I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Monday, September 28, 2009

Glass Bead Magnets

First of all, it is important that everyone realizes that I AM NOT CRAFTY! I am 150% right-brained, so I learned at a young age not even to attempt crafty-things because (as my art-major college roommates can attest to) I over analyze everything that I try to make.

However, that being said, I'm in the process of creating some gift baskets. And decided it'd be a nice touch to add something I actually spent some time/effort on. When I started this project I thought that I must be the only person in America who's never made glass bead magnets. But after posting that on Facebook, I found that there are a few others out there who also haven't had the pleasure. Hence - this tutorial.

STEP ONE: My gift baskets have an autumn theme, so I found autumny photos online and shrunk them down to a size that would fit completely under a glass bead (you know - the kind you put around candles, or in a flower vase). They ended up being a little smaller than 1 inch in diameter. I'm making nine baskets, and wanted to use 8 different images for each, so I did the math and printed out enough.

STEP TWO: It would have been easiest if I punched them out using a 1" craft punch, but moving's expensive, and our budget's tight, so I found a stencil I had instead. I held the paper up to a window and traced the 72 circles on the back of the paper.

STEP THREE: After all the circles were cut out, I used Sobo glue (which claimed it dried clear) and a foam brush and started gluing.

STEP FOUR: After getting a couple glued, I decided to look at them and make sure it looked like I was doing it right. This is when I freaked out - I could barely see the image. So I re-read the back of the bottle and tracked down the blog post from several months ago that I was using as my inspiration. She also used Sobo glue, so I decided to keep going and just wished for the best.

STEP FIVE: I let the glue dry overnight, and the next morning when I turned them back over to take a look at my fabulous handiwork, I freaked out again! They looked horrible! So, next came lots of muttering under my breath about how this is why I never try to craft, and what a horrible waste of time this whole project was (considering I've got a to do list stretching from here to Timbuktu). After a cup of coffee and feeding the kiddos breakfast I decided I had calmed down enough that I was willing to try to figure out what went wrong. I decided that the problem was probably that I didn't use enough glue. It looked like the middle section of each bead had adhered, but the edges hadn't. So, after more muttering I decided to try again. (After all the whole Facebook world knew I was attempting this project, and I don't handle public failure too well.)

STEP SIX: I had deleted the document I created with all the little images, so I ran to Michael's and bought scrapbook paper for the first time in years. I also bought more glass beads (which of course weren't on sale this time).

STEP SEVEN: I repeated steps 2-4. This time I decided to use a slightly larger circle on the stencil. And this time I put on what I was convinced was way too much glue. I let it dry overnight again, and the next morning fixed my coffee before I looked at them, just in case I was about to be discouraged again. But, to my delight they were perfect! I guess the trick is gobs and gobs of glue.

STEP EIGHT: I pulled out the magnets (bought at Michael's - $5.99 for 50) and glue (the only one I had on hand that didn't specifically say on the back not to use it on paper). I was fully prepared to mess up again, so this time I only glued magnets on two of the beads, so if I had to start all over again, I wouldn't pull out all my hair. I let them dry for an hour before dared to look at them, and they were perfect!

STEP NINE: I let my husband take the camera with him to Pittsburgh for the week (so he could get a picture of his car's odometer turn to 100,000 - in just 3 years). I didn't realize till after he was gone that I forgot to get a picture of the finished product on the fridge proudly displaying some of Alex's art work. So, please imagine that photo here:

STEP TEN: I decided not to wait till said husband gets home the end of the week to post about the magnets. So, I put the magnets in each of the gift baskets, blogged about them and crossed that item off the massive to do list.


Lori said...

Very cute. My daughter made these for Christmas for family members. She used cut out of her family and then put a tag on them that said The Phillips family is stuck on you! Big hit!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

Weren't they fun to make? I love making these :).

Gretchen said...

Hey Julia,
I was gonna comment and tell you that my friend got some of these with pictures of her grandchildren for Christmas a few years ago, but I see that she's already chimed in. I saw them and they were fabulous!!