Fun, Inexpensive Gift Idea for Teachers or Others

I recently read a post on Thrifty Decor Chick about a hidden memo board she created inside of her cabinet.

What caught my attention, though, were the magnets she made. I thought they would be a fun craft that my daughter could make to give to my mother for her birthday and to her teachers for the holidays. Best of all, they can be personalized to each gift recipient!

Here are some photos of the magnets we made for my mother’s birthday gift:

Magnet Gift Idea

I decided to place the magnets in a magnetic tin that I found at the Container Store. The magnets can go inside, or another idea would be to put them around the top or outside area and fill the center with candy or some other item. There are so many different types of containers you could use.

Magnet Gift Idea

What you need for this project:

– Glass Marble Accents – found in the floral area at craft stores. There are many sizes and colors, but I liked the 1 1/2 inch flat clear ones for this project. They cost around $2.99, but I used one of the 40% off coupons that you can get from Michaels and Jo-Ann in Sunday papers.

– Magnets – These were the most expensive part of this project. I used a 40% off coupon to get 50 ProMag magnets at Michaels. I think they cost less than $10 before the 40% off coupon, but can’t find my receipt to confirm. You could save money by purchasing smaller or thinner magnets.

– Clear-drying glue – I used a glue stick to stick the photo paper to the glass. I also tried some instant decoupage I had in my craft bin and that worked too.

– Paper – You will need either scrapbook paper or photo paper, depending on what you plan to do. You can print photos at a store, but I used photo paper I got for free at Staples a few months ago to print my photos at home.

– Two inch Circle Punch or two inch cardboard circle – I used a 2 inch cardboard “coin” that we received in the mail recently to trace around the photos. For the teacher gifts, I plan to purchase a two inch circle punch to speed up the process. You can find the circle punches in the scrapbooking area at craft stores for less than $10 (use a 40% off coupon!).

How to do this project:

1. Decide how you want to decorate your magnets. Photos? Drawings? Pre-printed paper (like what Thrifty Decor Chick did with the Christmas theme)? A combination?

2. Trace around the photo or paper design with the two inch cardboard circle, or use the circle punch. If you are going to draw on the paper, cut out the circle first and then do the drawing.

3. Apply glue to the glass marble. The marbles are not perfectly round, so keep this in mind when you trace a circle. The paper won’t always fit perfectly, so hold the marble over the paper and turn the marble around until you think your photo, drawing or design will display best through the glass. Then apply the marble to the paper. Hold for a couple of seconds then set aside to dry. Once you touch the marble to photo paper, you won’t be able to move it. I was able to move the scrapbook paper though.

4. Once dry, cut off any paper that is sticking out over the edge of the marble.

Magnet Gift Idea

5. Apply glue to one side of the magnet and apply the magnet to the paper on the back of the glass marble. Hold it for a few seconds and then set it aside to dry. I found the magnets will shift a bit when I set them aside, so once you set down your marble, move the magnet into the center.

That’s it!

Depending on how many you make and whether or not you use 40%-50% off coupons to purchase all the materials, you should be able to make a nice set of personalized magnets and put them in a tin (as displayed above) for less than $10.

Look for opportunities to get craft materials for cheap during after-Thanksgiving sales. I do not plan to use the 20% off your entire purchase coupons unless the coupon is good on sale items and the sale items are something I need for this project. But I have found that Jo-Ann will put several items on sale for a certain number of hours during a holiday sale, so I plan to stop in and see what I can get for 40% or more.

If you live in Dallas, stop by the Preston/Forest Jo-Ann and pick up the “Celebrate our Remodel” flyer. There are three 50% off coupons – one good for December 2, one for December 3 and one for December 4. Be one of the first 50 customers each of these days and receive a $5 Jo-Ann Gift Card and Reusable Tote Bag (hope they aren’t the ones made in China with the lead paint!).

Since I go by Jo-Ann every day, I plan to buy three bags of the glass marble accents. There are around 21 per bag and since my daughter has several teachers, three bags should cover them all.

If you are giving teacher gifts this year, I’d love to hear what your plans are!

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