With the arrival of February 14th each year comes the inevitable question of whether you’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day, SAD (Singles Awareness Day), Galentine’s Day, or Staying-In-Bed-With-The-Cat-Day*. Well whichever the case, we’ve got the perfect DIY gift for you and your Valentine/fridge/gal pals/fridge (because cats don’t care about magnets silly!).
*While not widely adopted officially, Staying-In-Bed-With-The-Cat-Day is a highly therapeutic activity recommended to singletons and couples alike.
What you’ll need:
- Concrete/cement mix – we used Fast Concrete Repair from Sakrete
- Digital scale
- Silicone alphabet moulds
- Small but mighty magnets
- Sandpaper (220 grit)
- Acrylic paint
- Varnish (not pictured)
- Water & disposable plastic tub (not pictured)
Decide on the custom message that you want to spell out for your beau/giftee, and measure out the appropriate amount of concrete/cement mix into a small plastic tub. With our cement mix from Sakrete, we roughly needed about 160 grams of cement mix to make about 7 letters.
Measure out the recommended amount of water to mix with the cement, and add it in. The final mix should be more of a wet slurry, rather than thick and chunky so add in additional water if needed. Mix with a spoon thoroughly until smooth.
Place one magnet into each letter mould that you will pour the cement mixture into. Try to place it in the centre of the letter, or near the mid-point at the top of each letter. Then pour/spoon in the cement and water mixture carefully into the moulds. The moulds we used would produce letters measuring 1.5 cm (5/8″) if filled to the top, but we wanted something a bit leaner so we only filled the moulds about half way.
Once you’re done pouring into the letter moulds, gently lift the whole mould and drop it/tap it on the work surface several times. This will help eliminate some of the larger air bubbles that may otherwise be trapped in the letters. Then set them in a cool spot where they wouldn’t be disturbed and let dry for a day or two (depending on the mix you’re using).
When the letters are fully dry, peel them from the silicone mould carefully.
Take each letter and carefully sand away the rough edges on the side that was facing up. Since the magnets are embedded in the back side, we will be painting the top – which means that they should be sanded as smooth as possible. Work in a well ventilated space for this step, as you should not be inhaling any of the dust that may result from sanding. To help minimise the dust, wet the letters in some water before sanding.
Clean the letters fully so that no dust/loose particles remain. Then you’re ready to paint! Choose any colours that you think your giftee would like and paint a solid coat of one colour onto the letters. Then to achieve the ombre effect, paint a second colour onto one end of the letters, gradually blending the two colours as you get closer to the middle. Remember to do this on all the different sides of the letters, not just the front.
Once the paint is dry, brush on a layer of varnish over the painted areas to protect your heartfelt message for all of eternity (or something along those lines…).
Time to tell the world/your friend how you really feel:
There you have it – pair these custom letter magnets with some cute photos and you’ve got the perfect gift for yourself or anyone else you would like to treat this February 14th. If you decide to give this tutorial a shot, we would love to see the results! Tag us on Instagram @demetres to show us the goods, and make sure to tune in later this week for another fun how-to 🙂