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Craft: Family Magnet Board

I have never considered myself a crafty person. I have a pencil cup on my desk that I made when I was a teenager at a church activity. It was a miserable failure until I finally just painted it yellow, glued on some yellow foam dragonflies, and put a large yellow pipe cleaner on the top and bottom. Not impressive.

And it’s one of the few crafts I’ve ever made that I still actually have.

But thanks to Pinterest and a few different blogs, I have been feeling empowered about crafts lately.

And Christmas time came around, and I wanted to make something for my sister, Emily, since she recently bought a house and I know she didn’t have many decorations up.

An idea slowly developed. Maybe a customized family portrait? I saw something on Etsy where there was a family portrait from stick figures that was cute. But I couldn’t really do that since their family is still changing–my sister is expecting a boy at the end of this month and there will probably be more kids on the way. So it would have to be a family portrait that could be changeable.

I also had another idea floating in my head. My sister loves music (she’s a piano/music teacher) and my brother-in-law loves books. So I asked what his favorite books were and I gathered a list of the songs my sister had played for her senior recital (thank you random concert report from my introduction to music class).

So I put the two idea together: a family magnet board using sheet music and pages from books as a background. This was loosely my idea:

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That’s a rough mock up. It turned out better than that.

How many times have you seen that before? It was so personal to them.

I got the sheet music from free sources online and I got the books pages from Amazon–I previewed the book and did a screen capture on the specific pages I wanted (which technically probably violated copyright, but since he owns all the books anyway, I’m not going to fret). I printed them out on heavy paper (from a sketchbook, because it was the cheapest way to get heavy paper).

Then I antiqued the pages.

Now, everything I found online said to antique pages by using coffee. I don’t drink coffee. I drink hot chocolate, though, and it surprising worked.

How to antique pages:

So I printed off what I wanted, and then I crumpled up the paper and put it on a baking sheet.

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Then I made some hot chocolate, but I didn’t warm it up so the powder didn’t dissolve fully.

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I used a spoon and a foam brush to apply the hot chocolate to the paper. If you want it darker, use more powder/less water, lighter, use less powder/more water.

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Then I put the paper in my oven on about 200 degrees for about ten minutes, or until the paper was dry.

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Make sure you are watching this so you don’t end up starting a fire. I didn’t have any problems.

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And there you have antiqued paper.

Assembling the magnet board:

After I antiqued the pages, I tore them up and started arranging them on a piece of metal. We bought the metal at a hardware store and cut it with tin snips to fit in a frame I already had.

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Then I used Mod Podge to put the collage of pages/sheet music on the metal. I won’t share my method because it probably wasn’t the best and people out there have done it better than I did. I didn’t get it very smooth because of antiqued/torn pages, but that’s okay. And I probably should have put another layer on top of it when I was done, but I was done with the project at that point so I didn’t.

The collage didn’t completely cover the magnet board, there were a few gaps, but it’s okay. That what you can keep telling yourself when do crafts: it’s okay. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

So I just put the decoupaged metal in the frame:

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It’s a lot of fun because my sister and her husband had to go through every little piece and identify the music or the book. I think the hardest one on there is Beethoven’s original sheet music of a sonata. That’s the gray one towards the lower left.

Onto the family part of it.

I just made on my computer their names and then I made stick figures to represent each member of the family. The boys are made to look like Jedi (accidentally, but pretend it’s on purpose). The girls look like girls.

I laminated the stick figures with clear contact paper (it’s a cheap and easy way to laminate things). And then I bought a magnetic strip with adhesive on the back and just attached it to the back of everything.

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Now it’s a custom family portrait that can grow as their family grows. And it’s fun to play with and arrange. My favorite arrangement I made was with all of them holding hands (not pictured), but anything works.

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2 thoughts on “Craft: Family Magnet Board

  1. I have to say we love it. And I actually didn’t guess the handwritten piece correctly. I had a piece that is only handwritten because of the weird notation required and just assumed and wondered how you found it. Very cool what it is. Thanks!

    Like

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