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January 17, 2014

Best Homemade Gift Ever

This by far was the best gift I made for Christmas this past year, and it's something anybody can do. It can be totally customized into anything you want - personal, funny, thematic and is perfect for any holiday or gift-giving occasion: photo magnets.

Photo magnets make wonderful personalized gifts for Christmas, holidays, anniversary, birthday, Mother's Day | A Crafty Wife

There are smartphone apps out there that will let you make magnets from Instagram photos, but my best photos are not from Instagram, so I thought I could tackle these myself. These 2" x 2" mini-canvases and tacky (self adhesive!) magnetic dots are from Michaels. The canvases come in a bunch of sizes and in black or white. I debated between the 3" x 3" and these 2" ones - in the end I'm glad I went with 2" because the 3" ones are a little too big for fridge magnets (especially once you have a dozen on the fridge!)


Blank 3x3 canvases and Aleene's tacky magnets for photo magnets | A Crafty Wife

I use Picasa at home to manage my photos, so I went through and selected my 12 favorites from my daughter's first year. I used Photoshop to size them to 2" x 2" each and formatted the page so I could print 6 pictures in a 4" x 6" standard photo size. If you don't have Photoshop, you could make this work in PowerPoint or Word with some finagling. I uploaded these to our local Walgreens to have printed (if you have a photo printer you could just print these at home).

Size photos to fit on canvas and print at local drug store | A Crafty Wife

I carefully cut each photo out using a Xacto knife and ruler (sidebar - this pink Xacto cutting mat from Walmart is the best $10 I ever spent on craft supplies) so that each photo was just barely smaller than the front of the canvas. Some of the canvases were a bit irregular, so I did have to test each one to make sure it would fit.

Use Mod Podge to glue photos to canvas for photo magnets  | A Crafty Wife

A little Mod Podge on the back of each photo and careful pressure to make sure it would stick to the canvas and voila!

Use Mod Podge to attach photos to canvas for photo magnets  | A Crafty Wife

I let the Mod Podge dry for a good hour or so just to make sure everything was set. Then the easiest part of the entire project was putting on the magnets. The backs have adhesive on them already so it was a simple peel and stick in the center of each canvas back. You'll notice I also added the date each photo was taken to the back of the canvases.



Aleene's tacky magnets are easy to attach to photo magnets  | A Crafty Wife

I found some really cute lacquer boxes at Target that I used as the gift boxes for these. I made one set for my parents and one for my in-laws as Christmas gifts...let's just say the tears were flowing when they opened them! I customized some of the pictures for each family so they were in some of them, which added a nice personal touch. 



I had a lot of fun making these, and the possibilities are endless. They'd be great for a Valentine's/anniversary gift for a special someone (photos of you two over the years, special spots that mean something), Mother's Day, a handmade housewarming gift for a friend, Christmas, birthdays...you name it. You could use drawings, landscape photos, landmarks, etc. I will definitely be making these again as gifts. I would love to see how creative you guys are with this!


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