Summer has flown by and we’re now officially into back-to-school mode. During this time of year, many are searching for new ways to improve their organizational strategies. Teachers, in particular, need to be organized when the new school year starts. Between desks, folders, and books, there are a lot of moving parts to get in working order to ensure a smooth school year.

File cabinets, a teacher’s holy grail of storage, are the primary source for important papers and documents. We’ve brought together  three magnetic DIY’s that can turn your boring file cabinet into a multi-functional and chic feature for your classroom.

Pro Tip: We all know how busy teachers are, especially once the school year hits. If you don’t have time to do any of these crafts yourself, they can make great extra credit projects for older students! Always make sure they’re done under constant supervision.

Magnetic Pictures

File cabinets can take up a lot of room in classrooms, and what better way to use all that space than to add a personal touch with pictures? This is a simple craft to help you display pictures of your class.  Add on as the year goes on and the memories are made!

What You’ll Need:

  • Frames - Any size or shape. The frame should be lighter in weight and should not have the supporting stand attached to the back.
  • Pictures for the frames.
  • Hot glue gun.
  • 8mm x 4mm disc magnets.


  1. If you haven’t already, put the pictures in the frames.
  2. Use the hot glue gun to add 2 pea-sized dots on the back of the frame. One on either side.
  3. Put the magnets on the glue and let dry completely before sticking frames onto the file cabinet.
  4. Don’t feel like getting out the hot glue gun? Try using adhesive magnets instead.

Magnetic Metal Containers

These containers are a great miniature organizational solution that attach directly onto file cabinets or any magnetic surface like a dry erase or chalk board. This DIY requires minimal supplies and can be finished in just a few steps. Plus, you can always use them to teach students how to organize throughout the school year.

What You’ll Need:

  • Small, deep metal containers without lids. These can be upcycled from tin cans or bathroom containers.
  • Wrapping paper, preferably a variety of solid colors.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Alphabet stickers.
  • Hot glue gun.
  • 9mm x 3mm disc magnets.


  1. Wrap the small containers with the wrapping paper. Make sure each container is wrapped in a different color.
  2. Make sure the wrapping paper is smooth on the container with no bubbles and use the tape to secure the paper to the container. It’s best to use the tape on either the inside of the container or on the back of the container.
  3. Use the alphabet stickers to make labels for what you’ll put in each container. Example: pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
  4. On the back of the container, use the hot glue gun to add a small dot of glue. Add a magnet and let dry completely before adding the containers to the file cabinet.

Magnetic Homework Folder

Similar to the metal containers, the DIY magnetic homework folder can be made from upcycled materials. The homework folder acts as a mailbox for the students to drop off their homework or in-class assignments. They add the benefit of helping you stay organized while setting a clear expectation for your students.

What You’ll Need:


  1. Cut the top rectangle out of the cereal box.
  2. Wrap both the inside and outside of the cereal box with wrapping paper.
  3. Use markers to make a “homework” label on the front of the box. Feeling extra crafty? Make an additional box for in-class assignments.
  4. On the back of the box, use the hot glue gun to add a small dot of glue. Add a magnet and let dry completely before adding the box to the file cabinet.

Which one of these DIY’s will you try for this school year? Let us know! Don’t forget to take a look at our blog for more magnetic crafts!