Saturday, June 14, 2008

Marble Magnets

I love making the marble magnets I sell in my etsy store and at craft shows. They are simple (although there are a few steps) and they are just so neat! The glass marble magnifies the image underneath and it just looks clear and crisp.

Here is a picture of the front of a set of magnets. I have this set on my refrigerator.

Here is a view of the back of one of the magnets. These magnets are strong enough to hold 6 or sheets of paper securely. I love them!

Marcie (who is 1/2 of my favorite singing group, 40 miles North) asked how I make them. So, I thought I'd give you my long, detailed description. I discovered this fun idea on

So, here we go!

Like the article says, trim your images before you glue them on. I've seen people say glue it and then trim the excess off, but it looks terrible on the back and warps the image!

So, you'll have your images already trimmed and the marble picked out for each image. Then I use a dab of Aleene's tacky glue (sold at any craft store) on one image, press it onto the glass marble and then move the image around to get the glue all over. Let it sit for a short while (like maybe while you do a few more).

Then, while the glue is still slightly wet, press around the edges to mold them to fit the edge of the marble. (Do circles have edges?) That makes all the difference! If you don't do this step, the image won't sit flat on the marble and it won't look as good. The tacky glue goes on white, but dries perfectly clear!

Then glue your magnets to the paper on the marble. I use tacky glue for that, too, and it's always been strong enough. You can buy small magnets at Wal-Mart (10 for $1.10-ish) or super strong neodymium magnets from eBay (like I do), if you plan to make a lot.

Here are some extra ideas:
* consider the colors in the kitchen of the recipient, if giving them as gifts
* decorate an altoids tin (rectangle or circle) for a teacher and put a set of magnets inside--once the magnets are on her/his filing cabinet, they now have a holder for small odds and ends
* use magazine images
* use symbols from an old map/atlas
* use small photos (really small...), printed on regular paper/cardstock, not photo paper
* type names, silly words, etc up on the computer in a small font
* do a few for each child in their favorite color(s) and let them hang their artwork on the fridge--when they use up all their magnets, they have to take off old artwork to hang new (sneaky, eh?)
* use left-over wrapping paper to make holiday magnets you pull out each year
* glue a thumbtack to the back instead of a magnet and let Dad take to work
* glue a thumbtack to the back and let kids use to hang up pictures of friends/schoolwork on a bulletin/cork board

If you give these as gifts, you can put them in a tiny ziplock bag (you can buy 100 tiny craft zip top bags at Hobby Lobby for about $2 or less). If you're really ambitious, you could make a topper to decorate and staple to the top.

Let me know if you make some! I'd love to see pictures! Or if it's more work than you want to do, let me make them for you!


Kat said...

Thanks Jaime - I have a metal board in my little girls room I've been wanting to make these for.

Wendy said...

I want to thank you for this tutorial! I attempted this craft last winter, but chose magnents that were too week to support the weight of the marble. Now I know what to look for!

Very cool!

Linda said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I tried making these a while ago and I was disappointed in how they turned out. I see now that I used the wrong adhesive and I didn't trim the edges so I'm going to try them again. I used photos but I like your other ideas of wrapping paper and typing words. Thanks again!

care-in said...

I love making these but forget to use good ole patterned paper! I made some for some teachers using their favorite things. One teacher likes starbucks so I found the starbucks logo and used it.

tdavid said...

i've seen these before and wondered how to make them, thanks for the info!

Suzanne said...

I too made these but they didn't turn out very well! Where do you get the strong magnets?