Give Fridge Clutter a Lift with a Custom Magnet Makeover
Most of us are familiar with the front of the fridge clutter. Even more of us are familiar with the one or two vacation-style or take-out restaurant magnets holding up a litter of papers that ultimately fall to the floor every time we open or close the door. Well, the de-cluttering process hasn’t quite happened in my house yet. I’m still not willing to take down my son’s drawings from two Halloweens ago (and yes, the Chinese take-out menu too). However, I have decided to take charge and add some more magnets. So after years of collecting random magnets from fast-food takeout (not really proud of that), I decided to create my own to beautify the front of my fridge a bit.
I’m always a fan of recycling as much as I can…. save the earth, save some money…. so here my materials list for the project:
- 9 bottle caps
- Mini artwork print-outs
- Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
- Adhesive-backed magnet strip
- Craft scissors
- Small paint brush
Step One – Pick your artwork
The image you use for your magnets can be just about anything, especially if it’s for your own use. You certainly don’t want to get into trouble with copyrights, though, so make sure you’re not reselling items with images that you haven’t been given permission to use. For my magnets, I chose to use pictures of hand-drawn birds, courtesy of Becca Kallem at www.rebeccascaprichos.blogspot.com. She was kind enough to offer up her own bird artwork for download as holiday cards. I decided to resize them for my magnets instead. Feel free to use your own family pictures, personal drawings, clip art, etc.
Step Two – Create Your Template
To make things easy on myself, I measured out the size of my bottlecap interior and made a template on my computer using PowerPoint. That way, I was able to resize my artwork with ease and move it into a bottlecap-shaped template.
Step Three – Cut and Glue
Once your template has been created and printed, cut out each of your images and glue them to the inside of your cap. You’ll want to do a small layer of glue on the inside of the cap itself then over the top of the picture for extra security. Put the caps off to the side and let them dry. It’s important to let your pictures dry on the inside before moving on to the next step. If not, your pictures will rise to the top of the cap and you’ll have to stand next to your project continuing to push them down. Trust me. I have encountered this problem before!
Step Four – Add Dimension
Now that your pictures are securely attached to the inside of your bottle cap, it’s time to add some dimension. A great material I’ve used in the past is bar resin. It can be purchased at most of your local specialty craft stores and hobby shops. However, it’s usually sold in large quantities, it’s kind of stinky, and it can be pretty expensive. Better to save the resin for a more substantial project. If you have some handy, though, use it! Since this is a small project, I chose to use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.
Prior to filling your caps, make sure not to shake the bottle first as this will add bubbles to your magnet. Slowly fill the inside of each cap and put them off to the side to dry. While drying, make sure to check on your caps from time to time. Every once in a while, air will escape from under your photo and you want to be ready to pop that bubble with a small pin. Another little note…when the your filler comes out the bottle, it will be milky in appearance. Don’t be alarmed! It will dry clear.
Step Five – Attach the Magnet
Craft stores and hobby shops have made things very convenient for us with adhesive-backed magnets in multiple sizes. You can certainly choose to get a magnet without the adhesive and use your own glue to adhere it to your bottle cap, but I chose to save a little time and went with the glue already on my magnets. I also chose to buy my magnets in a strip to save a little extra money. Another nice thing about this option is that the magnets themselves are really thin. That way, the bottle cap and artwork will take center stage rather than your chunky magnet-back.
Step Six – Hang Them Up!
Now that your magnets have had some time do dry, all that’s left to do is hang them up and admire your craftiness. Next step: clean up the clutter!