It's YOU! Hello! Nice to see you! Here you will find stuff about living a creative life in country Australia. I create with watercolour, pen, collage, mixed media and photos. I teach, hosts workshops, collect, dream. I love cheese, travel, my garden, faffing, colour and whimsy. I am crap at time management, and do way too many things, but it is all good. Oh yes, all pictures and photos on here by me too, just saying.

Monday, 20 June 2016

RAINY DAY UPCYCLE - making magnets pretty

making magnets pretty  

We all have them I am guessing - dodgy magnets, randomly picked up magnets, grubby, out of date and damn ugly. Maybe with the information of your local plumber, hairdresser, Chinese takeaway etc?

If you are a clean freak and have no such things, I salute you! Excellent!Fabulous!You are a clever person, and will need to buy some new magnetic strip (which I know you can buy brand  from art and craft shops)to make these pretty magnets. 

This past weekend, with grey skies, rain and more rain, I had a fit of wild cleaning delirium. I even cleaned the fridge, and went through all my magnets, and turfed out the broken and the ugly. I was about to chuck out all those that did not meet the cut, when I realised that though a bit grubby they were actually not broken, and still completely usable. It seemed wasteful to just throw them away, when all they needed some love and TLC. 

So I put my thinking cap on, and though I am a most imperfect and random crafter, I came up with this idea, and was pretty chuffed with myself too!

To make my  up-cycled magnets I used:

  • Dodgy ugly old magnetic strips
  • A small sheet of white cardboard (I used A4 size)
  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape from the Scotch Expressions range, such as:

Scotch Expressions tape stash! Woohoo!

The first thing I did was to give the magnets a wipe over, so that any grease and grime was removed, and then I dried them off.

Then I lay them onto the white card, and traced around them. 

Using scissors, I cut out each magnet shape traced, but cut just inside each line, so that each shape ended up being a little smaller than the actual magnet.

These little white squares and shapes are for going on top of each magnet, so that the printing underneath does not show through, effectively giving us a nice clean slate to start on.

Dodgy and out of date magnets!

Cutting out the white card

After placing the white card on top of the right magnet, I used a strip of Scotch Expressions Tape to hold the card onto the magnet, (as above in the photo) gently laying it on top and then tucking and sticking the tape overhang onto the back of the magnet.

Then I just I kept sticking tape on, in various colour ways and styles, covering the front of the magnet. I had no set template, I just played around - some with diagonals, some with alternating colour stripes, some plain.

Sticking it on!

For some magnets, I stuck a different colour tape around the edges like a frame. I even got a bit fancy and made letters for a few, designating who the magnet was for!

T for Tillie!

The trickiest part was working out how to neatly finish off the corners when tucking the tape onto the back. But after a little trial and error, I cut a small triangular shape at diagonals at each corner, in the same way you might create a fold when wrapping present, or covering books. This way it neatly folded over. It worked for me, but whatever you do is fine if you find another way!

Cutting corners

One of the old magnets I had was large and round, so I cut it up into pieces, to make watermelon slices. I used  green tape for the skin, laying 3 small pieces of tape onto the magnet to create a curve, then on top of that some patterned white and green tape, again using smaller pieces to make a curve. It was a teensy bit trickier than the squares and rectangles, but not much.

Over this went a bright lovely luscious pink. For the final touch, I drew on some seeds with a permanent marker. Done!

 Melon magnet makeover

There are endless  different designs possible  by using numbers, letters, shapes, diagonals, contrasting colours and patterns. It was just fun to play around with, being creative and making loveliness while the rain fell outside.

In the end I had made some really colourful and happy magnets, a zillion times better than the ugly things they once were. The kids were thrilled and wanted to make their own... and so they did. 

I  truly love it when they turn off their devices and they get all crafty with me, all of us inspired and talking about things we can do. Job done and a well pleased happy Mum!

My lovely up-cycled magnets


So apart from now being on the lookout for more freebie magnets to try out more patterns and play some more, I have come up with a few other variations in my head that I am keen to try out...

1. Colour code a set of magnets, so that each family member has colour, and that colour magnet is used for all their notes. ORGANISATION PLUS! OMG!

2. Put a letter for each person in the family on the magnets too... cannot believe I have never thought of this before. 

3. Use tape that exactly matches my decor, my kitchen, my studio, the study... yes very grown up and swish.

And just in case you were wondering... YES, Scotch tape provided me with the yummy tapes to make this project. Thank you Scotch tape!