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Project Sheet

Make Your Own Magnetic Alien Message Board

Do it yourself for out-of-this-world savings

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
  • Completion Time: 2 hours

Nothing is more convenient than a family message board on the refrigerator door-- from grocery lists to important phone numbers to dietary reminders, these handy note boards make passing messages along in a busy household a breeze. The message boards found in stores are so plain, though, hardly fitting for fridges bearing the artwork and photographs that make an empty kitchen feel like home. With a little creativity and an assist from MisterArt.com, you can create your own colorful magnetic message board that's out of this world!

What you'll need

Before getting to work, you'll need to gather a few art supplies together. Don't worry; everything you need can be found right here on Planet Earth!

1. Starting out

Our first order of business is creating the chalkboard. A used or unwanted CD makes a nice, rigid shape for us to use as our message board. Using the chalkboard paint, spray down the CD with two even coats until the disc is smooth and black. We'll only need to paint one side of the compact disc; it doesn't matter if you paint the label side or the shiny side. Both take the paint just fine. For best results, let the chalkboard paint dry overnight.

2. Alien adhesive

Next, glue a sheet of black construction paper to the back of the green felt. This paper will give our limp felt a sturdy, rigid backing and will make it easier for us to trace out our template patterns.

3. Phaser printer

Print out the MisterArt.com template for the alien's body parts. If you aren't fond of our template, you can draw the shapes yourself, freehand. We'll need a head, two hands, legs, and two eyes. Once you've printed the shapes or drawn them on a sheet of printer paper, carefully cut out each body part using scissors.

4. Tracers

Next, place each body part face down on the felt's black construction paper backing. Using the white pencil, trace each shape on to the construction paper. After tracing, use the scissors to cut out felt copies of each template shape. Now our alien is ready for assembly!

5. Reverse autopsy

Using the glue, attach each body part to the painted CD. The head should go on first-- glue our alien's chin to the front of the chalkboard. At the bottom of the chalkboard, glue his legs to the back of the CD. His right hand, which is making the peace sign to ensure that Earthlings will not perceive him as a threat, should be glued to the back of the CD near his head.

The left hand is a bit trickier. We want to glue it on in such a way that it will grip a piece of chalk, forming a handy storage pocket. This can most easily be done by gluing his wrist to the front edge of the chalkboard first, placing the piece of chalk in his grip, and then gluing his fingers down. The glue is quick-drying, but using a clamp or a clothespin to make sure that the felt doesn't move during drying is a good idea.

Finally, glue on our alien's eyes green-side down. This way the backing will show, giving our alien black, insectoid eyes!

6. Space erase

With our alien complete, it's time to give him a spaceship. Take the sponge and first cut it in half using scissors or a craft knife, giving us a thinner piece of sponge with which to work. On the sponge's surface, sketch a U.F.O. flying saucer shape using the white pencil or a felt pen. Use the scissors to cut out the saucer, creating a U.F.O.-shaped eraser!

7. Magnetize

With everything cut and pasted, it's time to prepare our Martian for the refrigerator. Cut three strips from the magnet roll using scissors. Glue one strip to the back of the alien's head, one to the back of the compact disc, and one to the back of his peace-sign hand. The magnets will keep our message board in place on the fridge! Don't forget to glue a magnet strip to the back of the U.F.O. eraser, too.

8. Make contact

After the magnets are in place, attach the alien to your fridge or filing cabinet and scrawl a message for all to see using the chalk. Mathematics is considered the universal language, so if you have a message for otherworlders, consider writing numbers!

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