Introduction: Wooden Save the Date Magnets

About: Restoring a century home in Cleveland, together with my wife and three cats.

We wanted a unique save the date gift, something that our guests might actually keep past our wedding! After searching for something besides the usual printed magnet calendars, we settled on making our own!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

For this project, you will need the following materials:

  1. Pre-Cut and sanded 1.5” diameter wooden disks
  2. Magnets to affix to the back, ½” diameter works best
  3. A short piece of 1 x 4 pine, about 6” long
  4. Two Popsicle sticks or other pieces of wood
  5. Utility knife
  6. ½” or smaller wood chisel
  7. A pencil
  8. Your custom rubber stamp (more in Step 2!)

We learned while making these that the post office can mail anything up to ¼” thick. When you assemble your envelop, attach the magnet to your Save the Date card using two-sided tape and attach it behind the return address. That way post office’s processing equipment to handle the envelope and cancel the stamp! We chose a 1/16” thick neodymium magnet.

Step 2: Your Custom Stamp

We designed our own stamp, and ordered it from Paper Source. The stamping machine will give you fantastic and repeatable results – so important when your making dozens of gifts! For this project, any 1.5” diameter stamping shape will work.

You can build your own stamp here

Step 3: Getting Started

To help keep the stamp in the middle of the disk, we needed to build a jig to hold the disks and keep the magnet aligned. You will need a few materials. I used a scrap piece of pine 1x4, and about 5 inches long. Also a couple of pieces to align the stamp machine. First we'll layout the base for our jig.

  1. Start by setting your stamp machine on top of the wood block, try and keep it centered.
  2. Press down on the stamp machine and make a mark on the wood
  3. Without moving the machine, carefully trace around the outside of the base with a pencil

Step 4: Lining Up the Disks

With the stamp mark on the wood block, we have a few more layout lines to make. Marking the outline of the wooden disk around the stamp will show where we need to remove wood to keep the disk centered.

  1. Set a wood disk on top of the stamp mark, check to make sure it's as centered as possible
  2. Trace a pencil outline around the disk
  3. Using a sharp utility knife, scribe around your pencil line, about 1/8" deep
  4. This line will help use to chisel out the center of the circle and keep the edges crisp

Step 5: Carving Out the Circle

With the lines marked and scribed around the disk, it's time to start chiseling out the recess. Don't be intimidated, you don’t need to be perfect, but the flatter you keep the bottom of the hole, the better your results will be. I used a 1/2" chisel, but anything around that size will work. A clamp is helpful to hold your workpiece down and keep your fingers safe.

  1. Start at one edge of the circle and rock your chisel side to side to start carving
  2. Once you're about halfway across, turn the block around and start from the other side
  3. Eventually the disk will pop out, use the corners of the chisel to refine the edges

Step 6: Check Your Fit

Place the disk in the recess you've just carved out. If it doesn't sit flat, use your pencil to mark the places where the disk hits the edge of the hole. Use your chisel and utility knife to clean up all around the edges until the disk sits flat in the hole. The hole doesn't need to be deep enough so the disk is flush with the surface, just enough to hold the disk in place.

Step 7: 1Time to Test

Place a disk in the indent you just carved out, and line the stamping machine up with the pencil lines we drew earlier. Firmly press the stamping machine down and mark the disk. Check and make sure the whole image lands on top of the disk, adjust the hole if it’s off center. If the machine hits the disk before making a mark, you may need to chisel the pocket deeper.

Step 8: Add Stops for the Stamp Machine

You could stop here, but to make your jig even more effective, let's add some stops to line up the stamping machine.

  1. Take your two pieces of scrap wood and line them up to the lines you traced around the outside
  2. Hold them in place using spring clamps or hot glue.
  3. Any wood scraps will work. I used some pieces I had, but you could also use popsicle sticks or paint stir sticks.

Step 9: Go Crazy! Stamp All the Disks You Have

With the stops added, check your results again. Using spring clamps let's you adjust the stops for a perfect stamp. Hot glue is easy to pop off if you're not happy with the results. To make a temporary hot glue joint, count to 5 before you press the stop down onto the glue. Waiting these extra seconds lets the hot glue start to harden and makes a removable glue joint.

Step 10: Glue on Your Magnets

Using a hot glue gun, glue the magnet to the back of the disk. I used a steel nail to handle the magnets and keep my fingers away from the hot glue. No need to be perfect, you can eyeball the center of the disk.

This is a fast and easy way to make magnets for any occasion. We sent these save the date magnets out with our cards; and had great response! This personalized touch to your rustic wedding is a unique gift for your guests and so different than the printed magnets everyone sends!

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