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This is a nice gift your child can give to teachers, friends, grandparents, etc... that they will actually USE. And they last forever! Well, at least a decade... I have some that I made with my own artwork 10+ years ago and they are still in use on the fridge and in great shape. This project is best for kids who are around 5+ so they have the manual dexterity for it.
Stuff you and your child need:
1. Black sharpie marker and paper
2. Some water-based colored markers for coloring in drawings
3. A computer (preferably with design software, but microsoft word will work)
4. Either a scanner or a digital camera with a close-up setting
5. Inkjet printer & Epson heavyweight matte paper
6. 1 inch round magnets
7. A 1-inch round punch (available at craft stores for around $5)
8. A small stiff paintbrush & a scissors
9. Mod Podge matte finish
10. Colored paper (optional, for the backer shown above)
1.) First, have your child do several drawings in black sharpie. A regular child's black marker won't work, because when they color over it the colors will run and look muddy. Let the outline dry. SIMPLE drawings work best, like the "Robots" shown above. The proportions should be roughly square - not short and wide or tall and skinny.
2.) Your child can then color in each drawing.
3.) Either scan in each drawing with your scanner, or shoot a digital pic of each one, separately.
4.) If you have photo editing software you can brighten the artwork or up the contrast. Some photo editing software usually comes free when you buy a scanner.
5.) Place your scanned files into Word, Illustrator, or photoshop, and shrink them down until they are under an inch high. Then copy and paste each one multiple times.
6.) Print out your sheet of shrunken drawings onto the Epson matte printer paper. This paper is *amazing* - it is a graphic design secret. It makes colors look brighter and more vibrant, and it is nice and thick so you can't see through it at all.
7.) Cut the paper into strips of drawings and use your punch to punch out each one as shown in the photo (bottom right corner) above.
8.) Put magnets on a slick surface (like a cookie sheet or plastic, NOT paper, which will stick) Use Mod Podge to attach each mini-artwork to each magnet, then coat each one on the top and sides. Let it dry and do a second coat.
9.) If you want to make the backer shown above, take one of your kid's black and white drawings (not colored in), scan or photograph that, and plop it into Word. Created that black frame around it and some type with your child's name. Print and cut out along the black frame. Use double-sided tape to attach the magnets (don't use the Mod Podge as the paper will be permanently stuck.)
My son gave these out to some of our friends & relatives at Christmas and they were a big hit! We plan to do some different themes in the future.