My 15-month-old has recently discovered the fun of magnets, which is pretty exciting for me as that gives her something to do while I work on dinner! I have yet to purchase a magnetic alphabet set for the fridge, but in the meantime, I whipped up a couple of simple four-piece puzzles using Instagram images. My daughter is still a little ways off from piecing the images together, but my older boys were surprisingly entertained by the puzzles (my floral images were abstract enough to be a small challenge). I created two puzzles in about 20 minutes. Here's what you need to get started:
Black foam core
Self healing cutting mat
Save Instagram images to your computer. Size down to 4" x 4" (I did this in Photoshop) and print onto photo paper.
On the backside of your printout, apply a thin/medium layer of rubber cement. Also apply rubber cement to an area about the size of the printout onto the foam core sheet. Wait a couple minutes for both surfaces to dry, then mount your printout onto the foam core, pressing and smoothing down firmly but gently.
To cut out your images from the foam core sheet, postion your ruler so that you are cutting the outside edge of the photo. This way, in case your blade accidentally goes wayward, you won't slice up your nicely printed image! Also, make sure you see a thin margin of image to the right of your ruler before you cut. You don't want an unsightly white line because you cut too far past the edge of the photo.
Flip photos around to backside. Make tick marks two inches in on all four sides.
Cut image into quadrants, using the tick marks as a guide.
Cut a 2" strip of magnetic tape and attach to the back of each piece. When finished, group puzzle pieces together, lay a piece of paper on top, then weigh down with a small stack of books. Let sit for an hour or so.
The puzzle pieces can also double as pretty magnets for your fridge!