Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Make Your Own Personalized Photo Magnets

As promised, here are the instructions for making personalized photo magnets. But first a disclaimer ~ I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Not my best, but I was a little rushed and wanted to get these instructions on the blog promptly.

Ok, first is a list of materials you will need:

1. Glass. I went to the dollar store and purchased the $1 8 x 10 picture frames - with glass (some of these actually have a flimsy plastic for the glass). The glass in these inexpensive frames are usually just the right thickness for this project.

2. Glass cutter and oil. You can use an inexpensive pencil cutter for this project.

3. Cork backed metal ruler.

4. Sharpie marker.

5. Photographs, scrapbook papers, pictures from magazines, old greeting cards, dried flowers, vintage lace, vintage or new wallpaper scraps, etc. - you get the idea. Anything that you may want to put between two pieces of glass.

6. Copper foil. I usually use 1/4" foil. For making a decorative edge, I use 1/2" foil. You can easily find this at a local stained glass shop and sometimes at a hobby shop.

7. Pencil.

8. Adhesive backed magnet sheets.

That's it! Now let's get started.

First, decide what size you want your magnets. The ones I demonstrate are 3" x 2", just because that was most economical size for the magnet sheets I bought. Make them any size you want but if you make them much larger than 3" x 2", they may be too heavy for your magnets.

Using your ruler and Sharpie, mark your horizontal lines and score with your glass cutter along the edge of the ruler. Then turn the glass and mark your vertical lines and score those lines. Using your fingers, snap apart the glass.

Now that you have your glass pieces cut to size, gather your photos and embellishment materials:


Using your glass pieces as patterns, cut out your photos and start embellishing:

cut photo embellish

To embellish the old photo above with a scalloped edge, use black construction paper and a pair of decorative scrapbook scissors as follows:

preparing trim photo trimmed

After you have your photos embellished, clean your glass using a glass cleaner and dry well. Insert your photos between two pieces of glass and, using a small strip of copper foil, tape the glass together on opposite sides:

sandwich tape

Now you're ready to foil! If you don't want a decorative edge, use the 1/4" foil and center the glass on the foil and wrap around the edges of the glass:

For a decorative edge, use the same scrapbook scissors, and trim the edge off the 1/2" wide foil. Cut pieces of the trimmed foil to the same size as each edge and lay the foil on the top edge of the glass then wrap around to adhere the foil to the back of the glass:

cut foil lay foil

After your glass pieces are foiled, burnish the foil by using a smooth sided pencil or your Sharpie to smooth and firmly adhere the foil to all sides of the glass (front, back and edges):

After you have burnished the edges of all the foil, cut your sheet magnet and attach to the back of the glass. There you have it ~ beautiful personalized photo magnets!

These could make great gifts for the holidays, new baby, house warming or "just because". Go around your town and take photographs of landmarks to make house warming gifts, or copy photos of the new baby, from the sonogram to birth, photograph your favorite sports team or use old holidary cards. The ideas are limitless!!

I realize some of the materials for this project may be hard to find. I have been considering putting together a kit with all the materials needed except for the photographs to put between the glass. If you are interested in a kit like this, leave me a comment. Also, please leave me a comment and let me know if this tutorial was helpful.


Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

great tutorial! I'll just get mine from you! :)

Elise said...

Oh WOW, this is a great post & you have the most gorgeous site here. I had to stop by to leave this comment for you – and to say hello of course ! Your posts are creative and original and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect ! Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes....