Many of us choose a particular word to express our main intention for the new year. If that’s you, why not keep your special word near you all year by making this shiny metal magnet? It’s an easy project that would be great to do with a group of friends.
Chipboard (use a food box from your recycle bin)
Ruler (a quilting ruler works well)
PDF template provided (Or see the notes below to make your own word)
Masking tape or painter’s tape
Foil duct tape
Alcohol-based marker (Sharpies are great)
Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs
Adhesive-backed magnet sheets (Aleenes are great)
Clear acrylic sealer
Start by cutting a strip of chipboard that measures 1 ½” tall and about 1” longer than the word you’ve chosen. You can cut a word from the PDF provided, or print your own word from your computer. Just make sure the letters are about an inch tall, and the font you use has fairly thick letters (they’re easier to emboss in metal).
Cut a length of foil duct tape that’s about ½” longer than your chipboard. Peel off the backing and then center the chipboard over the tape. Stick them together.
(Incidentally, if you’re using part of a printed food box, stick the printed side to the tape.
Carefully fold the corners of the tape over to the back of the chipboard. Then, fold the edges of the tape over to the back as well. I like to bend the tape against my work surface to get a nice, straight edge. Always handle the edges of metal tape carefully – they can be sharp.
When all four edges of the tape are folded over, burnish them down with the back of your thumbnail or a spoon.
Tape your printed word over the front side now (the side that’s covered in metal tape). Take a moment to make sure the word is straight and centered. Then, use a mechanical pencil to trace all the letters. Take your time with this step – the more accurately you can trace the letters, the better your finished magnet will look.
See how your traced lines create a light impression of your word in the metal? Now let’s add some background texture around it. With an embossing tool, start doodling around the letters. I use a scribble motion, as you see in the photo. If you go back and forth over it, it creates a pebbly texture. Carefully work your way in between each letter as shown.
The traced outline you made in the previous step will help keep you from scribbling over your letters. And don’t worry if your letters get a bit wonky – the whole effect is nicer if they’re a little organic-looking.
Once you’ve scribbled a background, take a moment and re-draw the outline of each letter with your embossing tool. Here, I’ve done this to the first three letters – see how much more they stand out now?
I like to feather the edges of the color a bit. Moisten a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol, squeezing out any excess. Gently brush it outward from the center, which will soften the ink at the edges and bleed it into the radiating lines a little.
Cut a piece of magnet sheet that’s ¼” smaller on all sides than your magnet. Peel off the backing and stick it to the back of your magnet. Spray a couple thin coats of clear acrylic sealer over the front.
Stick your magnet to something metal, and then go conquer 2013!