Soooo. OK. I was SO stinkin’ excited about this project. So. excited. I saw it on a blog a couple weeks ago and could not WAIT to do it.

It was a mixture of (CUTE!) art and organization and I knew it would be super fun when it was done. But it was a FAIL. And I’m more than a little peeved about it, I gotta be honest.

I saw this idea on the Land of Nod blog (Honest to Nod) and immediately pinned it:

magnetic strips for toy cars (does not work for most metal toys)


I was so excited, I didn’t waste any time on gathering materials. For me it was an excuse to take the trek out to IKEA (I wasn’t going there JUST for these…but I almost would have, I was that psyched about it). I grabbed five of their magnetic knife strips for my idea.

This wasn’t an inexpensive project – each one was $12. Way more than I would typically spend on a project like this. But again. Excited. Giddy.

It should have only taken about 20 minutes to hang the strips, but because there are spacers involved when hanging the racks, trying to find the right sized screws in my stash took FOREVER. I should have taken this as an omen, but I powered through, using a level to install each one:

installing magnetic racks

I should mention here that I big time hesitated before using the anchors in the BRAND NEW DRYWALL in our basement – it kind of hurt to do it. Should have taken that as omen No. 2. But I knew this would be here for years and would be super cute so I kept on…

The design they used on the blog must have taken an obscene amount of strips (were talking hundreds of dollars), so I simplified mine and did an initial instead:

magnetic strip fail

I was SO excited (have I mentioned that?) when it was done and the Bub and I grabbed the bin of (METAL) toy cars to start sticking them on.

Annnnnd nothing. Not one was sticking. Not even a little bit. Not one. I was digging through, trying them all… all the while whispering to myself “NO. freakin’. way.

Way. Totally. The metal on the cars (and airplanes, trucks…trains) isn’t magnetic. I got the wheels of ONE train to stick. And there’s another car hanging on for dear life in that pic but it’s just barely on there by the metal in the wheels.

I was HOT. I felt more than a little mislead by the blog post I used for inspiration – I’m pretty convinced they glued magnets to the back of each car for the post. If not…well, they have magical metal toys that stick to magnets. :)

I tried older cars too by the way, some about 30 years old, maybe older? Not one stuck.

Yes, I guess I should have double checked to see if they stuck beforehand. But the post shows that they stick just fine, and I just totally spaced it on the certain metals not sticking kind of thing. They’re METAL cars (and trains, and planes…) and I just assumed it would work. (And we all know what happens when you assume…)

So…now I’m not sure what to do. I could glue magnets to the back of each car – but that’s a LOT of cars and a lot of work and the cost of magnets. A blog friend suggested swiping a coat of magnetic paint along the bottom of each car, which I may try. I have the paint already (from the chalkboard in our kitchen) that I could use. I don’t know if it would be strong enough but I think I’ll at least try it.

If that doesn’t work I’m taking it down and will have to find a use for five stinkin’ metallic racks. I don’t keep our knives out so I won’t use them for their intended purpose. (And that’s a lot of knives people!) I’ve found a few ideas on Pinterest that would work (especially one for the craft room that would be really helpful).

So that’s my latest fail. It does happen around here. Not often, because I usually take EONS to think ideas through. See what happens when I don’t take six months to do something? ;)

How would you try to save this project? If it can’t be saved, how would you use the magnet strips? I have a feeling I’ll need ideas!

Anyone want to come help me patch ten monster holes in my wall? I’ll give you a magnetic strip!

**Looks like they have edited the post to reflect that they used really old cars. Although as I mentioned, I tried old ones as well and they didn’t work either.