Saturday, March 6, 2010

how to make your own magnets

When I moved into my own place I wanted to be able to decorate my fridge with random stuff but I had no magnets and seriously couldn't find ANY at Target, Safeway, or the Dollar Store (which I thought would have them for sure). I eventually found some at Michael's but they were super weak and wouldn't even keep a postcard sticking to the fridge.

Thankfully, I have a very crafty best friend and she taught me how to make magnets! She rules. So now in the interest of paying it forward, I'm going to teach you how to do it, too.

First, you'll need a few things. You'll probably have a couple of these items already, the rest you can buy at Michael's or any other large craft store.


  • Magazines or catalogs (no need to go out and buy any, especially if you get catalogs because they're FILLED with potential magnet material).
  • Card stock and/or those thick "subscribe now!" inserts found in magazines.
  • 3/4" round magnets. Some Michael's stores have 50-pack magnet sets, get at least 1 packet because you're going to want to make a zillion of these. Trust me.
  • One 3/4" hole punch.
  • One bag of 3/4" glass marbles. These are usually by the dried flowers and vases. Make sure to get ones that are as transparent as possible.
  • Epoxy glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Newspaper or other random paper to put down on your work station.

The whole process is super easy. First get the card stock and punch out as many 3/4" pieces as you can.

Then, line up a handful of magnets and put a lentil-sized dollop of epoxy on it. You can use a toothpick to smear it around a bit--I just used the tip of the epoxy. Press the cardstock onto the magnet and move from side to side to make sure the glue has spread around.

Now comes the fun! Go through all your old catalogs and magazines and look for pictures that would make cute magnets. Don't just look for images or logos, find pretty patterns and colors (this is where all those catalogs you get in the mail come in handy!). Take one of the marbles and place it over the image to make sure it looks good and will fit. Use the scissors to quickly cut out the image you like--I just cut it into a medium sized rectangle--and place it to the side.

Once you've gone through all your magazines and cut snippets of magnet material, use your hole punch to create a perfect magnet-sized picture. I used my hole punch upside down and slipped my magazine cut outs so the image was facing me and I could see what I was actually doing--highly recommend this!

Then, simply put another dollop of glue on to your cardstock-ed magnet and place each hole-punched picture on top. Repeat this process with the glass marbles. And voila! You have home-made magnets!

Keep the magnets on a flat surface for several hours because it takes a while for the glue to dry. If you move them or try to use them too soon the glass marble won't adhere and will slip off.

Note: the glass marbles come in a large bag and not all of them are ideal. I would go through them quickly before you begin and set aside the ones that are too hazy or have cracks.

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