July 1, 2013

a simple DIY project : mini fridge magnets

Happy July, everyone! It's the first day of the second half of the year today. Gosh, time really does whoosh by at light speed these days, doesn't it?

For the first post on the first day of the second half of the year today, I thought I'd do a write up on a little project I've been putting on the back burner for some time; mini fridge magnets.

Our fridge has been looking a little sad and lonely since we brought it home a few years back. Somehow, all the souvenir magnets from family friends don't feel like they belong - it feels disconnected and doesn't reflect us as family. So last night, I decided to put my toosh to the chair and finish the first of three DIY projects I have lined up; a simple personalised mini fridge magnet photo wall which was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest some time back.

Here's what you will need and how I did mine:

  1. You will need photos ... naturally. They don't need to be in the best resolution, just as long as people can tell which end is up and which end is down. Most of my photos were taken with my iPhone 4 which only has a 5 MP camera and I never printed them out because of its horrendous pixelation due to lighting, but for this project they are perfect because the sizing down not only minimises the grainy effect, it also gives the photos character.
  2. Size the photos and print them out onto an A4 sized piece of paper. You don't need PhotoShop to resize or print - I used Microsoft Word; load all the images, crop them into squares and size them 3cm x 3cm. Add a light gray border around the images by going to Format and then select Shape Outline in light gray; this will help you trim the photos especially when you have a light to almost white background. It doesn't matter if you can see the line after you've trimmed the images because you'll cover it up later.
  3. Spray a thin layer of lacquer on the printed images and allow to dry. This step is entirely optional but I prefer to protect my masterpiece from a certain little monkey with grubby hands and a deep rooted passion of rearranging all the magnets on our fridge whenever she's in the kitchen. Besides the mist of lacquer gives a raised-etched look when dry especially on darker inked areas, which I love.
  4. Paste the A4 paper onto cardstock for structure and allow to dry. You can skip this step if you like or if you printed your images on thicker paper but because I printed mine on 80g A4 paper, it gets all bended at the corners.
  5. You're almost done! Now, trim the images into squares and use a black Sharpie and outline the edges of the photo - this hides the gray line too! The black border doesn't have to be super straight, a little bump here and a little curve there makes your masterpiece unique. Just remember to run the Sharpie along the outer edges so the white bits from the A4/photo paper are covered. You can also try out the new Sharpie in gold or silver which in my opinion is gorgeous!
  6. Using double sided tape, adhere the magnets to the back of photo and repeat with the rest of the trimmed out images and you are done.
Just in case you're wondering where I got my magnets from ... the ones I used in this project belonged to the husband. They were from an old set of Top Gear magnets whose history I did not like - so I recycled them into something I liked :-)

If you do not have magnets to recycle, you should be able to get some from your local stationary shop. You can get the thin long strips used on whiteboards and trim them down to the size you want then adhere with double sided tape.

Hope you've been inspired!