I made this for my baby to use as she grows and explores, but my 4 and 5 year old couldn’t keep their hands off of it! After seeing so many super cute ideas on Pinterest, I have always wanted to make my own busy board for my kids. I’ve looked into it multiple times, but it always seemed too expensive and I didn’t have the time. Hello, Quarantine! It was the perfect time to take on this project, especially after I found a used busy board on Facebook Marketplace for FREE!
Depending on how big you want to make the board, it can get expensive to fill all the space. I saved the most by finding stuff around the house and scoring this old beat up board on Marketplace. Here’s some directions and a list of items I used to make this board a reality!
- 2x2x1/2″ MDF Board (Home Depot, $6.49)
- Paint (I had some leftover white wall paint, and used Multi-Purpose Paint for the colors)
- 1/4″ screws (I had some at home)
- 4 Thumb Tacks
- 2 Eye Hooks
- Zipper (available at a craft store)
- Chain Door Guard (Amazon, $3.69)
- 1 1/2″ Caster Wheel (Home Depot, $2.87)
- Hook and Eye Latch (Home Depot, $2.51)
- Snap Hook Key Ring (Home Depot, $1.89)
- Battery Operated Light Switch (Dollar Store, $1)
- Calculator (Dollar Store, $1)
- Decorative Barrel Bolt (Home Depot, $2.67)
- Door Knocker (Amazon, $22, also available at Home Depot)
- Classic Oblong Catches (Amazon, $6 for 2)
- Bike Bell (Amazon, $8)
- Hinge + Spare 4x5x1/2″ piece of wood (Amazon, $5 for 3)
- Retractable Badge Holder (Dollar Tree, $1)
- Gold Drawer Pull (Home Depot, $6)
- Carabiner (Dollar Store, $1)
- Blind Spot Mirror (Amazon, $6)
- Master Lock Hasp and Combination Lock (Home Depot for $6.50 and Amazon for $4.50)
- Sash Lock (Home Depot, $2.77)
- Cabinet Handle and Padlock (Lock from Dollar Store, $1)
- Door Stopper (Home Depot, $1.98)
- Barrel Bolt Lock (Home Depot, $3.28)
- Door Knob (Amazon, $14)
- Paint board white. Let dry.
- Layout your design. Take a picture so you remember where everything goes. Paint background for each piece to make the board visually appealing. Let dry.
- Attach items using command strips (Light Switch, Calculator, and Mirror)
- Attach zipper using flat head tacks.
- Attach items to the front using screws (Chain Door Guard, Caster Wheel, Decorative Barrel Bolt, Classic Oblong Catches, Master Lock, Cabinet Handle and Lock, Sash Lock, Door Stop, Barrel Bolt Lock, and Door Knob.
- Mark and Predrill Holes for Eye hooks and Hinge. Screw in eye hooks by hand and attach (Eye Hook, Hook for Snap Hook Key Ring, Hinge (predrill both board and piece of wood), Eye Hook for Retractable Key Ring).
- Mark and Drill Holes ALL the way through the board. Flip Board over and use screws from the back to attach Door Knocker, Bike Bell, Cabinet Handle for Carabiner).
- You are Done!
This does take some time, so be sure to allow yourself that. I tried to rush it in the morning and I got both dehydrated and frustrated. I plan on adding a picture of our family beneath the hinged wood piece using mod podge. Busy boards are recommended for ages 1-4.