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A messy workplace kitchen is one of my pet peeves.

Where I work we have a kitchenette with a dishwasher. Everyone is supposed to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but my coworkers often leave their dishes in the sink and on the counter. They say they can't put away the dishes because they never know if the dishwasher has been run or not.

Last week I finally got sick of putting away my coworkers' dishes and decided to do something about it.

My solution took less than 20 minutes to make at my local makerspace, and since I already had all the parts it didn't cost me anything (even if I had to buy the materials it would have been less than a dollar worth of supplies).

Step 1: What You'll Need

The materials list for this project is very short:

  • adhesive craft foam (I used leftovers from one of my many other craft foam projects)
  • magnet

Since I am a member of YuKonstruct, an awesome makerspace in Whitehorse, I did this project on the laser cutter, but you could cut the pieces with scissors just as easily.

Step 2: Design

Since I was using the laser cutter, I made a very simple design in CorelDRAW. If you are doing it by hand, you could just trace a round object onto two different colours of craft foam.

I chose to etch the words "Clean" and "Dirty" onto either side and used some cute icons by Maxim David.

Had I been making this magnet for somewhere other than my very professional workplace, I imagine I would have come up with more interesting representations of dirty and clean.

Step 3: Cut and Stick

Craft foam cuts really well in the laser cutter, but I had to play around with the settings a bit before I was happy with the results of the etching. Eventually I was able to get the laser to melt the foam enough to make the image visible, but not go all the way through to the backing paper.

Once you've cut out your foam pieces (either with a laser or scissors) peel off the backing paper and make a little magnet and foam sandwich. Lining up the two foam pieces is probably the hardest part of this whole project.

Step 4: Put the Finished Magnet on the Dishwasher

Now that your magnet is done, stick it to your office dishwasher.

When you run the dishwasher, flip it from dirty to clean. When you put away the clean dishes, flip it from clean to dirty.

Watch in amazement as your coworkers continue to leave dishes in the sink.

<p>Bring your own dishes, wash and stow them away privately ,leave the lazy lumps to do their own</p>
<p>Why so intense as to laser cut it? I would just use a magnet and glue/tape some pieces of paper I wrote on to it.</p>
<p>Intense? When you have a laser cutter available to you, it's just so easy (and fun) to do <em>everything</em> on the laser. As I mentioned in the instructable, you definitely don't need to use a laser to make this little magnet.</p>
<p>Okay.</p>
<p>Lazy is permanent. Just toss anything moldy!</p>
<p>Not so easy to do when they are using the office's plates and mugs!</p>
<p>That would work for me and is to easy to not make. Thank you.</p>
<p>Okay I understand what you did and think it is great idea as well. But being how you stated your co-workers presently don't take care of their own dishes, being clean or otherwise, who is going to flip the labels when the dish washer is finished?</p>
<p>The people who turn on the dishwasher and put away the dirty dishes are not the same ones who just leave their dishes out. </p>
<p>Okay I understand what you did and think it is great idea as well. But being how you stated your co-workers presently don't take care of their own dishes, being clean or otherwise, who is going to flip the labels when the dish washer is finished?</p>

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Bio: For more about my costumes, crafts and general craziness, check out my blog: http://modmischief.blogspot.com/
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