Make Your Own: Magnets
Finding fun magnets that you love can be a challenge. Like so many things they can be expensive for just one small magnet. ($5 each?!) Well, you can save some money and have magnets you really love by making your own!
You can use magnet sheets and paste a picture to it. They aren’t as secure or as powerful but it’s a nice way to display things like school photos.
The way I made my magnets however, is using glass dome tiles and round magnets. It’s easy and fun, and you can use any image you want.
First I got the tiles, they come in different shapes and sizes. I used round and square tiles. The magnets are round and I’ve found them to be quite strong. Finally you need glue to put on the picture and glue to attach the magnet.
Glass Dome Tiles: Rockin Beads
(E6000 is the best glue I’ve ever used for when you really need a strong glue!)
Modpodge or something similar
Now that you have your supplies you need to find the pictures you want to use. With these supplies you can make tons of magnets, they make great gifts too.
The majority of mine are Studio Ghibli, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Labyrinth, BSG, Star Trek, and desserts. The hardest part initially is finding a picture that is still clear and looks nice after it’s resized. Once you get the template down though it becomes pretty simple. With any graphics editor make a box or circle that is just about the same size of your tile. A little smaller works best because the edges of these tiles start to curve up.
Logos work really well, Star Trek and Star Wars insignia. You don’t have to make geeky ones though! Nice pictures of flowers, hearts, abstracts, animals, photos, anything you’re interested in.
Once you have your box or circle you can resize your picture and print it out, preferably with many on the page so you don’t waste paper. Printer paper works great because it really sticks to the tile. Then just cut them out and you’re ready to glue.
You can stick a sticker to paper and use that too. I also used a few fabric scraps, mod podge wasn’t really strong enough for thicker fabric but it was ok with thin cotton with a few extra coats of glue.
When I first started making them, I brushed the mod podge glue onto the paper and put the tile on it. This actually caused some of the ink to bleed or look smeared, so the best way is to put the glue on the glass and press it down right on top of the paper. You need to rub it around a little to get any air out, and then coat the back of the paper again with glue. Let them sit paper up until dry and then give them another coat of glue. This gives it a really good seal for the magnet.
After your tile is all dry, there might be a little on the front of the tile but you can scrape it away with your nail. Then its time for the magnet.
E6000 is the best glue I’ve ever found, it’s really powerful and smelly so as they advise its ideal to use in a well ventilated room!
You just need a dab and then stick the magnet on, and press down really hard. They can slide around a little, it doesn’t have to be centered but you can push it into the right position before it dries. I always dried them glass down so the glue wouldn’t get on anything but as long as there isn’t any oozing out the side its fine.
Once it’s all dry you have a magnet! Yay!
With these round magnets there is another way! I have lots of button pins and don’t use them. I’ve lost too many on bags so they just end up in a box or sitting around. You can easily remove the back pin with wire cutters, then use E6000 to glue on the round magnet. They look so nice and you don’t have to worry about losing them like I have.
Basically with these magnets and this glue, you can make any small thing into a magnet. Like a Pokemon figure, a button, a lego figure, as long as it has a flat surface for the glue to stick to.
It’s ok if you run into issues, just play around with it and start with a few test magnets to get the technique down. The nice thing about the quantity is that you can afford to mess up a few times. You end up with some really fun magnets for yourself or as gifts for family and friends.