Here's what you need to make them:
2 cases of Altoids (12 tins total), about $5/each at BJ's: $10
2 sheets of magnet paper, about $9/each at AC Moore: $13.50 (I used a 50% off coupon for one)
acrylic spray sealer (I also had this on hand)
shipping or address labels (I used half-sheet shipping labels that I had on hand)
random, cute scraps of paper (you might recognize mine from last year's project :)
some basic computer skills
rotary trimmer, or an x-acto and ruler
The most time consuming part of this for me was coming up with the text. The first draft was insane, but I was able to condense it down to the basics, I allotted half the page (which is also where the labels split) for each kid. The easy part is making it silly, the hard part is making sure your words/story parts work together. the hardest part is making the tense work with the verbs. I didn't go too crazy with it, but I tried to just keep everything past tense and have enough little words (on, it, at, of, etc.) and also add-on endings (ing, ed, s). When brainstorming I thought about it as if I was writing mad-libs and just added in as many variations and embellishments as I could. I did a mix of single words and story parts (like, "there was a" "later that day" "huge bowl of" etc.) Once I printed the text on to the shipping labels I was ready to carefully stick them down on the magnet paper.
|be sure to burnish them down well|
Once I had them all stuck down I sprayed them with the acrylic sealer (I did this down in the basement because it's stinky). Do this in 3 light coats (allowing it to dry fully between coats). I can't stress enough how important this step is, it takes the magnets from paper that will easily be ruined being on a refrigerator and turns makes it have an almost vinyl-like feel and appearance, so profesh!!
While they were drying/in between coats I got to work emptying the Altoid tins (maybe you're the type of person who eats a lot of Altoids and keep the tins - if so this is the perfect craft for you!) Unfortunately I don't eat that many, but now I have a huge jar of them, fresh breath forever!
When all the sheets were dry I started cutting them out. I used a rotary trimmer, but you could just as easily use an x-acto and a ruler, or even just scissors. I cut them into long strips and then just used scissors to cut the words apart from each other. I also included a few blank strips with each set so kids could add in any words/phrases they thought were missing. The tricky part here was that my rotary trimmer base it metal! Ahh! This made the sheets a little hard to wrangle, but I managed.
I snipped the words directly into each tin so that I wouldn't get the individual sets mixed up since I had personalized each one with the kids' names. This part took kind of a while, but since we had a blizzard today it was the perfect opportunity to get it done, plus I was so psyched with how they came out it was exciting to see it all coming together.
At the same time as I made the words I also made smaller labels (cut from the bigger, half-sheet shipping labels) in a size to fit the top of the Altoid tin. The final step was wrapping the tins with my paper scraps and sticking on the label.
And here's a quick story