Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DIY "Ransom Note" Magnets

Back in 2009, I posted a tutorial about how to create a set of DIY meal planning magnets using the magnets that arrive in your home cloaked in junk mail or affixed to the back of a phone book with a giant rubber cement blob.

Just in case you've been yearning for another excuse to hoard junk mail magnets, I wanted to share a second project that I made using junk mail magnets.  I call these fun alphabet magnets "Ransom Note Magnets" though I do not endorse the use of real ransom notes--magnetic or paper--by real live villains!

Creating and arranging these magnets is:

Note to self: must make magnetic commas!

To make your own magnets, you will need:
  • Junk mail magnets (any flat magnets will do: pizza delivery, dentists' offices, credit card solicitations, etc.)
  • Magazines (or glossy junk mail fliers)
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape
Hunt through magazines for letters, and cut them out, leaving a square of "background color" around them.  Then use the same method that I described in this post to "laminate" them with packing tape.

If you opt to create only capital letters, and you want to make at least one of each alphabet letter, you will find that the Scrabble point values of letters are actually a very good predictor of the difficulty you'll have finding each letter in capital form in a magazine.  In other words, "J" and "Q" will be tougher to find than "E" and "A".  On the upside, the letter hunt is fun and educational for kids, and it can be an ongoing project if you build your letter collection over time.

My preschool-aged daughter loves to play with these magnets to make words, names, and even consonant-heavy nonsense words, which I attempt to sound out for her.

Have a stainless fridge?  Your kiddo might enjoy playing with these on the side of the dishwasher, the side of the washer/dryer, or even on a cookie sheet.