arcs and Crafts: Thrifted Magnetism

By Julie White

After making a garland from vintage Little Golden Books recently, I was inspired to do some more crafting with books from ARC. I found a big children’s book anthology at my local store but unfortunately, some of the pages were drawn on or damaged by little hands. For that reason, I assume, ARC priced it at only 69 cents. The illustrations are great, and perfect for my project, but there were just a few pages with some additional drawings.

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I wanted to make magnets from the tiny book illustrations so I also bought a bag of round, flat, glass marbles that ARC had in their floral section. I normally look at the wreaths and the planters there but was happy to find a whole, unopened bag for 99 cents that was half-off with ARC’s colored tag sale.

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Each of the glass pieces is slightly different shaped and none are perfectly round so I traced each of them individually over the pictures I wanted to use on them.

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I kept each round paper piece with its individual glass marble while I mixed together some glue and water. I didn’t want to use too much glue on the illustrations because I didn’t want it to soak through and affect the image that is seen through the glass. I mixed equal parts water and glue together and then brushed a thin layer onto the flat side of the glass piece.

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It seemed to work better putting the glue directly onto the glass versus onto the front of each picture. It was a little bit easier to maneuver this way and I ended up with less glue on my hands. I gently placed each illustration that I’d cut out onto the corresponding glass marble, with the front of the picture (the part I wanted to be able to see) up against the flat side of the glass.

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After letting them all dry, paper side up, I then coated the paper with another thin layer of the glue mixture. This really sealed the paper on and allowed me to have a more uniform surface on which to glue the magnets. Once that layer was dry, as well, I pulled out my trusty super glue to attach the magnets themselves.

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The magnets were the only pieces of this project that I didn’t buy from ARC. They have lots of great refrigerator magnets and a wonderful selection of craft supplies, but I wanted specific strong magnets since they’d be holding up glass and wasn’t able to find what I wanted. I actually found some magnet sheets at an ARC that I frequent and bought them to use on another project in the future where I wouldn’t need them to hold up something quite as heavy.

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After letting the superglue dry for a few minutes they were complete! This has to be one of the quickest and cheapest ARC crafts I’ve ever done. I ended up with a set of mouse ladies from “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse”, as well as some magnets from both “The Dog and His Bone” and “The Fox and the Crow”.

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I also had an old copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that was literally falling apart at the binding, so I made a few magnets from those pages, too.  They’re currently holding up a Harry Potter related photo on my fridge, even though the thin pages from the paperback book didn’t come out quite as well as the illustrations from the children’s book did.
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Each magnet is different not only in its image but also because each glass marble is slightly varied in shape with a few tiny bubbles inside.  I like that they’re not all uniform; I think handmade things should be slightly unique. The four mouse ladies are definitely my favorite.

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Happy thrifting and happy crafting!

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