School is back in session! Let’s kick those old plastic magnetic letters to the curb and start the year off with some pretty pastel DIY clay alphabet magnets that the whole family can enjoy!
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Clay Alphabet Magnets
It’s September and school is back in session! Some of your kids may have started school a couple of months ago, but my son has only been back in preschool for a couple of weeks here in New Jersey.
We are adjusting to our new school/fall schedule! I always find Fall refreshing, as well as, a time to get organized and back to business!
My son is three and is beginning his academic journey this year with the letter “A!” Haha! I think it’s adorable how each month has a letter for the kids to focus on. To watch my son learn how to write his letters and “spell” words has been so exciting! Basically he’s a genius. 😉
Those were the days…when life was so simple!
Speaking of simple…since my son started working on his letters, and the alphabet never goes out of style, I decided that it would be super fun to make some clay alphabet magnets for our playroom!
We have the standard magnetic alphabet letters, but we are missing some letters, and they just aren’t cute! Why don’t they make pretty plastic magnetic letters?? Well, thank goodness they don’t, because then I wouldn’t have been able to write this post!
I’m sure you’ve seen some cool DIY magnetic letter transformations out there (like the gold painted magnetic letters here), but I wanted to try something different!
We also have some cool pastel colored wooden discs that have the letter stamped on them. I like those also, but surprise, we are missing some letters!
I’m sure we will lose these letters at some point, but I’ll try to keep them together for as long as I can!
I thought this would be a fun project for my son to help with. I’ll be honest, his focus on crafts does not last too long. I guess it’s too early to tell if he inherited my love for DIY projects! My DIY Spring Egg Crayons is one project that he did love helping with! Check them out if you are looking for a quick and easy project!
DETAILS to DIY the Clay Alphabet Magnets:
2. ROLLING PIN
4. PUTTY KNIFE or FLAT SPATULA
6. FINE GRIT SANDPAPER (around 180 or higher)
10. MODGE PODGE (optional)
Open the clay and start working it with your hands. They clay can be a little hard until it is softened up by kneading it. Don’t worry if they clay is a little crumbly. It should become soft and smooth after you have been handling it for a bit.
Roll out the clay so that it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. You need to have a bit of depth to the clay in order to get the best shape out of your cookie cutters and to be able to actually pick up the letter after it is cut out of the clay. (This is a good step to have your kids help!)
Press the cookie cutter letter firmly into the clay. Press around the entire cookie cutter to ensure that you have cut the clay evenly. (Another good step for little hands!)
Peel the excess clay away from the letter shape. Use your putty knife to scrape under the letter if it does not peel away from the table easily. Carefully place your putty knife almost parallel to the surface and slide it under the letter.
If the letter shape has a small cut-out in the middle, like an “A,” gently try to push the piece out. If you can’t get it out, you will need to use a sharp knife, like an X-Acto knife, box cutter, or another tool that can help to remove it. Just slowly use the knife to trace the lines that the cookie cutter made. After you trace the lines, you should be able to pop-out the piece. Don’t worry if you letter has some rough edges. They can be easily sanded down after the clay has baked or dried.
Place your letters on a baking sheet (or foil on a baking sheet) and bake your clay according to the package directions (or let your clay air dry according to package directions). My clay baked or 30 minutes at 230 degrees F. Let your clay cool to the touch before the next steps.
(An optional step is to cover your letters in Modge Podge to lock in everything and prevent the letters from getting dirty.)
Cut the magnetic tape into tiny strips. Mine are less than a 1/4 of an inch thick. You want them to be as wide as they can to fit on the back of the letters, but you don’t want them to stick out from the edges. To be sure that the letters have a strong magnetic hold, I recommend putting about four pieces of magnetic tape on the back of the letters.
The magnetic tape is sticky, obviously, but I wanted to be completely sure that it would not fall off the letters. It might be overkill, but I used a glue gun! I glued each piece of magnetic tape to the letter. Let the glue dry, and then you can get down to business!
It always bothers me that the standard magnetic letters only come with one of each letter, so I made a few extras of the letters we might need! That’s what’s great about DIY-ing!
DIY Clay Alphabet Magnets
There are so many things you could do with these magnetic letters! My son has magnetic fishing polls, and I feel like I have some “Go Fish” in my near future!
Safety Note: The strips of magnetic tape are very small and could easily be put into the mouth of a young child. I have a 10 month old at home, so I’m totally in “sergeant safety” mode!
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