February 4, 2015

How to: Glass Bead Magnets

Up until recently, my fridge has been solely decorated with magnets that my father bought me for Christmas a few years ago. They're kid magnets from the dollar store, made up of different shapes such as various parallelograms and triangles and they can be kind of fun to mess with. Generally, when left to our own devices, we try to create creatures or inappropriate objects, and have a little chuckle at our cleverness. However, these magnets, while fun to play around with, seem to serve no other purpose than as our fridge decorations. The magnetic tape that was used on the back was apparently not intended to actually secure anything. The strength is so pathetic that it generally takes two to hold up a standard size check or a third of a piece of paper. 

It's no surprise then, that when I found some cute DIY magnets on Pinterest I jumped at an opportunity to make some myself. I was bored a few Saturdays ago, and these seemed a cute and easy solution to the "Where is that wedding/birthday/shower invitation? Oh, it fell off the fridge again" dilemma we seem to constantly be having. 

My good friends, Jenny and Kevin, sent me a gift card for Michaels for my birthday because they're thoughtful like that (thanks, guys!) and so I took a little morning ride over to the store to splurge. My natural reaction to gift cards is to maximize the amount of stuff I can get without actually spending any of my own money, so I strolled over to the clearance section. 

Imagine my thrill and surprise when a pad of 180-sheet scrap book paper with various prints and designs was marked down from $19.99 to $6.99. Um, yes please? Is that even a question? Normally I refuse to purchase scrapbook paper simply for the fact that it is just too darn expensive. So I picked it up, along with a few canvas multipacks that were on sale, and a pack of 12 round magnets and hit the checkout line.

At the dollar store I grabbed a sack of flat-back clear magnets and some other odds and ends for future projects and went home. I sat down in front of Dexter (I'm watching the show for the first time) and made 10 cute magnets that are currently dazzling the front of my icebox. They're super easy and fun and require little to no craft skill and there are a million different ways to do them. I chose glitter and scrapbook paper, but you could use book pages, wrapping paper, photos, whatever! This is an excellent craft for kids or how-to noobies. 

What You Need

Flat-back marbles (like these)
Scrapbook or other decorative paper
Glitter - optional
Modge Podge
Round magnets
E6000 or other heavy duty glue

What You Do

1. Lay out your newspaper. This is just to keep glue and glitter off... well... everything.

2. Choose your paper and glitter colors. I chose five different glitter colors and five different pieces of scrap paper for a total of ten marbles. 

3. Sprinkle a small pile of each glitter on the newspaper (or separate piece of paper if you want). Just enough to cover the back sides of your marbles.

4. One by one, I painted a small amount of modge podge on the back of my marbles and pressed them into the glitter. I then set them aside to dry while I worked on my other marbles.

5. For the marbles that you use paper on, cut small pieces (I cut five 2" x 2" squares), one for each marble.

6. Hold the paper to the marble and using your scissors, cut the paper to fit the back of the marble (pretty side facing the back of the marble). 

7. Once you have the paper cut to the correct size, spread some Modge Podge on the back and adhere the paper to the marble so that you can see the pattern through the front of the marble. Set these aside to dry for a few minutes.

8. After all your marbles have dried, spread a layer of Modge Podge over the backs. This will help prevent the glitter/paper/etc from coming off. Let these dry 15 minutes.

9. Attach the magnets to the backs of the marbles using a thin layer of the E6000 or whatever heavy duty glue you have. Make sure to wipe away the excess the seeps out from underneath.

10. Let your magnets dry over night (magnet side up) and attach to the fridge!

I'm so happy with how these turned out. They were easy and fun to make and I wish I needed more magnets just so I had an excuse to make some more. I'll probably make sets of these for stocking-stuffers or little gifts in the future because they're just so adorable and pretty (and cheap!). 



  1. What a cute idea!! I have metal walls in my office (weird, I know) and I might have to make some for it!

    1. Thank you, Nicki! I think some of these are basically a requirement if your office walls are metal! No harm in spicing up the place, right? If we've got to work, we might as well do it in style!



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