Monday, February 1, 2010

ABC Magnet Spruce-Up

Somewhere in blogland (or was it a magazine or at a friend's home, I wish I could remember where...)  I saw the idea for this project.  The idea was simple:  Take a set of primary colored, kids abc magnets and personalize them with your choice of colors to match your decor.  I love having abc magnets on the fridge for my kids to use, but the bright primary colors don't appeal to my design aesthetic.  Here is the perfect solution.

I have been wanting to complete this project for a long time.  I finally accumulated the supplies I needed and found the scrapbook paper that I liked, and went to work.  (The hardest thing for me was finding the paper I liked.)  This project took two days for me to finish, all in all, about 4-5 hours (I worked on it throughout the two days when I had time).

Here's what you need:

One set of alphabet magnets.  I used a Melissa and Doug set that I bought on sale.
Mod Podge (I used matte finish because my paper had glitter embellishment on some of it)
foam paint brush
x-acto knife
cutting mat
either a scrapbook paper pad or select your own coordinating scrapbook papers to match your decor (cardstock papers will work best on this project)  I used the DCWV Garden Party Stack.
paper cutter and/or scissors
cheap nail files or sand paper (I found a package of 4 files at the Dollar Tree)

The Directions:

1.  Lay your letters on your paper and cut rectangles slightly larger than your letters.  (My picture makes it look as though I cut the paper smaller than the letter.  It's just the camera angle.  Sorry!)

2.  Use your nail file (or sand paper) to rough up the front of your magnet letters.  This will help the paper adhere better to the fronts of the magnets.

3.  Apply a layer of mod podge to the magnet fronts and adhere the paper to the front.

4.  Lay magnet, paper side down on a flat surface to dry.  (This is where I stopped working on day one, allowing plenty of time for the mod podge to dry.)

5.  With an X-acto knife, cut along the letters.  Don't worry about being precise, just get close.  You will be sanding the letters to get a smooth edge as your next step.

6.  Using your nail file (or sand paper), file along all the edges of the letters to file off any extra paper create a smooth edge.  For the small spaces, like the curve in the s and the insides of the the letter B, I cut the end of my file off and cut that in half to make a narrower file.  (If you buy cheap ones, no worries about ruining one.)You can file along the top as well to give the magnets a more distressed look.

7.  Wipe magnets with a cloth to remove and dust from sanding.

8.  Apply a solid coat of mod podge over the tops of the letters to seal them.

9.  Lay letters, paper side up on a flat surface to dry.



10.  Put them on your fridge, or any other magnetic surface you want to spell on and have fun!

*My boys have already gone to town with these letters, ith Mr. One spelling their names, and things they like, such as "Zurg" and "Buzz" and Mr. Two rearranging them...

*Hop on over to Today's Creative Blog to see what other crafty projects are being posted!


  1. Awesome new spin on letter magnets! Now I just need to have a kiddo to justfy making them for myself:)

    lovely idea - thanks for sharing.

    ~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

  2. I love "arts and crofts"! How cute!

  3. I LOVE these, but don't know who I could give them too. I guess I could have a set at Gma's house to play with on the fridge. Do you have the directions in a more printer friendly version? I think my painting group may enjoy this little activity.

  4. Paula, it's taken some time, but I do have a word document that explains the project. Check your email for it!