How to Create Your Own Car Magnetsby Dustin Pitan
Creating a car magnet can be a fantastic way to show off your creativity as well as accessorize your automobile with some personal message. You can use car magnets to advertise your small business, or tell the world that your child is an honor student. Whatever the purpose of the magnet, the style is completely up to you, especially if you make it yourself instead of buying it from a store. Making one yourself takes only a short amount of time, and can easily be done with minimal materials.
Purchase a magnetic sheet—there are two kinds, full magnetic sheets or perforated, pre-cut magnetic sheets. Full magnetic sheets allow you to create your own specially shaped car magnet, whereas a perforated sheet will more than likely only allow for rectangular or square magnets. Which kind you want depends on the shape and size of the finished car magnet you would like, so choose accordingly.
Use your markers/sharpies to draw your design on the magnetic sheet. Be prepared to plan out your design first with a pencil before using markers, so that you eliminate possible mistakes. If you would prefer a more professional and structured looking car magnet, try the greeting card process in step 3.
Turn on your computer and launch your greeting card program (Photoshop or Adobe programs can be used in lieu of a greeting card program if you feel more comfortable creating with them). Choose a template you enjoy and want to transfer to your magnet. Edit the font, words and logo on the greeting card program before saving it. Load your magnetic sheet into your printer (making sure to place the printable side down), adjust the sizes and page set-ups for the desired size of your magnet, and print your design. All Magnetics.com states that most inkjet printers can handle the width of the magnetic sheets—simply adjust your printer to the specifications that they list on their website (found in the reference section).
Cut out your drawn or printed design with a pair of sharp scissors. If you've purchased pre-cut sheets, use the scissors to cut down the straight edges of the magnet, following the perforations. While you can deviate from this slightly, for a truly unique shape and design, you should forgo the perforated sheets and stick with the single magnetic sheet. Simply cut out the design you would like.
Use your paintbrush to apply a layer of clear contact to the top of the magnet. Clear contact is a lacquer- or varnish-like substance that can be applied by brush. Most of the time, the clear contact bottle comes with its own brush, so check this out before you purchase a new brush just for this purpose. The clear contact will help protect the magnet and the design from the sun's harsh rays, along with rain and wind. The contact will keep the design vibrant and visible. After clear coating, allow the magnet to lie in a warm place for 12-24 hours for it to become completely dry and usable. Place it on your car and ensure that it sticks.
Things You'll Need
- Magnetic sheets
- Greeting card creating computer software
- Inkjet printer
- Sharp scissors
- Clear contact (a liquid finish)
- Paintbrush (often supplied with clear contact)