Introduction: Liquorice Allsorts Fridge Magnets Using Sugru
You will need the following:
- Neodymium magnets (I used 9mm diameter/3mm high cylindrical magnets)
- 5-10 minutes modelling time
Optionally, you may also want to use some rubber or plastic gloves. I didn't use them myself but they will keep your fingers clean and may stop you from leaving finger-prints on your creations.
You can get neodymium magnets from a number of places. I got mine from eBay.
Step 1: A Cautionary Tale
Before I get into it, I'd like to point out something, which is common sense, which I was guarded against but which still caught me out, and will catch you out too if you're not careful.
If you are doing any modelling work with Sugru and rare-earth/neodymium magnets you will want to pay attention to this.
Keep magnets a safe distance away from each other and a safe distance away from metal objects.
There's nothing so annoying as, having finished modelling two magnets, to have them attract to one another, roll, and slam together. To get them apart will involve undoing everything you've just done. Even worse, if they are two different colours they will mix and you will have even more of a mess on your hands.
The stronger the magnets, the more careful you need to be.
With each additional layer of Sugru, the minimum safe distance decreases, so, at the final, finished stage, you can safely leave them a centimetre or so apart if they are on their flat edges.
You won't be likely to use the hilariously/dangerously strong Neodymium magnets that exist on this particular product, but they come with their own caveats, of the finger-breaking variety...
Step 2: Create the Liquorice-y Centres
I found that a single 5g pack of black Sugru was enough to create three liquorice-y centres. If you create larger or smaller allsorts then this may vary.
The size of my liquorice centres was roughly the diameter of the cylindrical magnets I used, plus enough to cover the outside. If you replicate this Instructable using larger magnets, the diameter of the liquorice centres, and the allsorts, will be larger and you may need more Sugru to finish them.
I first ripped off a measure of black Sugru and rolled it in my palm to form a roughly cylindrical shape, before pushing one end of it down onto a magnet.
I continued to roll the cylinder back and forth while pulling the Sugru down to envelop the magnet. You will see from the picture on this step that there is a much more pronounced cylinder shape to the bottom of the black blob, this is the magnet.
The hardest part is to even up this cylinder shape without undoing what you've done already. It can be very frustrating to do "one final touch" to make it "perfect" only to uncover the magnet, or leave a huge dent, or make it top-heavy (see picture). As I found out, a "perfect" cylinder is almost impossible, and you reach a point where you have to call it a day before your 30 minutes is up and the Sugru starts curing that way forever.
Besides, if you look at a real liquorice allsort, you will see that they are all a little different. So it wouldn't do to make your magnet look too perfect.
The most important thing is to get the magnet oriented with one flat round side at one end of the black "liquorice" centre. This will be the fridge-most side of your finished magnet. If you end up with the magnet embedded in the centre of the cylinder, depending on the strength of the magnet, it may be too weak to hold anything to your fridge.
Once this step is done, you should leave your liquorice centres to cure for 24 hours. You could move onto the next step immediately, but you will be making life harder for yourself.
Step 3: Wrapping the Liquorice-y Centres in Coconutty Coloured Goodness
The next step is to take some coloured Sugru. I used orange (my favourite flavoured "allsort") and blue (which I may have to concede never existed in reality). There was definitely never a green liquorice allsort.
In real life, liquorice allsorts are fairly irregular. Therefore, it's no big problem if yours aren't perfectly cylindrical, or there are bumps and bits missing.
Take a 5g sachet of your chosen colour, and remove the Sugru from the packet. I then rolled it into a "worm" shape in my palms until it was relatively even in thickness, all the way along, and about an inch long.
I then laid it down onto my work surface, and flattened it down a little, until it was slightly less wide than my liquorice centre was tall.
I then laid the black cylinder down on the coloured flattened worm, and rolled it up.
In some parts, your outer coating will be too fat, and in some parts, too skinny. To even it up to your liking, roll it around on your work-surface or palm, squeeze it, smush it and remember that it doesn't need to "perfect"!
If you end up with some coloured Sugru bleeding over onto the ends of your black liquorice centre, you can scrape it off easily with a craft knife blade, or your fingernail.
If, like me, you don't wear gloves, you will end up with finger-prints on your creations. You can either leave them there, as I did, or use a flat edged tool, dipped in some soapy water to flatten the edges. Personally, I like there being some evidence that I made them, and they aren't noticeable until you're really close to them.
Step 4: Final Thoughts
What would I change?
This technique uses quite a lot of Sugru. Which I suppose isn't strictly necessary. It should be possible to build a form around the magnet and only apply an outer facade of Sugru.
The first step, building the black, "liquorice" centre required positioning the small magnets I had at on or other of the cylinder ends. And this means that the magnet is only strong enough to hold things if that magnet side is positioned against the fridge door. If I were doing this again, I would get some longer cylindrical magnets so that they could be used either way round.
Apart from that, I'm really happy with the way they turned out! Please vote for me in the Sugru contest if you liked it!