Friday, January 1

CoffeeShop Tutorial: Glass Photo Magnets!

Happy  New Year! Last night we were excited to sit down to a delicious dinner of homemade chili when I discovered I had put the crockpot on Warm instead of Lo. Instead of chili we had beef and onion stew that looked AND tasted disgusting. 

I put the setting on Low for another five hours and my dear husband saved our evening and picked up some BBQ to go with my almond flour cheddar and garlic biscuits I had made especially to go with my chili. We had a great dinner, the boys did their AMAZING AND SPECTACULAR FIREWORK SHOW!!! in our driveway, and we finished our family evening drinking wine (adults) and sparkling juice (kids) while watching classic 80's music videos on YouTube.

The kids made it to 10:30 (a record) and Paul made it to 11:15 (another record) and I made it to midnight while watching a spectacular firework show going on in the neighborhood behind us from my living room window.  Another wild and crazy New Year's Party at the CoffeeShop House. 

Best of all, we will have a delicious bowl of homemade chili for lunch today. ;-)

I have a brand new craft tutorial I wanted to share with you. I love to read craft blogs but I usually don't take the time these days to actually do anything creative that isn't on the computer. But sometimes I get a hankering and have to make something fun that involves real cutting and pasting.

Today I am going to show you how I created these fun photo magnets seen in the photo above. If you are like me, you never have enough fridge magnets to display photos of your kids and pets. And photo magnets make perfect inexpensive gifts for grandparents and other relatives. 

There are hundreds of tutorials out there and I think I read them all.  Most of them show you how to put pretty scrapbooking paper paper under glass gems, but I wanted to make photo magnets. I read on several blogs that you shouldn't use inkjet photos because they didn't look great once glued down. However, I figured out a trick to fix this issue and wanted to share it with you. Simply use clear packing tape over your printed images and the colors stay clear and true.

Important notes before starting this tutorial. 

1. Do not use Mod Podge to glue down your photo to the glass gem. Since the photo is covered with gloss packing tape and glued to a piece of glass, the glue takes forever to dry and your image might look cloudy as seen above on the left.

2. If you want your magnet to look really cool, digitally cut the image from the background and put a bright color behind it.  Otherwise the background will be distracting as seen above on the right.

3. Clean glass gems and magnets with glass cleaner before using them.

4. If you buy the glass gems from Hobby Lobby they will have bubbles and a shiny distracting gloss that will drive you crazy. Light reflections will be a major problem as you can see in all of the photo of my magnets. 

For my next set I used these clear glass gems from Amazon. They were perfect!

CoffeeShop Tutorial: Designing your photos for your glass magnets.

Download my nifty 4x6 template with clipping masks. This allows you to create six magnets on one piece of 4x6 photo paper.

I am making these three images into magnets today. Let me show you how I designed them.

Use your favorite selection tool in Photoshop/PSE to isolate your photo's subject from its background.

Click the Refine Edge button to fine-tune your selection. I usually adjust the Radius, Smooth, Contrast, and Shift Edge until my selection looks really nice.

Remember, these images are going to be small so don't spend too much time selecting. ;-)

Drag your selection on top of one of the gray clipping masks on the photo template, and group it to that layer.

Then click to select the gray clipping mask layer, add a Color Fill adjustment layer UNDER your image (and grouped to the clipping mask) and adjust the color to taste (in this case a bright green).

Once you have your images ready, print them on your inkjet printer on 4x6 photo paper and start the fun (and messy) part of this tutorial.

CoffeeShop Tutorial: Photo Magnets!

1. Gather all of your supplies.  I purchased everything from Hobby Lobby.

-large flat-on-one-side glass "gems" from the floral department (or order better ones from Amazon)
-1.5 inch round scrapbooking paper cutter
-clear packing tape
-strong round magnets
-super glue
-E6000 glue

2. Put a piece of clear packing tape across the images. This will keep the ink from running when you add the glue.

You can't see it very well, but the packing tape has been applied across the photo paper. Make sure your hands are clean or you get gunky stuff all over your photos (as seen in my example).

3. Use the 1.5 inch circle cutter to cut out your first magnet image. Look at the bottom while cutting to make sure the image is lined up correctly. If you are smarter than me you will remove the little translucent  cover on the back so you can actually see what you are doing. ;-)

4. Clean your glass gem with window cleaner and grab your super glue. Be prepared to peel glue off your fingers for the next few days.

Put a drop or two of super glue on the front of the image and place the flat side of the glass gem on top of it. Holding then between your fingers, gently slide the image around on the glass while pressing firmly to make sure to remove bubbles and apply the glue over the entire surface. Hold in place for a minute or two.

Wipe excess super glue off the table and your fingers before it hardens while admiring your work.

5. Do a few more magnets and let them sit until the glue is dry. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

6. Use scissors to cut off the extra overlapping photo around the edges. You can also use a X-Acto knife.

Take a minute to notice  your favorite scissors and fingers are covered with super glue as you did not let the photo dry long enough.

7. Add a big drop of E6000 glue to the back of your photo.

8. Press on a strong round ceramic magnet and let sit for a day or two. Take a minute to get mad at yourself when you place the drying magnets too close together and the powerful magnet force causes the magnets to slide toward each other when the glue is still wet, leading to the magnets being on the edge rather than the center.

9. Place magnets on your fridge and admire them.  Remove last remaining traces of super glue from your fingers before starting your next set. ;-)

I hope you enjoy making your own glass magnets!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

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  1. I had bought some glass stones thinking I might draw on them...well I'm no artist so I love this idea for using up some of those stones. The grandson will love helping. Thank you so much.


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