By Kathleen Neafsey
If you watched the season premiere of Breaking Bad, then you know where my inspiration came from for this week’s project. To make the epic “Magnets” quote my tagline would probably seem crass, so I will refrain. As always, I wanted to share with you something affordable, easy and useful. And, if you’ve read this column before, you know how I enjoy making things personal and one-of-a-kind.
The running theme in my house these past few months has been getting my eldest daughter, Deirdre, ready for college — I’ve been trying to pick up all those little things for her that you don’t realize you need until you go to use them and they’re not there: sewing kit, flashlight, safety pins, magnets for the dorm fridge, etc. The other big to-do in our family is my niece, Megan’s, wedding — again, new home, new fridge, magnets! Okay, enough, you get the picture.
The short list of must-have supplies should include:
- Clear glass gems. I found mine in the dollar store – 25 in a bag for, you guessed it, $1.
- Alene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
- Scissors. A circle punch or craft knife will also work.
- Gorilla Glue. Or an equally strong adhesive
- Toothpicks. For spreading the Clear Gel glue smoothly and evenly.
The list of items you’ll need for creating and personalizing the magnets could be endless, but here are some of the things I used:
- Card stock or scrapbooking paper. I picked up a packet of 12 sheets in Michael’s on clearance for 40 cents. If you want a white background, index cards work well, too.
- Stickers, rubber stamps, magazine photos, permanent markers or family photos
Use a scissor, craft knife or circle punch to cut out the background papers. My personal choice was the circle punch — I know I’ll be using it again at some point, so I made the $7.99 investment. Otherwise, lay the gem on whatever paper you’re using, trace the shape, and cut. If you’re using magazine or family photos, I suggest using cardstock or an index card circle to back it up so the magnet doesn’t show through the photo.
Before you do anything else, COVER YOUR WORK AREA! You’re working with glues and stamps and markers, so you want to protect your work area.
Open up your bag of clear gems and have a look at all of them; some may be scratched or pitted so you may just want to use those as filler in your lucky bamboo plant. Now that you’ve found the functional ones, rub them with a damp paper towel to clean them up. Have your pictures and designs ready. Turn the gems flat side up, and spread a thin layer of Clear Gel glue on it with a toothpick.
Place your photo or design onto the glue, and press it on with a dry toothpick — or use your fingers, but you want to be sure it’s pressed flat and there are no bubbles. I just laid it onto a dry paper towel and pressed as hard as I could to get it flat. Set it aside to dry and work on your next one.
Your personalized designs should be dry within 30 minutes; the glue will still be pliable enough to move the photos around if you feel the need. Now it’s time to glue the magnet to your piece. With whichever glue you’ve chosen, you will only need a tiny dot on the back of the magnet. (My preference is Gorilla Glue, mainly because it serves its purpose and it doesn’t give off those terrible fumes that some others do. If you choose to use an adhesive like E-6000 or an equivalent, be sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area, with windows wide open!)
Once you’ve placed a small dot of glue on the back of the magnet, center it onto the back of your design and let it set overnight.
Oh wait, there is no step four! Three steps – it’s that easy!
As you can see in my photos, I used letter stickers M & J for Megan and Joe; cupcake stickers; rubber stamps for the dress and little birdhouses. The “Hey girl” magnet was drawn free-hand as my homage to Ryan Gosling; that and the NSYNC magnets are a gift for my soon-to-be 25 year old niece, who may choose to remain nameless once she sees this.
This project would be lacking if I hadn’t made my very own Kate-Book magnet!
Seriously, this craft is super easy, and the possibilities are endless! Have fun with it, and please let’s hear about some of your ideas!
Fabri-Kate is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. It is written by the crafty Kathleen Neafsey, who wields a mean pair of scissors. Follow her on Twitter @dbmomkat and look for a brand new craft next time.