Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Easy Handmade Christmas Gift - Magnets!

I'll admit I'm not very crafty. I want to be, I long to be crafty. But somehow I just don't have "it." I like to find ideas and give them my own touch, however. Sometimes my touch ruins the idea, but hey, I try.

I found this cute idea about tile magnets over at Creations by Kara. But because I didn't have any vinyl to use to cut out pretty shapes, I decided to try pictures instead. But you use what works for you.

Here's what you'll need:

A sheet of 2-inch tiles (there are 36 to a sheet and I think the cost was about $2.60)
A picture or two or three
A utility knife, a craft knife, and scissors
A cutting mat
Craft glue
Spray acrylic sealer
Magnets (I used the ones that come in a roll and cut them to fit)

First, cut apart the tiles. I used the utility knife to cut right through the glue holding the sheet together.

Then I shaved the glue remnants from all sides of the tile with the knife until the tile was smooth. There will be a little bit of glue on the back of the tile, but that's okay. You just don't want any on the sides.

Now you want to cut your picture to fit the tile. I traced the tile onto cardstock and cut out the square. Then I cut about a half-inch all the way around to form a frame or window. I put the frame over my picture to see what would fit on the tile. This is Mr. Lego's kindergarten picture. Isn't he cute?

I traced the inner frame onto the picture and cut it out. I'm sorry the picture is so blurry. Unfortunately, it's not blurry enough that you can't see the mess on the table! Oops!

Apply glue to the tile, all over. Use a good craft glue like Aleene's or Crafter's Pick. Place your picture on the tile and press to adhere well. Let dry overnight. Be patient, trust me. The tile is slick and will need some time to let the glue do its work. Don't ask me how I know this. I just do.

Once the glue has dried completely, trim off any picture overhang with a craft knife. Then go to a well-ventilated area, like outside, and spray on a layer of acrylic sealer. Allow this to dry completely as well. Depending on the humidity level, it can take anywhere from an hour to all day. Again, be patient. And do not touch the acrylic surface unless you want to leave a fingerprint on your pretty magnet. It's another one of those things I just know about. Okay?

When your acrylic is completely dry, it's time to glue on the magnets. I cut mine to fit the tile, then applied glue to them even though they were supposed to be self-adhesive. That self-adhesive stuff isn't strong. How would you feel if you went to move your magnet on the fridge and the magnets got left behind? Well, that's what will happen if you trust the self-adhesiveness. I know this. Let the glue dry.

Now you're ready to use the magnets! Here's Mr. Lego on the fridge.

And here he is on the oven! I would never let him do this if the oven was turned on.

Here he is on the range hood! This child sure knows his way around the kitchen!

After all was said and done, my husband suggested using glossy Modge Podge. That would have saved the glue and acrylic steps. I think I might try that approach later, but for now, I'm satisfied with the result.

Picture magnets of your children would make great gifts for the grandparents. A favorite vacation photo might be nice to use or even a family pet's picture. Why not try using scrapbook paper to match your kitchen decor? The possibilities are endless. And did I mention how cheap these were to make?

That works for me! Check out some other great tips at Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. I love these for Christmas gifts. I will have to make these with my grand-daughters this weekend.
    THANKS!!! for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. Lets visit again soon.