Stickers and Magnets

Sure, your fridge is loaded with the kids' lastest artistic masterpiece. So next time they're feeling crafty, why not make magnets to help display said artwork?

Where to buy: Magnets can easily be obtained at office supply stores -- they're sold to make magnetic business cards. The typical size is 2 x 3 1/2 inches, perfect for wallet-sized photos. Craft stores sell strips of magnetic material (looks like a roll of very thick ribbon) and magnetic "dots."

What to do: To apply the magnetic material, peel the paper off the back of the magnet to expose the adhesive and press your image onto the adhesive and trim around the edges.

Another fun project -- one that can help them learn, no less -- is making your own magnetic word game. Using your computer, print out a page full of words using a large, bold font and stick them onto magnets. Vocabulary and spelling lists are good starting points for deciding what words to print. You can also use words from poems or songs.

Another equally fun related project is DIY stickers. Remember your gradeschool obsession with sticker books? Not much has changed. The key to making stickers at home is our secret recipe for the "sticky" stuff.

What you need:

 

  • 1 1/4 ounces of unflavored gelatin -- (5) 1/4 oz packages

  • 1 Tbsp cold water

  • 3 Tbsp boiling water

  • 1/2-tsp white peppermint extract

  • 2 drops boric-acid solution

What to do:

 

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin into the cold water to soften.

  2. Pour into the boiling water, stirring until dissolved.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

 

The images can come from just about anywhere. Small pictures from magazines, small drawings, or even from your computer. If you have a color printer, you can print a page filled with small color graphics. If you don't have a color printer, you can print out a page of outline pictures that the kids can color.

If you are using magazine or newspaper images, it is best if you paste the images onto a plain sheet of paper before applying the stamp gum or magnet.

To use glue, brush thinly onto the back of a stamp or some paper and let dry. When applying to paper, just moisten it a bit. To keep, store in a small jar or bottle with a lid. Warm in a pan to turn into a liquid again.

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