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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tutorial: Little Leather Magnetic Frames

Fridge magnets can be such useful little things, they're great for hanging up masterpieces, and keeping hold of the grocery list, but they can also be so unsightly.  All to often the plumbers magnet that come's taped to the phone book ends up stuck on my fridge along with Clark's art collection. 

In an effort to clean up the fridge, and showcase some of my masterpieces, I made these little leather magnetic frames.  They are super simple, and can be made to any size.

 What you'll need: 
1 Piece of scrap leather
1 piece of clear plastic vinyl
2 pieces of felt
4 small neodymium magnets

To figure out the dimensions of your materials, you first need to determine the size of photo that you want to frame.  Wallet photos are 2"x3".  You will want your frame window to be 1/4" smaller in both height and width than the size of your photo (so 1 3/4"x2 3/4" for a wallet).  Next you will add your frame width  times two, to your window size. So if your frame width is 5/8" then your rectangles would be cut to 3"x4".  Your Leather and felt rectangles would be cut to the same dimensions.  Your clear vinyl can be cut slightly smaller.

On the wrong side of the leather, mark the frame window and cut it out. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter for this step.

 On the sewing machine, stitch the two felt pieces together, by sewing 1/8" away from the raw edges.  Leave a 3/8"  opening for magnet insertion.   Next create small pockets for the magnets to sit in.  Doing so will ensure that you have one magnet in each corner of the frame, and will make sewing much easier after they are inserted. You will want to make sure that the pockets are large enough to accommodate the size of your magnets.

Slide your four magnets into the felt sandwich, and position them in their pockets.

 Stitch the magnet pockets closed.

Place clear vinyl under the leather frame.  Stitch 1/8" away from the inside frame window, securing the vinyl to the leather.  At this point you will also want to stitch along the outside edge of the top edge of the frame, as this side will be left open.  

 Position your leather frame on your felt sandwich.  Stitch along the two long edges and the bottom edge, connecting all layers.

That's it.  A little magnetic frame fit for the fridge.  

Dinosaur, Tiger, and Lion: by Clark the Shark

My boys have loved seeing themselves on the fridge, and love playing with the frames.  Because the magnets are encased in the felt, I don't worry about them playing with them.


Unknown said...

So cute, Tricia! Simple and does the trick marvelously.

Donna said...

I love this idea. Where did you find the clear vinyl, or is that something easily located?