Thursday, 12 May 2016

Magnetic family tree photo gallery

Magnetic family tree photo gallery
Fridge magnets are incredibly useful, but on my fridge they all tend to look a bit messy. Graphtec sells magnetic "paper" that cuts like butter and is super easy to use. Over the past three years or so of having my Silhouette, the file that I have used time and time again is a collection of tag shapes, of which this bracket shape is one. My fridge is the first thing I see as I enter the house, and I love having this family gallery of photos to welcome me home, no matter how scattered the family may be around the world.

They can easily be moved around and the photos changed as the family grows, and are always commented upon by visitors. I can also have a shopping list to match, and grab the piece of paper on my way out to the shops. This is an easy project for a beginner.

Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
Patterned paper or card
Vinyl if you want to make a tree

  1. For the size I used, draw a square as shown below. Open the design file for the bracket shape, select it and click on Ungroup. Delete the shapes you do not require.
  2. Adjust the size of the bracket file to give as thick a border as you want. Select both shapes, and in the top menu, click on Align, Centre and then group them. I have filled this with black to help you visualise the shape. This will be the magnet shape.
  3. Image 1 (left) and  Image 2 (right)
    To make the decorative paper shape (I used papers by Tilda), I learnt it is best to make it slightly bigger than the magnet. You can see from the shape in the image below/left, that the black magnet edge is slightly visible. The image below/right shows how it will look on the back once finished if you make an offset, which is much neater.
  4. To do this, select and copy the first shape you made. Ungroup it. Select the internal square and make an internal offset of 0.2 cm as shown by the red outline in Image 2 above. Then select the bracket shape and make an (outer) Offset of the same size. You will now have four outlines. Delete the ones shown above in green. Select the two outlines that are left and Group. This will be used to cut out the patterned paper.

  5. Place an adhesive magnet sheet onto a Silhouette cutting mat with the white side facing up. It will cut the other way round as well, but this is a good habit in case you want to cut out letters that are the right way round! Feed it into the machine. Select the Adhesive Magnet Paper cut settings in the software and adjust your blade accordingly. Cut out however many pieces you require. Remove the magnet paper from your cutting mat and pop on your patterned paper.
  6. Adjust your blade settings to cut out the paper or card stock on both your machine, and on your computer. Making sure you use the second shape you designed, cut out the same number of offset patterned frames. With the paper I used, I was not bothered about the pattern being totally centred. If this is important to you, you would need to use a Pixscan mat to place the shape exactly where you wanted on the pattern. I expect to cover this in a later tutorial.
  7. The last step is to peel off the white liner to expose the adhesive backing of the magnet and stick the paper on the magnet. You could take this simple project forward by decorating the frames some more, making a bigger frame for a neat shopping list or sticking a vinyl or paper tree shape behind the photos and arranging your photos as a family tree, as I showed in the top photo. 
I hope you enjoyed my project, and will give it a go!

Magnetic family tree photo gallery


Light hold cutting mat for Cameo

Tree file by Pebbles in my Pocket ID # 60954
5 Bracket tags by Lori Whitlock ID # 27839


  1. Super tutorial Hilary, I must try out the adhesive magnetic paper. To date I have used only the printable version of the magnetic paper and have been so impressed by how easily it cuts.

  2. I love this, will defo make for the family as we have lots of new little people who need added to the fridge hall of fame :)