DIY Magnetic Poster Hanger from Scrap Wood

Though there are many ways to make your own wooden poster hanger today I’m going to show you how I made my DIY magnetic poster hanger from scrap wood.

DIY Magnetic Poster Hangers from Scrap wood. Built, stained, waxed, and hung on the wall with anthropological posters by cavallini company.

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I have been keeping these beautiful posters tucked away for a few years now. They’ve been patiently waiting for the right space to get hung. Now that my hallway is ready I’ve decided to make my own DIY poster hanger out of scrap wood.

There is this growing pile of scrap wood in my shed just for these types of easy projects. I love using up wood pieces for multiple reasons including 1. It’s good to use what you have and 2. It saves money!

What Can I Hang Using a DIY Magnetic Poster Hanger?

There are many kinds of things you can choose to hang on your walls using these DIY poster hangers. Here are a few ideas for you:

  1. Old Map
  2. Large Photo Prints or Large Photos (vs photo frames)
  3. Small Poster
  4. Wall Calendars
  5. Favorite Print or Art Print
  6. Or Create a Custom Poster of Your Choice!

The posters I am choosing to use are actually Cavallini Wrapping Paper. These are my absolute favorite posters when it comes to vintage style posters. They have gorgeous anthropological prints available as well as many other options. The prints I’m using are:

Watch this on Youtube:

Tools & Supplies Needed for DIY Magnetic Poster Hanger

There are a few supplies needed for this project. You can make your own DIY Magnetic Poster hanger without having to cut up wood, so I’ll include those supplies as well.


Options: Pieces of Twine (You’ll need one piece of twine for each poster). Another option would be a leather cord or suede cords.

Another great alternative to drilling a hole would be to hang your wooden poster frames using screw eyes.

Power Tools

Gemstone Cavallini Poster in my DIY magnetic poster hangers made from scrap wood. They are hanging above the chair rail I installed down my hallway.

Step One – Rip Your Scrap Wood Pieces on A Table Saw

This step requires the use of a Table Saw, Measuring Tape, and Pencil.

I had 4 pieces of 2×4 leftover from an old project that I chose to use. These were untreated lumber so I felt safe using them in my home. The goal is to rip the 2x4s into long wood strips.

This took a little bit of experimentation to figure out the thickness accounting also for the width of the blade. I ended up setting my guard at 3/8″ and ended up with about 1/4″ thickness.

Different Cuts on Table Saw

All common lumber comes with a rounded edge, an easy solution to get clean lines you’ll rip the edges on a table saw. Start with the first process, then move to the second process to actually make the pieces for your wooden frames.

Rip the Edges to Eliminate Rounded Corners

In the US common 2x4s start out 3.5″ wide.

  1. To start you take 1/4″ off each side to eliminate the rounded corners. Adjust your guard to 3 1/4″ the first time, and run through all 4 pieces.
  2. Then adjust your guard to 3″ the second time. Turn your pieces over to the opposite side for this run.

Rip the Wooden Pieces

The thickness I chose was 1/4″. To achieve that I had to experiment a bit with a scrap wood piece. The trick is to account for your blade width.

  1. For the first run, set your guard to 2 9/16″. Run all the pieces through.
  2. For the second run, set your guard to 2 3/16″. Run all the pieces through.
  3. Continue like this until you’ve cut as many pieces as you need.

Since I was doing 6 posters I needed 24 pieces of wood, two for the top stick and 2 for the bottom pieces of your hanger. These were almost the entirety of my 4 pieces of 2×4.

Scrap Wood cut into strips to create poster hangers, half sanded and half ready to be sanded.

Step Two – Cut Your Pieces to Length

This step requires a saw of some type: hand saw, miter saw, or chop saw. Plus a Measuring Tape and Pencil.

To start this step you’ll need to first measure the width of your poster. My posters were 20″ wide and I chose to do a 1″ overhang on either end of the poster which meant I needed to cut lengths of wood 22″ long.

This isn’t a complicated process. But make sure to measure because your posters may be a different size than mine. Even if they’re Cavallini.

Step Three – Sand Your Pieces Thoroughly

This step requires the use of either an Orbital Sander with 120 Grit Sanding Discs or 120 Grit Sanding Block.

Sand all sides and don’t forget to sand the ends of the wood. Staining is easier on a smooth surface.

There is nothing complicated about this process, it’s just time-consuming.

Scrap wood pieces after having been completely sanded smooth.

Step Four – Stain Your Wood Pieces Early American

This process requires either Early American Stain or another stain of choice, a rag, and gloves.

Wherever you choose to stain your pieces, make sure you’re protecting the surface from the stain. I like to use cut-up paper bags because I already have them.

Scrap wood pieces laying out after having been stained Early American by Varathane. They're drying on a paper bag on my table before I take them to dry outside.

The proper staining protocol requires a little order.

  1. Use gloves to avoid staining your fingers.
  2. Stain all sides with a light single coat.
  3. Allow it to soak in for 5-10 minutes and then wipe off any excess with another rag.
  4. Let the stain dry in the sun or dry spot for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Humidity might make a difference).
  5. If you want a second coat, repeat steps 1-4.
Stained DIY poster hanger pieces drying on my deck in the full sun.

Step Five – Coat with Protective Finish

For this step, you will need Furniture Wax or another type of top coat like Polycrylic, and a rag or brush.

I chose to use wax because it’s a much quicker process and way less mess. To use wax follow these steps:

  1. Use a clean rag to wipe a small amount of wax all over the piece.
  2. Wipe off any excess.
  3. Let it dry/cure for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Putting a coat of wax on the stained poster hangers with a lint free rag.

Since technically you’re supposed to let the stain dry for at least 24 hours, you will have some rub off in this part of the process. Don’t be alarmed, it won’t harm anything.

Why Do You Need a Protective Coat?

I’m not trying to protect the wood as much as I am protecting the wall from the stained wood. If not coated it can stain your walls before the stain cures fully. And maybe even after it cures.

The wax or polyacrylic also protects your poster from the stain.

Step Six – Adhere Magnets to the Wood Pieces

In this step, you will need strong magnets either strips or discs, and glue. Some options are E6000, Hot glue, or Super Glue Gel.

I used hot glue and Super Glue Gel. But if I hadn’t been in such a rush I think the best way to adhere the magnets to the glue is E6000. If you opt to use that allow it to cure for 24 hours.

After having installed them I found several magnets came off and had to be reglued. Hot glue was kind of hit or miss with strength. You will need to decide how many magnets you want to use, I chose 3, but 4 might have been better.

Follow these steps to adhere the magnets to the wood:

  1. Measure 3″ inset on either side and mark with a pencil.
  2. Measure 11″ (or center) and mark with a pencil. Or if you’re doing 4 magnets, measure around 7″ inset from either side.
  3. I put mine about 1/4″ from the bottom of the piece of wood.
  4. Pair up your magnets so you’re positive you are installing their opposite polarity, all positive on one stick and negative on the other stick. (So the front and back will stick to each other).
  5. Add glue to the back and press down firmly while it dries (if it’s super glue gel or e6000 just push it down and set them to dry).
  6. Adhere all 3 or 4 magnets and let them dry.
  7. If you’re using hot glue adhere one magnet to the front piece at a time (otherwise the hot glue goes cold and won’t stick). If you’re using the other two options you can do all of them at once.
  8. Line up your top piece over the bottom and push down firmly.
  9. Let them sit and cure.

Step Seven – Drill the Holes for the Hanging String

For this step, you will need a drill, 1/8″ drill bit, and string, like twine. The alternative is to simply glue the string to the back of the front piece of wood.

To drill holes for the string follow these easy steps:

  1. Measure 1″ inset on either side of the front piece of wood.
  2. Mark with a pencil.
  3. Make sure your piece is on top of something so the drill won’t gouge whatever you’re using to hold your pieces when you drill.
  4. Then push your string through the hole in the back of the board.
  5. Tie a double knot (knot on top of another knot) so it won’t slip through the hole.
  6. If you’re hanging a gallery wall make sure the strings are all uniform on your DIY magnetic poster hanger.

Step Eight – Hang Your Posters

I chose to do a long gallery wall in my hallway as a part of my Farmhouse style Hallway Makeover. If you’re interested in seeing the progress of my hallway you can check out these posts:

  1. How to Paint Baseboard Trim with Carpet
  2. How to Paint Shiplap Cracks
  3. How to Build Farmouse Style Door Headers
  4. DIY Floating Frames with pressed Flowers
Fossil poster with the hangers holding it down while I choose which posters to hang up in the hallway.

Measure Your Space To Hang Your Posters

For this step, you will need a measuring tape and a pencil. Then either a screw for each poster and a drill or picture frame hanging nails and a hammer.

I followed these steps to hang my posters symmetrically down my hallway:

Mushrooms vintage style poster with scrap wood magnetic poster hangers.
  1. Measure the total length of your wall. Mine was 185″.
  2. Subtract your total length by your total length of posters. (185″ – 132″ (22″ x 6)
  3. Divide the difference by the number of posters + 2 (space on either side of the first and last poster). 53 ÷ (6+2) = 6.62″. So I chose to space them out about 6.5″.
  4. Measure 6.5″ from the end of your wall. Make a small mark with a pencil.
  5. Then I had to measure the distance between my ceiling and my chair rail and subtract the length of the poster which was 36″. 42″ – 36″ = 6″. Therefore, I left a 3″ space between the ceiling and my screw and a 3″ space between the poster and the chair rail.
  6. Since my posters are 22″ long, I measured 11″ in from the 6.5″ mark. Then measured my 3″ down and that was the place where I put my screw.
  7. For each additional poster, I measured 6.5″ from the end of it, 11″ from that, and marked. Then 3″ from the ceiling.
  8. Continue that process for all of your posters.

And voila! You have a beautiful DIY magnetic Poster hanger (or half a dozen) with just a few easy steps and a gorgeous unique gallery wall!

Thanks for stopping by!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→


  1. What a great diy project and it looks so easy to do. They look amazing too. This is totally up my alley!

  2. How cute are those?! I would never have thought to hang posters like that! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. Oh my goodness, those prints are beautiful! And what a lovely way to display them. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

  4. I’ve got a ton of prints, posters, and more from various trips we’ve taken. This is a fantastic idea

  5. These are beautiful! I love how customizable they are too. I’ve found several posters I could use these for.

  6. I love these vintage-style posters and I love your method of hanging them. Magnets is a clever way to hold the posters without damaging them. Well done! They look great.

  7. Beautiful project! I’ve seen some pretty herbal/ botanical prints that I’d love to do that with. Thank you for the tutorial!

  8. Such an amazing tutorial! I have been wanting to try making these for a while now. Thank you so much!!

  9. I love this project! These beautiful magnetic poster hangers are also great for seasonal decor. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Yes! I was thinking the exact same thing because now I can change them up to anything I want to whenever the whim hits me! Thank you for your kindness!

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