Craft Alert: Magnetic Reminders

Free-form flower magnet for the dishwasher.  Photo and craft by Cecilia Kennedy

The dishes in the dishwasher may be dirty, but that’s no reason to resort to boring and ugly methods for warning people about the bacteria-laden dangers slathered onto the plates and utensils inside. There are more aesthetically pleasing ways to protect the members of your family who reach directly into the washer and eat from the surface of whatever is inside. That’s why I’ve created a magnetic flower “sign,” which can be placed onto the door of the dishwasher when the dishes inside are dirty. Previously, we’ve just shoved a paper towel into the top of the washer and closed it so that it dangled around the front panel of the door, but I’ve walked by it several times and have asked myself, “Don’t we deserve better?” We do! We really do!

The paper towel in the dishwasher drawer “sign” to indicate that the dishes inside are dirty.  Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

So, I’ve taken matters into my hands and have sounded an emphatic craft alert so that Nate, Alex, and the cat can take shelter or field trips—or anything they deem necessary in order to survive the 10-15 minutes it took for me to make this craft for the dishwasher. Here’s what you’ll need if you decide to make this project:

1) Magnetic backing/strips, which you can find in crafts supplies stores, OR: I used the magnetic “Student Driver, Please Be Patient Sign” that Alex no longer needs, since he has his driver’s license. Nate didn’t want him to remove this sign from his car, but I had planned ahead and bought “New Driver” magnetic strips to replace the “Student Driver” sign. Either way, Alex is still safe AND embarrassed. 😉

2) Origami or tissue paper—cut into square pieces—any size really.

3) Tape/stapler/ “Gorilla Glue.”


Use one square piece of paper—any color—as a background.

Then, just pinch the middle of the other squares and twist them around in any which way so that you end up with a free-form flower of sorts. Hold it together with staples or tape .Use any means necessary.

Tape, staple, or glue the “flowers” into the center of the background square.

“Gorilla Glue” the whole thing onto the magnetic backing/strips.

Results/Further Experiments:

Unfortunately, Nate and Alex were busy when I sounded the craft alert, so they didn’t make it out of the house in time. However, after viewing the resulting craft, Alex gave me a very enthusiastic “thumbs up.” Nate, on the other hand, expressed concern about the message it was sending.

“Does the pretty flower sign mean that the dishes are clean or dirty?” he asked.

“If you see this magnet on the dishwasher, it means that the dishes are dirty. It’s the opposite of what you would think. That way it’s easier to remember.”

“Of course,” Nate said. “Of course.”

Then, he told me that while the flower was cheerful and festive and everything, there was no reason to sound the craft alert.

“Yes, there was a reason to sound the craft alert,” I argued. “We can’t keep dangling paper towels from the dishwasher door like they’re some kind of sad ‘surrender’ flag. I had to do something!”

“We already have something that’s even better,” he said with a smile.

Then, Nate opened the pantry door and took out a magnetic chip clip. He placed it onto the dishwasher door and at first, I didn’t think this was such a good idea, but then he placed a bag of chips into the teeth of the clip, and the whole look just came together.

The chip clip solution–with a bag of chips in the clip. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

“It’s perfect! It’s a look that says, ‘The dishes are dirty; have a snack that does not involve dishes. Just eat from a bag.’”

Still, I couldn’t let a good flower project that involves “up-cycling” a student driver sign go to waste. Also, there’s plenty of room on a dishwasher door to display as many signs as needed to get a “dirty dishes” message across.   So, this is the new procedure for now—and I think it’s pretty clear:

–If the dishwasher door is displaying the chip clip with the flower magnet in its teeth, it’s perfectly fine to open the dishwasher door and use the plates inside. They are clean.

–If the dishwasher door is displaying the chip clip with a bag of chips in its teeth and the flower magnet is also on the door at the same time, the dishes inside are dirty.

–If the chip clip has both the flower magnet and the chips in its teeth, half of the dishes are clean and half are dirty. It’s up to you to figure out which ones are clean. Choose wisely.

–If more flower magnets suddenly turn up and the New Driver sign is missing, Alex, you’re in trouble 🙂

Your Turn: What’s a craft you’ve made recently?





29 thoughts on “Craft Alert: Magnetic Reminders

  1. LOL! With fabric pens, for the first time ever, I wrote on the back of my gray workout T-shirts: Working to Restore God’s Original Factory Settings. I’m quite proud of how straight and neat they look. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s wonderful and hilarious all at the same time, and much better than the el-cheapo magnet I bought that says Dirty and Clean and you have to swivel it accordingly. Only it won’t stick to the dishwasher so it’s on the refrigerator, which makes things confusing for strangers…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ‘Use any means necessary’. Lines like that are why I follow you 😉
    I’m a little befuddled over the need for the signage though, and learning that you can BUY such signage; do your dishes go into your dishwasher clean enough to be confused with ones that have been washed? Either way, I love that you are constantly striving for crafty moments. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your sources of confusion are exactly why I follow your blog and enjoy having you as a follower:) I clearly did not do my homework. I didn’t realize such things existed already and now I just want to buy one of those signs/magnets, but it sure was fun to make a craft. I should have also explained that Nate often cleans the dishes well enough to be confused with clean dishes. I do not make this mistake. I figure–that’s why we have the dishwasher! Thanks so much for your comments–I had a good laugh:) Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have a relative, who shall remain nameless, who really does wash pots and plates before they go in the dishwasher. I do not understand this. Thankyou for clarifying that dishwashers are really there for this purpose. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hahahah! Your humour is so refreshing, you always make me chuckle. Loving the craft & an interesting idea! The ambiguity of when the chip clip has both the flower magnet & the chips in its teeth ups the ante a bit, that one really could go either way. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the craft! Maybe the flowers mean “If you eat from these dishes, you’ll get sick and die and we’ll have to send flowers to your funeral?”

    I’m not sure I’m packing way too much into a little (lovely) piece of art. XD (Or that my humor is not too dark)

    Liked by 1 person

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