Saturday, February 13, 2010

Marble Magnet tutorial

A simple tutorial for a cute little craft.

I've seen these things everywhere (here are some other peoples tutorials for them), and I decided to use my old business cards to make some of my own as a promotional item I'm giving away at the WonderCraft's grand opening. I'll be there doing a free photo booth for people who feel like goofing off or showing off their newly embellished neckties. The first 25 people in the door will get gift bags filled with little goodies from local artists.

Enough talking about that, and on to the tutorial. There are other tutorials all over the blogs, but this is what worked the best for me.

Old Moo business cards with pretty pictures (or other pictures on thick-ish paper)
1/2" round magnets
small clear flat marbles (found in the floral section of Joannes)
glue-- I used Elmer's Craft Bond Ultra Stix All

A pencil
and of course a table to make a bit of a mess on. It's really an easy to clean up mess though. I love low fuss low stress projects. They are so satisfying.

1. Use the marble to find parts of the image pleasing in small format. I found that many of my favorite pictures wouldn't work well for this project because it would just have part of a kid's face or some other odd unidentifiable subject that didn't look right through the magnifying effect of the marble. Of course if you are already using abstract images this won't be a probem, but don't expect photos of people to work too well.

2. Trace around the magnet over those areas you have found work well, and then cut out those little circles. I found this worked better for me than tracing around the marbles, because of the tapered shape of the marbles. Too big of circles that show much on the back look a bit sloppy.

3. Smear a thin layer of glue on the magnet, and then stick the back of the image to the magnet

4. Put a slightly thicker layer of glue on the back of the marble, then place the marble on the image and press until there is no air space between the image and the marble. If you can still see some slightly foggier areas, lift it off, add a little more glue and try again. You'll see what i mean when you go to do it, I'm pretty sure. You do NOT need much glue at all, but it will take more than it did to stick the image to the magnet.

5. Once you have it how you want it, set it aside. Don't set the magnets too close to each other to dry or one will either push the other away or they will stick together and knock the images askew. Once you have them set aside don't touch them for a while. It's harder to fix them once they have started setting up than if the glue is fresh.

6. Enjoy your new magnets!

It's that easy!

A few notes about how I did things, if you still have questions about it:

1. The thick moo cards keep the glue from seeping through. I have not tried this with thin craft papers or magazine pictures so I don't know if this glue would work well or if it would do odd things to the paper. I chose the glue because it is strong, dries clear, and has no odor. I'm pregnant, so the no odor part was a kind of big deal to me.

2. Some people recommend hot gluing the magnets to the back. I don't recommend that if you want them to hold up. Hot glue really isn't that great for high use items. Now if you are just going to stick your magnets somewhere once and never moving them, go for it. Also, the idea of using two different glues for the project doesn't appeal to my desire for simplicity.