June 8, 2010

Dry Erase Magnets tutorial, plus other magnet ideas!

Dry Erase Magnets!

Look what I made yesterday!  I had this brainstorm about making dry erase magnets back when I was making magnet projects for the May club, but I was just going to try it with white paper, for a plain white background… then I saw this tutorial via Craft: and thought of using images for the backgrounds!  Now I have a great looking note-taking station on my fridge!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

First you’ll need a basic flat magnet – freebie promo magnets work fabulously.  If you can find an image that’s light and low-contrast enough that you’ll be able to see notes written over it, then you just need glue (glue stick works well) and packing tape – higher quality, thick tape is ideal, as opposed to the really cheap, thin type.

tutorial photos

Cut the image (could be: magazine/book picture, photograph, printed out image, etc) into a rectangle a bit bigger than the magnet.  Glue it onto the magnet, then trim the paper neatly around the edges.  (Now it’s probably good to let the glue dry, but I didn’t because I was anxious to finish and see how it worked!)

tutorial photos tutorial photos

Smooth a piece of packing tape over the front – as you can see below, my packing tape was just a wee bit more narrow than my magnet… Since my magnets are thin and easy to cut with scissors, I decided to trim the magnet to tape size, but you can also deal with this problem by layering another piece of tape to cover the whole surface:

tutorial photos

Trim the tape around the edges and your functional dry erase magnet is complete!

If you want to use an image that’s too dark/bright/high-contrast for the writing to be clear on top, then you can add an extra step to make it work…  You’ll just need tracing paper or tissue paper (or some other kind of paper that’s translucent enough for the image to show through, but will dull it enough so the writing will be clear), plus basic white glue (or Mod Podge will work) and a brush for the glue:

Dry Erase Magnets! tutorial photos

Complete the first couple of steps from above – cut out the image and glue it onto the magnet – then spread out white glue over the top of the image (photo is before spreading it out with the brush):

tutorial photos

Now smooth the tracing paper or tissue paper over the top… I used tissue paper because it’s all I had, but I’d expect tracing paper to work much better, since it wouldn’t tear nearly as easily.  On my first try, I attempted to smooth out the tissue with my fingers, ended up tearing the paper badly, and had to peel it off and start over.  So, just smooth it out the best you can without ripping it:

tutorial photos

Then trim the edges, add the tape over the top (after the glue is dry would be best), just like the first version above, and there you go!  By the way, both of my images came from an old yarn company catalog – great source for background images!

Dry Erase Magnets!

To complete your refrigerator’s dry erase station, you’ll need a clip magnet big and strong enough to hold a dry erase marker, and if there’s a spot where you can stick a piece of paper towel to use as an eraser, excellent!  Or, you can make one of these awesome fridge tin pen holders by Not Martha!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

And then my other note-taking magnet idea – this one needs no tutorial because it’s so simple – chalkboard magnet!  Buy some chalkboard paint at your local craft supply store (I used this kind), follow the instructions on the container to paint over your basic flat magnet, and tah dah!  Love it!

Chalkboard Magnet!

And then going back to my club magnet projects to finish things off… I mentioned these over here, but not in any detail.  I used a simple foam stamp (from the dollar section at Joann, impulse buy!) to stamp designs onto old book pages, then cut out the shapes and layered them on the magnets:


You could use the same concept with drawings over the book pages, or you could layer pictures from magazines or photographs over the text background… this one is a rectangle of book page with a stamp on it, then another cut-out stamp design layered over that.  I like the look of the text going in different directions on the 2 layers:


Then the final magnet idea, also from the club, was record album artwork magnets – no instructions needed, just cut out a piece of old album cover and glue it onto the magnet:

magnets! magnets!

If you make over some reclaimed magnets using any of these ideas, I’d love to see them!  Happy crafting!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 7:23 pm
  • Rachel

    Those are so clever! What a great idea. Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

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  • Lthacker999

    What a great idea!! Now you have my creative juices going so lets see what I can think of :) Thanks for sharing this!

  • Coleen Franks


  • I love the dry erase idea and the chalkboard ones too. Definitely going to have to them out next time I play around with magnets.

  • Lee

    You might be getting some to play with in a few days :)

  • Kuailezhishang1227

    Really creative ideas, thank you have to share.

  • Pandorasslave

    This is seriously the coolest Do Stuff tutorial I've seen. ever. I love the idea of both chalkboard and dry erase magnets, and I think my weekend will be filled with making these!

  • Wow – what a fabulous idea!!

  • these are so cool!! just found your blog through mod podge newsletter. neat stuff! i'm a subscriber now.

  • Gloria Westerman

    Now that's a awesome idea……and I love it…..thank you for sharing and now I'm off to make these……

  • makeroomfor

    I am all about dry erase markers these days–I love this idea!

  • Michelle from Mich L. in L.A.

    Saw this on Mod Podge Rocks – I love it! What a fantastic idea that doesn't cost anything. Genius!

  • Junksterchick

    Nice job I have a ton of these magnets and didn't know why I was saving them… now it is clear for these projects. I think those would be great for my boys room with the record album art or their fav stickers could work too – instead of sticking them on furniture or doors. (LOL). Found you by way of the Mod Podge site. Will stop by yours more to see what else you come up with. Elaine

  • That is the coolest thing I have seen this week! I am definetly stealing this idea!

  • I love the dry erase and book page magnets.
    I bought a bunch of business card size sticky magnets on clearance at an office store. I have used them for tons of things since. One thing I did with them is lay a photo on a magnet and then cut around the magnet. I made sure they weren't exact, so I have some cool looking photo magnets.

  • years ago, I bought a set of word magnets at the local dollar store for valentines day… lots of words like “love, like, kiss, hug, you, me, marry, etc” as well as heart & lip/kiss images; I took some of my freebie magnets, painted them white, then with red marker (to match the word magnets) I wrote the names of my children, so that I could leave messages for them on the fridge, with the magnets.

  • concretenprimroses Kathy

    Great ideas! Thanks. I never thought about tape being dry-erasable. I've been saving scraps of plastic film that you put on glass to make it opaque (in an office on a door or window for privacy). I think I'll test that out tomorrow at work to see if it can be used instead of tape.

  • These are cool & yes I have a bazillion magnets that tacky up my fridge with their ads, but are so handy. Now they will be lovely:)

  • Bia

    Now…see what you`ve done! Now I got an ide….:). Dry erase badges :)…I think it would be cool.

  • Anna Chris84

    These are neat magnets! I've seen ones like these Downtown at Liz's.

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  • Rosie in NJ

    Wow! Another great idea. I have some left over privacy window film too. It’s a very pretty tropical palm theme (but small) that should work well. I’m so excited right now, but it 3:30 am here in New Jersey and I don’t think I should start rummaging through my ever growing stash of “Hmmm, I could probably use this for something sometime, so I’ll just put this away”. But, where DID I put it!?….

  • Camellia Spyder

    Wonderful thank you for sharing…

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