Before I start, I need to give credit to where the idea for this came. I was perusing pinterest when I came across this adorable craft idea from Ambrosia Girl. The basic concept was to turn some of your favorite photos into mini polaroids to be used as magnets on your fridge! Brilliant! I got right to work on them- went to Jo-Ann's, put some coupons to good use, and came out with all the supplies to make these adorable little memory nuggets. Sadly, the unfinished project sat on my craft room floor for a solid couple of months. Whoops! I swear I tried but *whine, whine, whine* it was too hard! I'm obviously just not skilled enough for this particular "how-to" but I was still determined to git 'er done. So I finagled a new way to do this! I did still use the polaroid template from the original instructions and her's came out much more professional looking than mine did. So if you kick ass at crafting- do it the real way! If you're a little not as hard core but still love making stuff- try my how-to out and see if it works for you!
As I go along, I'll explain how things went terribly wrong the first time around and how things moderately improved for my version of the finished product.
For this project, you'll need-
*cuttable/self adhesive magnet strip
First things first- download Ambrosia Girl's polaroid template and pick out the pictures you want to work with. Using photoshop, drag and drop the pictures into the polaroids. Now, Im not a hard core graphic designer. My knowledge of photoshop was built solely from online tutorials, hours of screwing things up, and Mr. Hanson's yearbook class (thanks Mr. Hanson!). So while my instructions may be completely wrong, they work! Isn't that what matters? At this point, I started a new project in photoshop and set it up so the canvas was only 4x6. Still following the original instructions, I set each polaroid at a width of .8". For some reason (possibly because I don't actually know what I'm doing...) I couldn't get it to print well straight from photoshop. So I just saved them as .jpg, dropped them into iPhoto, and printed them on 4x6 photo paper. Success! The easy part is done.
Next is supposed to be the "attach the picture to the chipboard" part. My craft knife and I have a love/hate relationship and I can't seem to cut straight when the pictures are pre-attached to the chipboard. The knife just didn't want to cut through photo paper and rubber cement and packing tape and chipboard. So- I pre-cut the teeny tiny polaroids out first.
As cute as these little polaroids are on their own, there's still a long way to go on their journey to the fridge. Next I had to cut the chipboard. I sliced .8" wide strips of chipboard to start with. Then one at at time, I lined up the little polaroid on the strip and used the craft knife to lightly mark where the smaller piece would be cut off. I went back over the light mark and this way it was much easier to cut all the way through the chipboard in a straight line. This is slightly tedious but at least for me, it was the only way I could cut straight lines. Then I attached the polaroids to the chipboard with a little piece of double-stick tape.
To laminate the polaroids, (since mod podge will make the picture run) I took a small piece of packing tape and made a clean cut with a good pair of scissors. I lined up the tape with one side edge of the polaroid and used the craft knife to cut clean along the opposite side. After trimming the top edges, I tightly folded them over to the back.
Now, I cannot for the life of me see how she was able to get the opaque pen to paint the edges of the chipboard. This stuff just soaks up the ink and does not let you get a solid coat on! My solution- seal all the edges with just a little bit of mod podge first. I have no doubt that mod podge is the solution to every crafting conundrum.
Once that dried, it was easy peasy to color in the edges with the pen! That makes for that clean and pretty 3D polaroid look.
And here's where I screwed mine up. I knew the opaque pen would chip over time so I needed to seal it. What I should've done was just go back over the edges. The packing tape is enough to protect the pictures themselves over time and use. Sadly, in the moment, I was not that smart. I should've had the foresight to think a water based sealer wouldn't exactly stick to tape. I mod podged the entire magnet and got this unfortunate slight streaking over the tape. Luckily, mod podge dries clear so it didn't completely ruin the whole project but I will certainly do it the right way next time!
Once all that dried, (goodness gracious, what is this- step 1 million?!) I cut the magnet strips to size and attached them to the back. Since the magnets started in a roll, I couldn't get them to attach flat against the polaroids. To get them all stuck together sufficiently, I just lined them up under my laptop (for the weight) for the duration of my workout.
Now how adorable is that? Definitely added the personal touch I was looking for to the fridge. Surprisingly enough, these are pretty powerful little magnets too!
While these might not have turned out exactly like the original tutorial, I improvised and made it work for me! Even if I'm not the greatest crafter there ever was, I love doing this stuff. So worry not- there will be many more posts like this to come! Let me know how it goes if you try this out too. And please tell me where I went wrong if you get the real tutorial to work for you!
Until next time...