Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY Magnets

I have a metal dry erase/magnetic board (leftover from my previous life as a teacher) that I have for Olive to play with.  However, she's never really played with it because I haven't been able to find any magnets that I'm comfortable with her using.  She still (at 20 months) puts everything in her mouth and I'm paranoid that she'll end up swallowing a small magnet.  So I came up with a solution - make my own choking-hazard-free magnets!

What you need:
- Mod Podge
- Clear Acrylic Spray Sealant
- Magnetic Photo Paper (I got mine at Amazon) - this magnet paper is made to go through your printer, too - cool, huh?
- Already read magazines

How to:
1) Go through your magazines and cut out pictures you think might be of interest to your little one.  If you're like me and don't get a lot of magazine subscriptions, ask around.  Family members, coworkers, and friends will probably be willing to give you their magazines when they're done.  I got my pictures from Parenting, Westways (AAA), Country, Cooking Light, US Weekly, etc.
2) Using the Mod Podge, glue the pictures onto the magnetic paper and then paint over with another layer of Mod Podge.  Let dry overnight.
3) Spray with clear acrylic sealant and let dry overnight.

4) Cut out your pictures and you're ready to go!

If it's easier for you, you can skip the Mod Podge and acrylic sealant and just cover the pictures with clear contact paper.  My daughter's a "picker" and would have picked the contact paper off in minutes, so that's why I went the route I did.

Here she is sticking the magnets on.  I really like the magnet paper because it is lightweight and easy to get on and off the board for her (unlike some heavy duty magnets that start to stick when you're still inches from the board!).

 I think she likes it!

As I gather more magazines, I'll continue to make her new magnets little by little.   I'm also planning on taking pictures of our family members and turning them into magnets, which I know she'll love.   I really like this because they are personal, unique, and don't have any small magnets that she could swallow or choke on.  Yes, she could still rip one apart and eat it if she really tried to, but it would take her a while and I am always near her when she's playing with them as I am with any other toy that could be a potential choking hazard.

Have fun creating your own unique magnets!

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