Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What's In My Crochet Bag - Magnet Edition

Recognize that G? It's one of my
favorites. I also adore the bat!
I love my bookclub. We have two very important Christmas traditions. One is that we do a white elephant gift exchange. For those of you uninitiated, a white elephant is something you already own - and hate. It's the gift you never wanted, the art you think belongs in a cheap hotel, the kitchen gadget only available via telephone at 3 am. The second tradition is the exchange of knickknacks. This one is voluntary and not everyone participates. My friend Wendy gives everyone a crocheted dish rag every year. There are usually a great deal of bookmarks. Because, um... bookclub.

The year Maren was born, I made everyone a scarf. Because massive amounts of downtime in a hospital and on maternity leave meant that I could. Last year, I made bookmarks. This year, I wanted to try something new. These magnets.

I made them for approximately 6.2 million people, meaning that I made about 8.3 billion magnets. And I chose to do it in one sitting, so you know. Horrors!! Especially for my poor back.

Here's What I Used:

Flowers for some reason
were harder to capture right.
I was glad to get these!
  • Old magazines
  • Flat bottomed glass marbles (check the floral arranging area of the big box of your choice)
  • Sharpie
  • Xacto type knife
  • Self healing mat
  • Old, beat up cookie sheet
  • Dime sized magnets
  • 3M77

Here's How I Did It:

There was an ad that had about
20 usable peace signs. It made
my day.
I started with a big pile of magazines, a flat-bottomed glass marble and a sharpie and an xacto style knife that is shaped like a pen. I then used the marble as a looking glass, placing over each thing I thought would be nice and trying it out for size and effect. If it worked, I traced around the marble with a sharpie and then carefully used the knife and a self-healing mat to cut just inside the outline.
  1. When I was done, I had a great big pile of tiny circles of paper. I then placed my dime sized magnets on a cookie sheet (note - I have a really messed up cookie sheet that I use for craft projects that I don't cook on. This would have destroyed a usable one. You don't have to use metal, I just found that easier, you could also use paper, although I suggest something heavy like poster board.) 
  2. Working in small batches (about 10 at a time), I sprayed each magnet with a small shot of 3M77. (I settled on this at the consultation of glue based site.) Working quickly and carefully, I stuck the paper circles to the magnets. 
  3. I forged right on, but some drying time would have been helpful. I would also suggest that if you are not super careful with your spraying (like me) you will want to move the magnets a few times before they are dry to prevent sticking to your work surface. 
  4. After they are dry (or not, whatever), again, working in small batches, I sprayed the surface of the paper with the 3M77 and quickly placed the marbles on top. The spray adhesive doesn't have a lot of liquid, but squeezing out the bubbles is still a must. Some of them, I got better than others, but it's trial and error. Most of the bubbly ones ended up on my fridge.
  5. Allow to dry.
  6. Do not - I repeat - do not attempt to package for gift giving in plastic. You will want metal for this job. I wanted something akin to an Altoid container, but couldn't find them in the amounts I needed. Check the bridal section of craft stores. 
A Few Notes:
This picture didn't turn out, but
I loved the R!
  • Make extra - in addition to the fact that I just flat-out fell in love with many of them and didn't want to part with them, I also screwed some of them up.
  • Wash and polish your marbles first. I did a baby wipe followed up by a hand towel, but something less linty would have been even better.
  • Take your time. I thought this project was going to be so quick that I put it off until the last minute. 
  • I tried to do this recently with things I had printed on a color laser printer and the ink ran horribly. I am told that you should iron the paper before gluing it, but I can't attest to this.
  • Everyone loves sprinkles!
  • Be creative when you are looking for magazine pictures. Most of my really great ones were from ads. I also really loved doing letters. I gave everyone one with an initial. These were probably my favorites.

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