R is for Repurposing: A-to-A Challenge

I stumbled on this and after starting, thought, why not do it as a mini class?  A friend sent me a fridge magnet, and while I was popping it onto our fridge, I realized we had a couple of old calendar magnets.  I decided to recycle them.  (Materials list below.)

These are the flat magnetic calendars businesses hand out: one is about 3×4-inches, which became the horse, and the other is about 3-inches square, which became the fish.  Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the magnets before I started.  I used a 320 (any large grit will do) sandpaper to rough up the printed surface so it would accept acrylic paint.  I painted layers (I used Hansa Yellow Medium) to basically cover the print, though you can see it a bit through the thin paper, above.  Important tip:  Until you are adept at working with collage and bits of paper, especially thin paper, let the paint dry between coats on each step!

The green paper was cut a bit larger than the magnet (makes it easier to cover the piece completely), and “glued” on using acrylic medium as the glue.  With thin paper (both the green rice paper, above, and the hay paper with the horse, below) you can place it and brush it; with thicker paper it is better to brush both sides, top and bottom, for adhesion.  I trimmed the edges of the green paper to fit the magnet.

After the green was dry I applied the horse.  Tip:  Sometimes I want the edges to seem tattered, and instead of cutting the paper, I wet it with either my tongue or water on a brush, and tear it gently.    See the brown tattered edges below?

W14 DKP CLS REPURPOSE MAGNET 4When applying the medium, hold the paper firmly where you want it and start from the middle and work out, as shown above, then turn and work the next part from the middle, again, out to the edges.    Let the horse dry.

The next bits were applied all at once, but if you are a novice do them one at a time.   I cut 1/2-inch strip of the green and wet the top edge, and then tattered it.  I applied it with medium as if my horse was standing in the grass, brushing the tattered edges UP (let dry if you are doing so.)

W14 DKP CLS REPURPOSE MAGNET 12Next I added a strip of fake-calligraphy on rice paper with medium, because my horse will be a Zen horse.  It looks a bit oriental!  Let dry!

W14 DKP CLS REPURPOSE MAGNET 10Finally, I have some thick gampi/koza paper that can be torn, above, and I tore it to add some texture on the bottom.  It does help to have lots of bits of paper, and I save all bits!  If you have friends who like handmade decorative papers, it might be nice to have a paper swap.


W14 DKP CLS REPURPOSE MAGNET 21When the collage work was thoroughly dry — NO early bird here — I decided to paint the piece with Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels.  It creates a porous surface, matte, for Pitt pens or pencils or pastel.  I made another small bit of it in a herb jar (I collect them) and painted — you can see it does look white — and when it dries the white disappears.

After it was dry I decided to add color to the top of the horse, added one of my moons (I swear they are in all my art) and a phrase I want to see on my fridge!  And it is finished!

If you would like to know of classes I will be teaching, follow me on Facebook!

W14 DKP CLS REPURPOSE MAGNET 24Below, I show the fish from beginning to end without commentary.  Tip:  You’ll notice in the fish, below, I took some of that same gampi/kozo paper used in the horse, tore it and painted it with a bit of quinacridone gold on a piece of Plexiglas, then when it was just dry to the touch used it on the fish.

Materials: Old flat magnets, Golden Acrylic paint + Medium + Acrylic Ground for Pastels, bits of handmade papers I had previously copied images on running them through my front loading computer, brushes, water + Faber-Castel Pitt pens (or other indelible waterproof pen, or pencils or?) to add the final touches.  Tip: When I am doing collage put my medium in a clean herb jar — then I don’t worry about contaminating the medium.


My images/blog posts can be reposted with permission;
please link back to dkatiepowellart.  Class is ©D.Katie Powell

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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8 Responses to R is for Repurposing: A-to-A Challenge

  1. Sammy D. says:

    Katie – what an excellent idea! I hate throwing those magnets away and they can’t go in recycle bin. Niw I will enjoy receiving them. Either I will try your lesson or I will collcet them for an art project at a local school. Yours turned out nicely ( of course!).


  2. susanissima says:

    Wow! Are you sure there aren’t 3 or 4 of you? I’m beyond impressed.


  3. gaurikekre says:

    They are so cool!!! I hopped on to your blog because it resonated with my theme for A2Z Challenge. 🙂 I am so glad I found you 🙂


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