Project #7, Karen West from Thimble Pleasures

Welcome Karen 🙂 You can visit Karen’s blog here and her website here


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Bean Mags

 

Bean Mags are refrigerator magnets made from fabric and stuffed with poly pellets and a tiny strong magnet, so they look and feel like miniature beanbags.

 

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As quilters and sewers, we all have little scraps of fabric that we cannot bear to throw away. But what to make with them?  Here is a mini-craft project that helps you create something useful out of your very small scraps. In addition to loving fabric, I am also fascinated with miniatures and magnets. I make very small quilts and embed tiny magnets into the batting in the corners so they will stick to a file cabinet or refrigerator. My grandfather was a high school shop teacher, and gave me magnets to play with as a child and taught me about their amazing properties. I don’t think this type of magnet had been discovered when he was alive, but he would have loved them. My co-workers thought I had flipped my lid when I showed up in the quilt shop with these!  I stuck them on a metal cabinet near the cash register and the customers loved to play with them. (Please keep these out of the reach of small children.)

 

Supplies:

Cotton fabric cut into 1-1/4? x 2-1/2? pieces

Thread

Craft glue or glue stick (I use regular paper glue stick)

Super magnets

Poly-pellets

 

Poly-pellets are made by Fairfield and are sold at Michael’s stores. They are in the batting and stuffing section. They are similar to the little beads found in the bottom of Beanie Babies. If you don’t have a Michael’s nearby, you can order them online here. They come in a 2 lb. bag for just a few dollars. That’s enough to make a zillion Beanmags!

 

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Super magnets are also called Rare Earth Neodymium magnets and are sold at some hardware stores. (they are used in woodworking). I order them online from AmazingMagnets.com. They carry hundreds of sizes and shapes, so the ones I like to use are these:

They are 1/4? diameter and 1/16? thick. You purchase 50 magnets for $6.50. 

 

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Instructions:

1-Cut fabric to 1-1/4? x 2-1/2?

2-Fold fabric piece in half so the short ends meet, with right sides together. The piece will now measure 1-1/4? square.

3- Carefully sew around the sides and top of the square using a 1/4? seam and a short stitch length. (2.0) Leave a 3/4? turn hole in one side edge. See diagram. It’s tiny so watch the fingers! Back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to secure. Use a neutral thread color. I used red so you can see it.

4- Trim a bit off all four corners.

 

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5-Using a small, pointed but blunt-ended object like a chopstick or a “Purple Thang?, turn the tiny pouch right side out.

 

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6-Drop in 2 magnets (I like to use two for extra holding power) and about 1/4 tsp of poly pellets. I work over a small bowl in case I happen to spill.

 

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6-Tuck the raw edges  of your opening down inside.

7–Using a toothpick or end of a straight pin, dab a little glue (scrape a little off the end of your glue stick) and put along the inside edge of the pouch

 

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8- Pinch the fabric edges closed and let it sit for a little while to dry.

 

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I don’t recommend trying to sew up the end, by machine or hand. The magnet will keep sticking to your needle, or your stitch plate (how do I know this?!)  Glue works just fine and mine have been in use on my fridge for several years without coming un-glued. Isn’t it cute?  Make another one while it dries. Then go throw them at the fridge and watch them stick!

 

Hint: To give a set of them as a gift, stick them onto something metal, like a metal spice can, otherwise they all want to clump together and they look pretty funny.  

 

Karen has many patterns available for purchase here. Many are fast, fun, crafty projects like this one.

 

Another Fabulous Project!!! Tomorrow…. Susan Mark Purney! :)

 

 

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7 Responses to “Project #7, Karen West from Thimble Pleasures”

  1. Amy Says:

    Holy Moly where have I been! Look at all these great projects!!!!! FANTASTIC!

  2. Tara B Says:

    My kids will love these! Too cute…

  3. Rachel Says:

    These are soooo cute. I love fun stuff like this for scraps.

  4. Susan Says:

    I love these! How cute and just perfect for those teacher gifts during the year! Thanks!! Oh, and thanks for telling us not to try and sew the edges up; I would not have thought of the magnets.

  5. Diane Says:

    I can’t believe it….I’ve been looking for something just like these to make for all the kid’s teachers. I have eight, 2 in elementry, 3 in middle and the rest in highschool. I can’t keep up with buying eight gifts each year for these wonderful educators. These beanmags are just the thing!!!!!!!!!!! I can even get the middle and older kids involved in making these.

  6. Kristi Says:

    Oh my goodness! I’ve never seen anything like this before.

  7. Amanda Says:

    I have really been enjoying these workshops! I’ve been saving them for later use. Thanks for posting these!

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