Refrigerator Magnets with Infusible Ink
What kinds of things do you like to make with Cricut Infusible Ink? Once I started using it, I wanted to make everything I could think of. One of the first things I attempted was refrigerator magnets. When I was talking to some family members, I mentioned that I was going to make some, and my daughter-in-law asked me to make some magnets with specific quotes on them for her coworker.
If you have never used infusible ink, check out this post for instructions: What Tools Do I Need for Cricut Infusible Ink?
Sublimation Refrigerator Magnets
Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets
Cricut machine (any will work)
Cricut EasyPress 2 or other version
Cricut EasyPress mat
Standard Grip cutting mat
Cricut Heat Resistant Tape
The magnets I used were purchased from Amazon, and they were like thin magnetic sheets cut into circles, but they were stiff instead of bendable.
Before doing the special project, I decided to make a sample magnet first, so I would know what I was doing. It turned out I really did NOT know what I was doing, so it was a good thing I did the trial one first.
Anyway, I started with one magnet and some infusible ink. I wanted to make a magnet to put on a dishwasher that said 'Clean' and 'Dirty.' I already had one of those, but I knew I could find someone else who would like one.
In Design Space, I added a circle shape to my Canvas and sized it to just a bit bigger than my magnet.
I changed the circle color to white and added the text, using the Text function from the left panel. I chose the font next and selected Berlin Sans FB.
I used the Text box to create the dotted line that would go between the words as well.
One of the words needed to be upside down, so the magnet could be turned around on the front of the dishwasher to show the status of the dishes. I just rotated the word "clean" in Design Space until it was in position.
I wanted the words centered, so I used the Alignment function to do that.
Then I moved the text design over the top of the circle template for spacing and sized it as desired.
After that, my design was complete, so I grouped and attached the circle and text to prepare for cutting it with my Cricut.
Next, I cut a small piece of infusible ink and put it on my cutting mat, burnishing it with my brayer to adhere it well.
Tip: Always place your infusible ink design with the ink side up on the mat for cutting.
Next step was to cut out the design on my Cricut, remembering to mirror the image in Design Space first.
Tip: Always mirror your design in Design Space before cutting when working with infusible ink.
Here it is all cut out but still on the mat. To remove it from the mat, I turned the mat upside down and peeled the mat off the infusible ink.
Tip: Always peel your cutting mat off your design from the back to keep the material from curling up.
Once I removed the design from the mat, I weeded out the extra infusible ink that was not needed by hand, trying not to touch the ink too much, so I wouldn't mar the design.
Tip: Do not use a weeder tool with infusible ink, as you could easily puncture the design and ruin your project.
Here is how it looked once it was all weeded. I turned it over, so the ink was on the bottom to make sure it was weeded properly and was readable. That is how it would be applied to the magnet as well.
Before applying the infusible ink design to my magnet, I wiped the magnet off with a Norwex cloth to remove any lint particles that might interfere with the application of the design. You could also use rubbing alcohol for this purpose.
I used heat resistant tape to attach the infusible ink design to the magnet and to keep it from shifting during the heating process. If it moved at all, it would smudge the design and ruin the project.
Tip: Always do your best to ensure the infusible ink transfer sheet with your design does not move at all during the heat transfer process.
Now it was time for the heat application. I had not paid much attention to the packaging for the magnets and just opened them up. I looked at the Cricut Heat Guide but could not find a material that seemed to match the magnet material, so I just used the instructions for ceramic coasters, which turned out to be a mistake. Those are much thicker, so I didn't really think that through.
If you would like to learn how to make ceramic coasters, you can check out this post and video that explains the process: How to Make Infusible Ink Coasters.
I followed the Heat Guide instructions and placed a piece of cardstock over my Cricut EasyPress mat first.
Then I laid the magnet on the cardstock and covered it with butcher paper in preparation for heating.
It was recommended to heat the infusible ink onto the magnet with the magnet upside down and the ink on the bottom, so I did that. However, this did not work too well. The back of the magnet ended up bubbling quite a bit.
There was also some strange material coming off the edge of the magnet, which I could not figure out. I certainly did not like those results, so next I tried heating the magnet with the magnet right side up and the infusible ink on top. But the back of the magnet still had a bit of bubbling.
In addition to this problem, I had a terrible time getting the infusible ink transfer sheet off the magnet. You can see how that turned out below.
At this point, I knew I needed to do some research to see what I was doing wrong. I tried looking up my magnet order on Amazon to see if any directions were shown. Then I finally looked at the little individual bags each magnet came in, and lo and behold, the heating instructions were right on the bags. Wow. I could have saved myself a lot of hassle if I had paid more attention to these bags.
If you can't read this, the bags said to set the EasyPress at 340 degrees and to apply the heat for 60 seconds. So I obviously had the temperature too high and applied the heat for way too long.
I tried again with another magnet but still had some issues. The second magnet actually turned out okay, but the words were not as crisp as I thought they would be.
This is when I learned that there was a thin plastic coating applied to the magnet that was supposed to be removed first before applying the design. So, that's what that strange material was that was sticking out around the magnet after I heated it the first time.
I also found this out by reading the little bag the magnet came in. Now I really felt dumb. I can't believe I'm sharing this, but maybe it can help someone else.
Tip: Be smarter than me.
Here is another magnet with the plastic coating partly peeled off, so you can see what that looked like. I honestly could not see the coating on the magnet, so I did not know it was there before I read the directions on the bag.
The amazing thing was that the infusible ink went right through the plastic coating. I was able to pull off the coating without marring the design in any way. I think the colors were not as vibrant as they could have been, but at least I did not waste another magnet. I actually ended up giving this magnet away to a friend, and she was quite happy with it.
I made a couple more magnets for myself for extra practice since my first attempts were so dismal.
This one was a bit faded in the center where the flower was cut out, but I seem to have this problem any time I use this particular pattern of infusible ink. Don't ask me why.
The other one was quite easy, but I think the infusible ink pattern was a bit too busy because it's kind of hard to see the word. I guess I need to be more careful when choosing the background ink pattern for these projects.
Moving on, now that I sort of knew what I was doing with these magnets, I went on to create the ones for my daughter-in-law. Here is a picture of them all once they were done. The designs were based on expressions a coworker used frequently, and they were given as a gift to her. I hope nobody finds these offensive. If so, I do apologize.
The quotes were given to me, but I came up with the designs myself. I had to be creative in how I did some of these to get them to look how I wanted. I will show you how I did a couple of them. The ones with text only were quite simple.
For the purple one, I created the design first. Then I duplicated it, so I could cut out the images separately from different colors of infusible ink.
In order to get the images in the exact spot I wanted them, I weeded out the images on the circle design.
Then I stuck the colored images in their place. This way I could heat the magnet just once to apply the entire design to it.
I was happy with this turned out. However, you can see that some of the purple ink was a bit faded. I probably touched that area too much with my fingers, which was kind of hard not to do.
For the pink magnet, I started with my circle template in Design Space again and typed my text. Then I created two rectangles that I could slice from the circle. I could have just made one rectangle and sliced it out, and I don't know why I didn't do that at the time.
Once I sliced the design, I removed all the extra pieces and deleted them from my Canvas.
Next, I moved my text over the top of the circle and grouped and attached the entire design for cutting.
Once it was cut, I weeded it and applied it to the magnet. I think this one turned out pretty cute.
For the magnet with the cracker, etc., I decided to replace a couple words with images to make it more interesting. While creating the design, I typed the word "crap" but left out the 'a' and left enough space for the image to fit into.
After typing the rest of the words, I inserted an image of a pile of poo to stand in for the 'A' and a cracker for underneath the words. When cutting this design out, I again cut the entire design of the circle with all the words and images and made duplicates of the images to put in their place (just like I did with the purple magnet).
This one turned out cute, too, but it seems a bit difficult to see what the cracker is. However, since the recipient of the magnet would be familiar with the expression, it didn't seem to matter too much. (She loved all of them, by the way!)
I went on to make some other refrigerator magnets later to give to my sister as a Christmas gift. We have a lot of the same interests, so it was easy to come up with designs she would like. I wanted to keep them when they were done, but I can always make more! I think the second batch turned out even better, don't you?
These magnets were a bit different in that they were made of wood and had separate magnets to stick to the back of them. They were also in different shapes, but I just used templates that matched the shapes in Design Space and centered my text on them.
The rest of the process was pretty much the same, and I made sure to check for a plastic coating on the front of them before applying the infusible ink. I also looked for specific instructions for applying the design onto this type of magnet. I learned my lesson there.
For additional tips and tricks for using infusible ink, check out this helpful post: Infusible Ink Troubleshooting: Tips and Tricks.
Do you want to try making some magnets now, too? I hope so. They are so much fun to do, and there are many different types and shapes of magnets to choose from.
Crafting is the answer. Who cares what the question is.