Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Map Fridge Magnets

My mom won't allow us to buy her Christmas presents. Yes, we've disobeyed her wishes in the past but for the last few years I've made her things. It started as a threat-- "If you won't let me buy you anything, I'll just make something!" She called my bluff and told me she'd love anything I made. So, she's gotten scrapbooks of my brother and sister's basic training graduation photos, a first year scrapbook for E's first year, a memo board and at least a couple other things that I can't think of right now.

This year was a special challenge. She and my step-dad are in the process of finding a new house so they're not putting anything on the walls and I didn't want to make anything that would clutter up the house at all. Also, since my sister is deployed in Afghanistan, I wanted something extra sentimental.

There's not a lot of time for crafting around here with a one year old running around, so I thought I might get her these keychains that I found on Etsy. They were perfect. I could get her one for each city where her kids/grandkids are located. That's 5 cities. That's an awful lot of keychain and I'm not even sure she uses much of a keychain since she has keyless entry on her car.

So, I drew some inspiration from those, strolled the aisles of the craft store and came up with my own idea-- heart-shaped map magnets! Each one represents a city where one of her loves (kids and grandkids) is located.

These were so easy!

heart-shaped wood; sheets of magnet that are sticky on one side [Michael's]
maps [Magazine section of Target; or the Internet for the Afghanistan one]
Mod Podge; pretty fine sandpaper

Since the wood is already in heart shapes, that's the template for everything else. Using a pencil, I traced a heart around the cities and on the magnets. (You could really use any kind of magnet, but I got sheets so I could cover the entire back with magnet.)

I Mod Podged the maps on one side of the wood, let it dry, sanded the edges a bit, and added one more coat of Mod Podge. Once it was all dry, I stuck the magnets on back and voila!

Total working time was around 30 minutes for 5 magnets. I did it over a couple days, though, so the Mod Podge would have time to dry. An hour of dry time is probably plenty.

I mailed them to my mom today so she hasn't seen them yet. I'm sure they'll be a hit. When I tested them on my fridge, I almost kept them for myself. I might have to make a couple more sets.

Did you make any Christmas gifts this year? Do you prefer to get store bought or handmade gifts?

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