House Magnet Fundraiser

My stu­dents in grades K-7 recently raised over $2,000 using their artis­tic skills to ben­e­fit our local food bank!  We adapted this “Houses for Haiti” project (orig­i­nally inspired by “Haiti Houses”) to cre­ate charm­ing mag­nets which we sold for $5 each at our church one Sun­day, and we donated all the pro­ceeds to Sec­ond Har­vest Food Bank.  We had so many peo­ple ask­ing how they could make their own mag­nets, so I decided to post this les­son again!  You can click here to go to my ear­lier writ­ten les­son plan, or fol­low my photo tuto­r­ial below to see step by step how we did it.  
Step 1:  Gather your sup­plies!

You will need strips of thin card­board, (I cut ours to 1″ wide x 10″ long), assorted scrap­book­ing papers (I cut these to 3“x3” and gave each stu­dent a few pieces in a ziplock bag), glue stick, mag­netic tape (1/2“x3/4″ per mag­net), scis­sors, mask­ing tape, paint brush and non-toxic Triple Thick gloss glaze.
(I put as much of this as would fit into indi­vid­ual ziplock bags to make the pass­ing out of sup­plies quick and easy!)

Step 2:  Cut a square (or a rec­tan­gle) from your card­board. 

Step 3:  Cut a tri­an­gle off the end of your card­board. 

Step 4:  Put LOTS of glue on both pieces.  Be sure to go right to the edges! 

Step 5:  Glue each piece to the back of the paper you want to use.

Step 6:  Cut out around your card­board shapes. 

Step 7:  Rub a heavy line of glue across the top 1/4″ of your square piece. 

Step 8:  Place the tri­an­gle (roof) over the line of glue on top of the square (house) and press well. 

Step 9:  Cut out a rec­tan­gle of paper (no card­board on this piece!) and glue in place.  Add win­dows the same way, if you want them.

Step 10:  Peel off the paper back­ing from a 3/4″ piece of mag­netic tape. 

Step 11:  Stick mag­netic tape to the back of your house and press well. 

Step 12:  Make a tape roll with mask­ing tape and stick it onto a piece of card stock that explains what your fundraiser is for.

(If you’re not mak­ing these for a fundraiser, it’s still help­ful to stick the magnet-backed houses onto a card or paper before apply­ing the glaze.  This allows a way for you to han­dle or move your house as needed while the glaze is dry­ing.)

Step 13:  Stick your house onto the tape roll. 

Step 14:  Sign your name!

(This ended up being sur­pris­ingly impor­tant to our cus­tomers!  Many peo­ple ended up buy­ing these to give as gifts and wanted the recip­i­ents to see the child’s name in his or her own hand­writ­ing.  The mag­nets that kids for­got to sign con­sis­tently got put back on the table in favor of those with sig­na­tures!)

(Most stu­dents wanted to make sev­eral houses!  They espe­cially enjoyed keep­ing track of how many meals their houses would pro­vide.  Our food bank is able to pro­vide 4 meals or 3 pounds of food for each dol­lar donated, so that means each house sold pro­vided 20 meals for some­one in need!)

Step 15:  Apply “Triple Thick” Gloss Glaze.  Squeeze out the biggest pud­dle you can with­out it run­ning off the sides!

(You will prob­a­bly want an adult to do this step.  It’s not dif­fi­cult, but there’s a bit of a learn­ing curve to get­ting just the right amount of glaze on each house so that it looks thick and glassy, but doesn’t run over the edge!)

Step 16:  Gen­tly push the Triple Thick just to the edges with a stiff brush.  Let dry (lay­ing flat) for at least a cou­ple of hours.  Wait overnight before stack­ing or they could stick together!

The Triple Thick is the “secret ingre­di­ent” to this project!  It gives a beau­ti­ful, glass-like fin­ish, and it’s even non-toxic… every­one will be ask­ing you how you did it!

The next time we sell these, I plan to also have a glue gun and some pin backs handy, and give our cus­tomers the option of con­vert­ing their mag­net to a pin (for a small fee!).
Another thing we learned is to give par­ents a week before the sale to come in and pur­chase their child’s magnet(s) ahead of time.  That would be much eas­ier than dig­ging through hun­dreds of mag­nets to find that spe­cial one!
All in all, a great fundraiser for a great cause!  
We sold enough mag­nets to pro­vide 
over 3 tons of food, or 8,000 meals!

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6 Responses to House Magnet Fundraiser

  1. Kathy November 8, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    This is fab­u­lous. I am so glad you shared this idea. I plan on using it for our Imag­i­na­tion Day in Jan­u­ary. Con­grats on all the money you raised for the food bank.

  2. Deb December 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    This is a great idea! You’re very cre­ative and gen­er­ous with your ideas. Thank you!

    Oh My Lit­tle Clas­sity Class

  3. Jacqui April 6, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I love this idea! Awesome!

  4. Thomas Marino September 4, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    I love this project. How do you approach a food bank and how do you set up this fundraiser?

    • Cheryl Trowbridge September 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      We part­ner with our local food bank to raise money for them every year. Every­one (par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers) loves sup­port­ing them so that helps to drive sales, and these house mag­nets were adorable so that helped, too! At the end of this fundraiser last year, a local real­tor bought every­thing we had left to give as gifts to his clients… cute idea! Then we just wrote one check to the food bank. It was a fun project and really mean­ing­ful for the kids!


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