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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.

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.


Happy thrifting and happy crafting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s