Pinspiration Market

We had a great time at the Pinspiration Market!

It was, as promised, “a market full of things you love to pin and don’t have time to make”, and we were honored to have a booth there among other craft types!  Plus, we felt so loved by everyone’s warm feedback!

This was my first attempt at doing a booth representing all 4 seasons, and I think it was helpful for people to see the wide range of how their board can look, depending on what fabric they choose.  People especially loved the fall and winter fabrics!

Looks like this show will take place again next year in Puyallup, WA.  Hope you can make it!

We’ve Been Busy!

Dear Backers,

Wow, it’s been a busy last couple weeks!! Thanks for your patience as we’ve been scrambling to get your rewards out asap!

UPDATE: We have now shipped almost all of the boards!! If you do not receive your rewards in the next week (two weeks for Canada) please let me know, so that we can look into it for you. Also, we found the missing letter b’s! They were mixed in with the p’s, haha…

PHOTOS: I’ve LOVE-love-loved seeing all the pics that many of you have shared with our facebook group! Thanks for inspiring us! Keep it up!

LARGE ACRYLICS: If you didn’t catch my last update, the large acrylics / erasable display magnets will ship separately and I will be updating those of you who purchased later this week with an eta.

MISSING SOMETHING? Other than the large acrylics? Let me know at (Also, let me know if anything was damaged in transit)!

FEEDBACK: I will be checking in with each of you via email in a couple weeks and would love to know what you like and don’t love so much. Or, if you have ideas of new products you’d like to see! 🙂

FUN NEW IDEA: Stay tuned for our fun new idea (in my next update) once you all have your boards up and running!

VIDEO: See tips for hanging your board in our quick video!

NEED MORE BOARDS OR ACCESSORIES? Don’t forget your 10% discount code!


Sarah & Chart à la Carte”

Update! Check to see if these things apply to you:

Hello, Friends!

If you have not yet heard the NEWS (I posted to our facebook group), we have been celebrating the arrival of the boards and accessories this past week! Hooray!

The 40′ container of boards is now un-packed and we have started to mail out some of the packages. So far, we have sent 40 boards and have about 280 to go!

Due to some errors we’ve experienced with UPS notifications, we opted not to send shipping notifications. My plan is to do my best to send an email on the day we ship your order to you. The email will be coming from this address (you may want to make sure that it doesn’t go to your junk file):

HELP HANGING YOUR BOARD? Here is a short video to understand how the french cleat works to secure your board, and tips on hanging.

PRODUCT DETAILS: Take a quick glance over the following questions and read up if they apply to you!


As I’m opening the boxes, I’m noticing that the shade of driftwood is generally a bit warmer (more brown tones, fewer gray tones) and, sometimes slightly greener than I had pictured. Part of this is influenced by lighting, as the colors are noticeably different in a room with a lot of windows vs. warmer lighting, and whether you have true grays or true browns nearby. Ultimately, you MAY prefer the warmer tone, or, if you think you’d prefer more of a gray finish, you may want to apply a gray lacquer. I plan to try this myself, in July, and will post the before and after pics to the facebook group! As a reminder, each driftwood board is unique, the stain highlighting the unique wood texture of each board.


Haha, it looks like we ended up with twice as many p’s and no letter b’s. I have already notified the maker and will be receiving the b’s in the near future, so if you ordered a letter “”b”” I will still ship the rest of your order this month, and then mail your missing letter in late July, when they arrive. Apologies for the delay!


I haven’t opened all the boxes, yet, but it looks like the maker of the acrylic displays accidentally added only 4 instead of 6 magnets on the back of the 8.5 x 11 size. If you ordered this size I will send the rest of your order this month and delay sending your acrylic display until the maker sends me the extra magnets for me to add on the back. I’m not yet sure what the time frame is, but will be updating those of you who purchased this magnet. I’m glad to have caught this error before sending it to you because without the extra magnets the display will not work with the thicker fabric included with your board (only a very thin fabric would work).

ALL IN ALL, I think the artisans did a great job with these products and I’ve already heard back from some of you who’ve received your shipment that you agree! If there is an order mix-up or damage in transit, please email me at:

Thanks for your patience as we do our best to get as many orders fulfilled this week as possible!



For Those Who Want the Play-by-play…

Just a quick update:

The good news is that the container of boards and accessories arrived in Seattle as scheduled on Wednesday and cleared customs! Hurray!

The less-good news I’ve learned from my shipping agent is that her payment to the freight line got lost in the mail, and now the freight line won’t release our container! BAH. A new payment was rushed, but everything shuts down on the weekend, so it looks like I won’t receive our container until at least Monday, maybe Tuesday… which sets us back at least a few days for shipping your packages to you.

Bummer! Well, I’ve frequently felt like these boards are my “baby” and you just never know when a baby’s gonna come, haha. I’m disappointed not to receive the shipment today, but I’ll keep you in the loop next week when there’s more news!



Meet the author

Owner Sarah Barnard, designed Chart à la Carte’s unique board with a removable frame & systems for tracking & communicating about various practical topics for life organization & parenting. Then, the idea grew to include so much more!


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