DIY Travel Souvenir Ornaments, Part 2: Magnets turned Ornaments

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Way back when I did my very first Christmas post of the season, about salt dough US map ornaments, I talked about how I always have very good intentions to buy lots of pretty souvenir ornaments everywhere we go on our trips. And then I always find that our travel budget can’t keep pace with my very good intentions, and I come home with….not very many ornaments.

So the map ornaments went part of the way toward remedying this tragic shortage of road trip souvenirs for our Christmas tree. But I wanted MORE–something that gave us more of a visual reminder of the details of our trips. And do you know what’s way cheaper than ornaments and what we DO do a good job of buying most everywhere we go?


I was pretty excited when I came up with the idea to turn our magnet collection into temporary ornaments. Most of the time, the magnets stay on the magnet board in our trailer, but they’re going to spend their December hanging out on the tree in our sunroom instead.

At first I was thinking of using magnetic paint on these, but I’ve heard mixed reviews of the holding power of such paint, and some of the magnets are pretty heavy, so I kept thinking until I came up with an alternate plan. Finally it occurred to me to use magnet tape instead, and it worked out beautifully.

materials for ornaments

You’ll Need:

4″ plywood craft rounds (or however big you need for the magnets that you want to use)

magnetic tape

Rustoleum Chalked paint in charcoal (or whatever you want, obviously. I was originally planning on chalkboard paint, but it needed primer and this didn’t, so this won).

hot glue gun and gluesticks

bakers twine


What to do:

*spray paint the craft rounds an allow to dry:


magnets and craft rounds

*Cut magnet tape and add a square or two to each circle. I found that some of the magnets were too heavy to stay with just one square, but two right next to each other worked no matter how bad ass the magnet in question:


*Use hot glue to attach bakers twine to the back for hanging. I subscribe to the “no such thing as too much glue” school of thought here:

travelorn07s travelorn06s

*Attach magnets and hang on your tree!

travelorn04s blue ridge parkway magnet ornament

I’m ridiculously excited about these. I love our magnet collection, so having an extra way to show them off for a month out of the year is very satisfying for me. And when the tree comes down, all the magnets go back out into the trailer, and the empty circles get packed away with the rest of the ornaments. And next year I get to make a whole bunch of new ones!

make souvenir ornaments from magnets collected from your travels. Easy and inexpensive DIY project! travelorn11s travelorn12s

The Independence Hall one is part of a series the National Parks have out now; we’re collecting as many of them as we can because we love them so much (well. Mostly Ari and I do). Hoping to collect a bunch more this summer!

Travel souvenir ornaments without gift shop prices. Turn inexpensive magnets into temporary ornaments. Complete photo tutorial



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