boom. DIYed it: picture magnets

WARNING: no grandparents beyond this point!!
even though the title just gave it away... don't read the rest!


i'm SO bad at coming up with gifts for mine and Adam's parents. 
i never know what they would like and most things it seems like they already have. 
since having Eli, though, Christmas presents have been a little easier. 
i basically just plaster his face on anything i can think of and call it a good grandparent gift. 
i mean really, what grandparent doesn't want more photos of their sweet babies??? 
{at least it will work until there's a million grandkids then it will just be too many kids to keep track of...} 

so for my latest Elijah-faced gift i decided to make some picture magnets.
i posted it on instagram the other day and got a lot of great feedback and questions on how to make them so i thought i'd do a quick tutorial for you. 
i got the idea from this tutorial but had a few of my own tips & tricks that i wanted to add as well [that i wish i was told ahead of time!].

so here it goes! 

DIY Picture Magnets 

items needed: 
-images to use {i used instagram pictures. and i'll show you how to make them into a collage}
-2x2 plain tiles [found at Home Depot for about $3 for a sheet of 36]
-Mod Podge and brush
-magnets [i got a fairly big pack of them at Wal-Mart for cheap]
-hot glue gun 
-rotary cutter paper cutter [i'll explain later]

you need to print off your images that you are using first. i made an 8x10 collage of pictures using PicMonkey and then got it printed off at Costco (in matte format, not glossy). 

a few tips about making your collage with PicMonkey: 
- i used the 4x4 square collage template and then added an extra image to the rows so it was 4x5. to do this, you just need to hover an image in the white space until a gray box shows up where you want your image to go. 

-i had to resize it a lot to make sure it would fit an 8x10. i finally settled on the dimensions 1657x2000 (you'll have to make sure the dimensions aren't locked) but even then i still had to crop it a tiny bit when i was ordering the 8x10. and i also still had to trim them quite a bit to fit the tiles after they were printed off. but thankfully most of the pictures i chose had space on the edge that i could trim down without affecting the actual focal point of the picture. so just be aware of that when choosing the pictures for your collage. 
hopefully all that made sense.... 

-and one last tip with the collage: i adjusted the white space around each picture to be smaller so i had room to cut around the pictures and could then trim them as i wanted instead of how PicMonkey cropped them. i wanted to be able to show the majority of my image in each square and the larger, default white space didn't allow that as much. 

here is the finished collage result that i sent to be printed:

hopefully all those tips helped... 

moving on. 

once the collage is printed off, cut the squares to fit your tiles. 

tip: unless you are awesome and rotary cutting, don't do it! in the original tutorial she had used a rotary cutter and i thought "oh she must be professional and know what she's doing so i'll use that." and i figured it would be more precise with cutting. well.... it could be that i totally suck at rotary cutting but i could not get the lines straight all the time. it took a loooot of time trying be careful about cutting straight mainly because the pictures kept slipping around. i finally got smart and used a paper cutter and it made it 10x easier. so i highly recommend that or even regular scissors. 

i love how in the original tutorial she talked about using these as photobooth pictures too. cute! 

so whichever way you choose, you will have to trim, trim, trim to get the pictures cut to the size of the tiles. 

not even all of the scraps from trimming because i kept cutting crooked...ugh.

however, the rotary cutter was good for cutting through the glue that held the tiles together. so that was a plus!

after you cut pictures to the size you want, it's time to glue them to the tiles. 
first, i added the Mod Podge to the back of the pictures and laid them on top of the tiles. 

once the picture was dried somewhat, i then Mod Podged the top of the picture to the tile to seal it better. make sure you get around the edge where the picture meets the tile. and don't be afraid to use too much because it dries clear. 

tip: i originally tried to cut all the pictures so they fit perfectly on the tile. but then as i was gluing them i found that the ones that had a little white space around the edges stayed on the tile better, were able to be sealed better, and didn't slip around while i was gluing it. i also thought they just looked a lot better to have the small border as well. so if i did it again i would make sure i had that extra space.

not dried Mod Podge. just to show you how much i put on. it dried clear and there wasn't any white streaks.
next, after the glue is mostly dry, it's time to glue on the magnets. 
just use hot clue to adhere the magnets to the back of the tiles. 

tip: try to get the magnets as close to the center as possible! i didn't realize that even if they were just slightly off, the tile would not stay straight on the fridge. they ones that are a little off center end up shifting because the weight is not even (you can tell in the picture at the bottom). it doesn't look that bad and honestly, when you are just throwing stuff up on the fridge the magnets are not always straight. but if it's something that will really bother you make sure you are cautious on where you glue them. 


i love having the pictures right where we can see them every day. 
and Elijah loves to look at them and tell stories about them. 
"Baby Za-Za at Halloween."
"Mama and Za-Za." 
"Look, look, look! i on swing!!" 
"Ooooh, Cowboy!"

{that was all supposed to be Elijah talking, p.s.} 

 i think these will  definitely be a hit with the grandmas and grandpas! 
PLUS they were less than $10 to make! 
happiness all around!

please let me know if you have any questions or want anything clarified.
(i'm not so good at these tutorial things so i apologize!) 
and feel free to share your picture magnets as well!
i would love to see if any of you make them and how they turned out :) 


Aimee @ Like Mother Like Daughter said...

those turned out so cute! what a great idea!! Without kids though, i'm not sure if my parents would like a picture of our dog ;) I guess i'll save this tutorial for when i have kids. thanks for sharing

Kylie said...

Adorable! Thanks for the tutorial :)

Ruthie Hart said...

these are TOO CUTE!

Jenn @ What You Make It said...

These are fantastic! I've been trying to do the (mostly) homemade thing this Christmas. I think I just woke up one day and realized that homemade gifts are ever so much more precious, whether they be practical or not. Yours happen to be both : )

Breenah said...

Those are so cool!

The Thriftiness Miss said...

So cool! I'm so making :) Thanks so much for the great tutorial!

AbsoluteMommy said...

Amazing! Thank you for posting a tutorial! Seriously I just wanted to know how to make an 8x10 picture collage for instagram in PICMONKEY! Thanks. Pinning it now!

amber said...

Those look awesome! I'm totally going to copy you. Love it!

Unknown said...

SERIOUSLY AMAZING!! Your rock girlfriend!!

Unknown said...

Amazing creativity!! Love your work... Thanks for sharing such a beautiful idea with us.
Rubi Tile Cutter

Unknown said...

I really want to try this! Thank you for bringing the best stuff to Whimsy Wednesday!

Kelly from Smart School House

Unknown said...

Photo magnet can be used practically in everyday life for holding up importand messages and pictures on your kitchen fridge etc.