First time I did fridge magnets was because it was customary for my circle of friens to bring magnets from vacation and I happened to get this idea of creating some from my own photos instead of buying some. This tutorial is done showing a Photoshop-made, but you can do simple photo-based ones, too, of course.
What you need:
- photo paper (you can use normal paper, too, though)
- good, sharp scissors
- colour printer
- Xyron machine
- magnet/laminate cartridge for Xyron
I have to say at this place that while I’m absolutely NOT into machines and always prefer doing things myself, Xyron is an exception. I never regretted getting it – depending on what cartridges you get, you can do labels for food containers, stickers, magnets – you get the picture.
1. THE DIGITAL PART
Choose whatever picture you want on your magnets. Vacation photos come to mind as the most logical choice, or children’s photos to be placed on grandparents’ fridge. I used a graphic I designed in Photoshop.
If you’re just using a photograph, you can skip this part. Just print your photo(s) and go straight to 2. THE MANUAL PART.
Now open Photoshop (or whatever software you use) and create a new blank file with the dimensions of the paper you’re going to use. If you live in Europe, it’s A4 (297 x 210 mm), if you live in US it’s going to be Letter (11.5 x 8 in)… and if there are other formats out there that are used where you live, you use those.
Photoshop makes it really easy as there are presets for these formats – U.S.Paper for Letter and International Paper for A4. Just take care to set your background to transparent.
Open your files, use CTRL+A to select all and CTRL+C to copy. Move to the blank file and insert by CTRL+V. Insert as many times as you want and move your layers so that you get a printing sheet.
In case the digital paper you used for your design doesn’t have a clearly defined border after printing (meaning, it’s very light, whitish etc.), it might be wise to create a background layer filled with grey; it will help you to see better where to cut. To save the printing cartridge I only did it for half a page here.
2. THE MANUAL PART
Now that you’ve printed your future magnets, you have this.
You need to cut them, but you don’t have to do that very precisely – the final cutting will be done after the paper is turned into magnets and there’s no reason to do it twice.
Put your little sheet into the Xyron and turn the handle…
…and when you’re done cut the sheet it with the orange slider.
If you’re doing more magnets, you can save your cartridge if you put them one after another…
…and only use the cutting slider after you’re done.
Use your scissors to cut the long sheet into smaller pieces (they’re pretty heavy, so it’s the practical thing to do if you have 20 of them like I did).
Use your scissors to cut them precisely where you need to. And this is the result of your hard work.
And here are some more that I have done.