Grandad and Granny are visiting from Adelaide this year. Usually all they get for Christmas is a Christmas card and a photo of the kids - what else do you give someone who has been collecting "stuff" for 60+ years??!!
But this year I wanted to give them something that they could open from us on Christmas day.
I went through the usual Grandparent-friendly gift options...framed photos, chocolates, ties, socks, etc. but wanted their present to be more out of the ordinary. This is what I came up with...
I bought a sheet of ceramic tiles from the local tile shop. They were only $4.50 for a sheet of 40. The tiles peel off the backing, so nice and easy to pull apart.
Then I went through our photos on the computer and found a good photo of each member of the extended Parson's family. Put them into Word, cropped the heads in a square and then re-sized them to the same size as the tiles (5cm). Next, I printed out the photos and cut them up. I didn't bother printing onto photo-quality paper, but used a thicker paper I had lying around. It had kind of a satin-finish. We have a laser printer, so I used that. If you are going to do this and use an inkjet printer then make sure that the ink won't bleed when you apply the glue and sealer later on in the project. Otherwise, you could go and get your photos developed professionally.
To stick the photos onto the tiles I used a glue called "Weldbond" that I picked up at the hardware store. It is an all-purpose glue that is supposed to work on just about any surface. In hindsight I think PVA glue would probably have worked just as well. Once I stuck the photos on, I trimmed any excess photo from the edge of the tile and rounded the corners a bit so that they fit on the tile nicely.
Once the glue was dried I painted on a few coats of Mod Podge to seal the front of the tiles then left that to dry.
To turn the tiles into magnets I flipped them over and used the Weldbond again to glue a few magnets to the back. I bought these magnets thinking that one on the back would be enough but the tiles were a bit heavy so I ended up having to use two magnets on each one. Next time I am going to try experimenting with other magnets - the craft shop I went to sold this kind in two sizes as well as sticky-backed magnetic sheets that you could cut into what ever size you wanted so maybe covering the whole back with a sheet would have worked better.
And ta-da!! The finished Parson's family magnetic tiles!! They turned out WAY better than I expected...such a cool present for grandparents and parents that don't need anything. Really quite quick to make up aswell once you have done all of the shopping for different supplies!