Making cute food magnets with erasers.
Cuttlewig and I really, really love food. I think that’s why we both have an obsession with collecting – and making – food-themed paraphernalia of all kinds, like these dessert-themed magnets we made out of inexpensive, cute erasers yesterday.
We came up with this idea of using erasers because 1) we’ve collected so many since childhood that have been just sitting around because they’re too cute to use, 2) they’re really inexpensive, compared to other miniature foods you can make or find, and 3) they’re a great size for magnets.
Tons of cute erasers are available at stores that sell Asian stationery items. Packs of 3, for instance, are available at Daiso for $1.50, and several of the magnets I made, including the ones shown in the below photo, are from the dessert assortment. Of course, you can make magnets out of erasers of any kind, but food’s my personal favorite. :)
The erasers look pretty good as is, but I wanted to dress them up a little and make them look even yummier. As I’ve mentioned before, I love using nail polish for special effects paint, and it’s one of the reasons I have such an extensive collection.
For instance, I found a sparkly, juicy looking red glitter polish really enhanced the strawberries on the desserts, a sheer coat of pearlescent yellow-cream gave my pancakes a buttery sheen, and tiny, colorful glitters suspended in a clear base worked great as sugar sprinkles! It’s fun to experiment with these, and most of the polishes I used are inexpensive drugstore brands.
Of course, your needs and wants may vary, but in case you wanted to replicate any of my personal picks, these are the exact nail polishes I used (from left to right):
- Milani “Sugar High” – this is the really fine, colorful glitter that I used for the sugar sprinkles on the waffle cone (pictured below)
- Milani “Ruby Jewels” – this is the glittery, juicy red I used as my strawberry sauce
- Milani “Sugar Rush” – this is the larger pastel glitter that I used for the sugar sprinkles on the pink donut and two of the macarons
- Revlon “Heavenly” – this is an iridescent clear glitter I used for sugar on two of the macarons
- Confetti “Ice Ice Baby” – this is a fine iridescent clear glitter I used to simulate sugar crystals on the whipped cream on several of the magnets
- Julep “Sheryl” – this is a slightly sheer, pearlescent butterscotch color that I used to add a moist appearance to some of the cakes
- Julep “Amelia” – this is a slightly sheer, pearlescent cream/yellow that I used to simulate butter on my pancake edges
I didn’t stress out over being perfect with my painting, since we all know that strawberry sauce gets on everything when spooned onto a real dessert. ;) I could have been more careful, but honestly, I liked the more natural look.
I also used some Sharpie markers for some tinier details on my magnets: a red fine-tipped Sharpie to add the jam swirl to the roll cake, and a gold Sharpie to highlight the text on the chocolate decoration on the roll cake.
Once I was satisfied with my enhancements, I waited for the polish to dry completely and coated each piece in a clear gloss varnish. I did this in two rounds for each piece, so that I had part of it to hold on to, and wet varnish didn’t stick to the surface I left the pieces to dry on.
After the varnish completely dried, we used E6000 adhesive to glue small neodymium magnets (these are those super-strong rare earth magnets, so please be careful with them, especially around children!) to the backs of each eraser, depending on how we wanted the piece to look when in use. The glue will leave thin strings as you work, but don’t worry about those; they can be snapped off easily once it dries.
(TIP: When gluing on the magnets and waiting for the glue to dry, make sure to either set the pieces far enough apart from each other so that they don’t try to mate, else do the smart thing Cuttlewig did and make sure the magnets repel each other so they don’t try to stick together when you set them down!)
The glue sets within maybe an hour or so, but we let it cure overnight. The next morning, the magnets were ready to be used!
Functional and drool-inducing, all at the same time! I think they’d make great inexpensive and easy homemade gifts, too.
Here’s a material list, in case you want to make your own!
- Cute food erasers – we usually find these at stores that sell Asian stationery items
- Small neodymium magnets – we used 1/2″-diameter round and 1/4″-diameter round magnets, but feel free to use ones that best fit your project
- E6000 for gluing on the magnets
- Nail polish or paint in your choice of colors
- Sharpie markers for detail work (optional)
- Americana DuraClear Gloss Varnish or your choice of clear coat