Holiday Gift Making IV: Mixed Media Magnets

We wrapped up four weeks of gift making with a mixed media magnet project. Besides the magnet strips used on the back and the matte board that we used for the base, most of the supplies were already in the studio and might even be on your art shelves at home or in your classroom. Here are the supplies needed for this project:

  • magnets (preferably with adhesive backs)
  • matte board
  • paper ephemera
  • stickers (we used foam stickers from the dollar store)
  • glue sticks
  • scissors (optional)
  • watercolor (optional)
  • newsprint for blotting if you decide to use watercolor (optional)

The first step was putting on the adhesive magnet strips to the back of the magnet base. We used two 1″ strips of magnet on the back of the matte board base which was cut down to pieces about 3″ x 3″. Each child made a set of three magnets. We talked about how to use repeating textures or colors to create a cohesive set.

The collage pieces consisted of paper ephemera collected from studio projects and around my house. They included wrapping paper, recycled art, paint strip pieces from our last project, maps, dictionary pages, wall paper samples, and more.
We applied the paper with glue sticks. When students requested scissors I added those to the tools but because the paper pieces were cut down small it wasn’t always necessary. Students had the option to trim the edges clean or break the square with the paper.

We used foam stickers as embellishments and then added a glitter watercolor wash in one or two colors. If students chose more than one color we were careful not to use combinations that created brown.

The final step was blotting off excess watercolor. The final effect was a beautiful tint tying all three magnets together as a set.

We do a lot of print making in the studio and students were enthralled with the blotting process. Many of them asked to keep their newsprint blotter.

I love the variety of each magnet set and how playful and vibrant they turned out!

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