By Noreen Doll.
An old family photo tile magnet is easy to make and a great gift idea!
A few years ago I attended a family reunion with a large group of relatives I had not previously known.
It happened that I had a photo of our common ancestor that no one else had, or was even aware existed.
I wanted to take some small gift to each family as a remembrance of the occasion, and I came up with the idea of using the old family photo to make a photo tile magnet.
This photo is more than 120 years old!
It was really quite easy, and since I did it in assembly line mode (I made almost five dozen) they were finished pretty quickly.
I scanned the photo (do NOT use the actual photo in this project!) and then shrank it to 2 inches by 2 inches, and filled a few sheets of computer paper with them. I let the photos dry overnight.
This is not the whole sheet, but shows a strip of how I printed the photos.
For the back of the photo tile magnet I created a small strip of paper with the names of the people and the approximate time the photo was taken, plus my name as the artist.
What you need
2×2 Inch Ceramic Tiles, which come on a sheet of 36 tiles
2×2 Inch Photos
Business Card Magnets – or other magnets
What you do
1. Cut the tile squares apart and cut the glue tabs off from around the edges.
Note the scissors I used. They cut almost everything, and are quite inexpensive. Harbor Freight carries them, and possibly Walmart.
2. Wipe the top of the tile with vinegar and let it dry.
3. Cut the photos apart and trim them to fit. I like to have a little of the tile frame the photo all the way around.
4. Pour some Mod Podge in a small cup to make it easier to use.
5. Use the sponge brush to cover the entire top surface of the tile with Mod Podge. Immediately lay the photo on the wet surface and carefully center it. Gently run your finger around the edge to make sure it is completely adhered.
6. Brush a layer of Mod Podge over the entire top of the tile, including the photo. Let dry.
I use a hair dryer set on low to help speed drying. Keep the dryer moving and don’t hover over one spot. Let the piece dry an additional 15 or 20 minutes after you use the dryer.
7. I added 2 more layers of Mod Podge, allowing it to dry between layers. (I always craft on overkill – probably 1 additional layer would be enough.)
8. Cut business card magnets to fit. I found I could cut a narrow strip off the long edge and cut the larger piece into thirds for the backs of the tiles.
9. Use Mod Podge to apply the strip of paper with information on it, near the bottom edge of the back of the magnet. Brush Mod Podge over the top to seal it. Let dry.
10. Attach the magnet with E6000 glue (outdoors) on the sticky side of the magnet, close to the top of the back side of the tile. See photo in step 8 above. Let the glue dry overnight.
Your old family photo tile magnet is finished.
Using this tutorial, you can put any size photo on any size ceramic tile.
When I bought the tiles, I noticed there were several sheets of them that had a few broken tiles. Since I didn’t need complete sheets, as I was using individual tiles, I asked for and received a good discount.
Home improvement stores carry a big choice of tiles. I chose these because I liked the rustic look, and I felt the Mod Podge might work better with a less slick surface.
You could actually recycle business card magnets you already have with business cards on them.
2 or 3 strips from a strip magnet roll could be used, but it’s so hard to remove the curl that I prefer spending a little extra for the nice flat magnets.
Elmers White Glue can be used, although it may yellow over time. You need to thin it just a little with water to use it.