New projects.

I have been seeing the cutest button magnets on the internet. I have buttons. I have magnets. Why not make some of my own?

Since I had the ingredients I needed, I was particularly enthused about the fact that this was a project I could do without buying anything to finish it. But then I realized I couldn’t take the backs of the buttons off with anything I already owned, so I had to buy some nips to do that.

Once I had tired of the button magnets, I moved on to making magnets out of the bits and pieces of jewelry I have stockpiled.

To finish this project, I had to go out and buy a metal file. Most of what I was using were clip-on earrings in their former lives, so the backs had to be filed down once the clips were nipped off. I swear, with all of the craft supplies I have stockpiled, it is astonishing to me that I still have to BUY additional supplies when I start a new project.

I decided to put these in the booth and see if they sell, so that, of course, required packaging. Any chance I have to waste an hour or two at the computer playing with clip art and fonts, I TAKE.

While I was making cute little things to go into cute little packages, I decided to try an idea I had some time ago — I have so many cute vintage cards that I haven’t done anything with because I dread cutting/gluing/framing them and then saying goodbye to them. So I scanned a bunch in and scaled them down to fit into these cute little vintage Crane envelopes I’ve had for years to use as gift enclosures.

And this is how they’re displayed in the booth:

Ideally, I would find a little square of metal to package the magnets with, because they get all clumped up in their little bags when they all stick to each other. But otherwise, I’m pretty happy with how the packaging turned out. I worked much of the week on these, and I have no idea if they’ll sell. I’m guessing they won’t, because it’s such an easy idea, and I can’t imagine anyone spending money on them rather than making them themselves. But I figure this first 6-8 months of the booth can be experimentation — figuring out what sells and what doesn’t so I know what to spend my time and money on.

May 14, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Heidi@TheMerryMagpieVintage You can buy large squares of thin metal (flashing? not sure) at Home Depot. I bought a piece for my mom to use in a frame to make her own magnet board and right now I can’t remember what section of the store I found it it. You’d have to use tin snips to cut it, probably. So another tool you might have to go buy.

Mind if I ask what computer program you used to make the darling headers for your little bags? I LOVE the gingham! Please don’t say Photoshop. I hate Photoshop. LOL

May 14, 2013 - 3:40 pm

Lara Jo AHA! That sounds like a great tip. I thought about looking at Home Depot but it’s kind of dangerous for me to go roam around in there. I always end up buying something I had no idea I needed until I saw it. I will check that out. It really would make the packaging much more attractive.

I used Illustrator to do the tops of the packaging. I use Photoshop to edit my photographs and have always done other graphic art work in PS as well, but I always found it cumbersome and hard to use. I was asking my husband how to do all of this stuff with type and he kept having to take my text into Illustrator to get it to do what I wanted, then take it back to PS, so finally I just decided to try and use Illustrator. I find it MUCH easier to use than PS for this kind of stuff and am kind of addicted…as a matter of fact, I just spent $20 on Etsy buying digital papers to use as backgrounds for a new print series I’m thinking of. Once again, spending money I shouldn’t be!!!

May 14, 2013 - 11:09 pm

Shara The magnets are great and I knew Heidi would love them! Your packaging is great. I’m pretty good at coming up with cheap ways to do things so I am ON IT when it comes to your “metal” needs. I have put my thinking cap ON. My first thought was the lid and bottom to an Altoids tin, but where are you going to get enough of those? Hmmmm…thinking, thinking, thinking.

May 18, 2013 - 10:43 am

Kathy Epley Lara Jo, Instead of inserting small sheets of metal in your packages, could you use another product and paint with the magnetic paint? Something thin and sturdy enough that would take the paint without warping or curling (cardboard would probably curl a bit). Metal would be cute, but then is it gonna cut someone, even maybe you in preparing it? Just a thought. Also, I love the button magnets, and if I weren’t a crafter (that looks at items all the time and know I could probably figure out how to duplicate them), I think yours are so sweet I would buy the packages in a heartbeat, even if I could make them. Also, having them right in front of me, I could really look them over. Enjoy your summer; our ‘baby,’ Jake is graduating from high school next Sunday!! Then on to NCU in Minneapolis. Take care.

May 18, 2013 - 6:01 pm

Shannon LOVE these! The packaging is awesome! I could totally see buying the magnets for a little gift for someone! They are TOTALLY going to sell! You’re so creative! 🙂

June 11, 2013 - 10:22 pm

Lara Jo You’re my biggest cheerleader, Shannon! Thank you!

June 11, 2013 - 10:25 pm

Lara Jo Hi, Kathy! Thanks for the feedback — that is a great idea (the magnet paint). Shara and I had been tossing the ideas of using altoid tins and/or metal lids as well. What would I do without this blog? You guys are the best! Hope the graduation went well — how exciting that your last one is out of the nest. It’s only been two years and that seems like an impossibility.

Thanks for writing — sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. We moved in May — just now getting settled in, so I hope I won’t be so bad about answering comments in the future.

Hope your summer is going well!!

June 11, 2013 - 10:30 pm

Lara Jo Did I ever answer you, Heidi? I see I didn’t on the blog but I may have sent you an e-mail replying already…it is shocking that I still know where my kids are these days, after this past month (we just moved into a new house. the second move in six months. kill me now).

The metal sheets are a great idea. I figured it was something you could buy at Home Depot. What CAN’T you buy there?? What did you use to cut yours, or did you have to cut it?

I used Illustrator to do the packaging (this is why I think I answered you already…I remember saying that to you. Forgive me if this is all a repeat.). I used to use Photoshop for stuff like this because I was used to editing my photos in it but my husband convinced me that Illustrator was better for graphic design and I have found it surprisingly easy to learn how to use.

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