Photo Magnets – Soooo Easy & Soooo Cute!

I made these magnets for both my nephews who graduated this year from high school to give to guests who attended their graduation party. The photos were from their senior pics (be sure to get approval from the photographer if it is copy-righted). They were a huge success at both graduation parties! This was Pinterest inspired and I used the following link as a guide: http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/living/2010/01/19/easy-diy-marble-magnets/

This post is lengthy, sorry! It’s the nurse in me! I tend to be very detailed when I give directions, lol. Anyhow, most websites that have this magnet craft on it omits the fine details that you learn the hard way after spending time & money on this project! So I thought I would share some tricks/hints I learned from making 300 of these cute magnets and spare you the grief of learning all of it the hard way:

  • Do yourself a favor and purchase a 3/4″ round punch stamp! After about 5 times of trying to cut out a perfect 3/4″ circle you will understand why the punch stamp is a must! I got mine at Michael’s for $7.99. You can find one at any craft store in their scrapbooking section.

  • I couldn’t find the exact glue suggested in the link above and found two different glues that worked fine. Just be sure that it clearly states on the package it is intended for use on glass and will dry clear. I bought my first tube from Flower Factory for $2.99 and the 2nd tube from Michael’s for $3.99.

  • Both Michael’s & Hobby Lobby sell the 3/4″ heavy-duty round magnets in packages of 50 for $6.99. If you are not fortunate enough to have either a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby near you…first off, I’m soooo sorry for you! Secondly, you can go to their websites and order them online 🙂 You will want the heavy duty magnets, the thin sheets of magnets will not hold the weight of the glass rock.

  • I picked the 5 best senior pics (well, the ones I liked the most) and used a photo editing software to crop them into a perfect square around their head. Choose as many different pics or use the same pic! It’s totally up to you 🙂

  • I wanted my magnets to be super glossy so I sent the rows of 3/4″ squares to Walgreens.com to print on an 8×10. I was able to get 130 3/4″ squares on one sheet! The cost was $2.99 but Walgreens always has photo specials! They often have one day only sales in which 8×10 prints are FREE! I can’t really say if pics printed from your home printer (whether laser or jet) would work? Not sure if when you apply the glue if the colors would run? They didn’t run a lick on my pics printed on photo paper by Walgreens 🙂

  • Your pics are square but all you need to do is center your 3/4″ round punch stamp over the picture and “punch” out perfect circles! After cutting about 30 pics out with your punch stamp, you will find that the edges aren’t as crisp. This is because the blade is becoming dull. Oh what to do?! What to do?! Well, don’t fret! This is an easy fix! Take a piece of tin foil from your kitchen and fold it in 1/2. Punch out several pieces of tin foil. The tin foil acts as a blade sharpener and your punch will begin to cut with crisp edges again! So don’t throw out dull punch stamps!

  • I am lucky in that when we invested in TV trays, we really only could afford the cheap, ugly metal ones and not the nice wood ones that have the wood block tops. We aren’t ones to get rid of something just because it is cheesy or out-dated if it remains functional for us. So we still have our ugly metal TV trays and use them daily for everything! They were perfect for this project! I was able to make the magnets and stick them to the tray immediately. This way the magnets would stay put on a flat surface until the glue was dry! You don’t want to hang your magnets on a fridge or any upright metal item, the glass will slip down on the magnet before the glue totally sets!

  • I bought the glass beads/aquarium rocks/flower arrangement glass rocks, whatever you want to call them from Flower Factory. There was approximately 200 glass rocks in one bag and it cost less than $3.00! Be sure to check and make sure the glass beads you purchase are approximately 3/4″ in diameter. There are ones that are smaller or bigger. You also want to make sure that one side is flat so that it will adhere to the picture/magnet.

  • Polish your rocks! The rocks are cut glass and fine dust settles on the surface. This will interfere with the glue! I just took a dry dishcloth and made my 15-year-old polish each rock…oh how happy he was to help out (not!)!

  • In hindsight, the more background, the better! What I mean is that if you size your initial square crop too close to a person’s head, it will look like a big bubble head once the magnet is made! This is what happened when I made photo magnets of our son, Spencer, for his birthday party! Good thing he is cute as a button since they all turned into big bubble heads! LOL

  • Don’t be afraid of the rough flat bottom of your glass rock! Amazingly, when you add glue and press down the glass onto the magnet, the glue gets into all those grooves and the magnets become crystal clear with no ridges! Having said that, those ridges also allow for air so be sure to push down hard for about a minute on each one allowing the glue to set up. Glass glue is not “instant drying” glue. You can expect that it will take truly 24 hours to totally harden so don’t rush it or the glass will move off-center in the end!

  • The reality is that the glass stones are not perfectly 3/4″ and sometimes the pics hang over the edge of the glass (they don’t hang over the magnets because they are exactly 3/4″ in size). Look closely at the pic above and you will see the edges on some magnets appear to be “hanging” out of the glass. I personally believe that imperfections always add to the charm of anything hand-made. It reminds the recipient that it was not machine-made and all items made by hand are made with lots of love 🙂

  • Have fun with this! For one nephew, we used a metal document holder that always was on our desk. We printed his little “thank you” note onto the center of a yellow piece of paper (one of his school colors) and used the magnets to hold the paper to the metal document holder. This created a stand for the magnets and they were placed on the gift/envelope table so that folks dropping off grad goodies were able to get something in return! For our other nephew, we printed another “thank you” message in red on white paper (his school colors were red and white) and put the paper down on a cookie sheet. We then used the magnets to hold the “thank you” note in place. The cookie sheet laid flat on his gift/envelope table for guests to take!

This was really simple to make! AND cheap! How often can you make 100 personal “thank you” gifts for under $18.00?! For those who suck at math like me, that is 0.18 cents a gift! $18 includes the cost of professional printing your pics, the glass rocks, the glue, the magnets and the 3/4″ round punch stamp! So the next time you make magnets, it will be even cheaper because you won’t have to buy a new 3/4″ round punch stamp! Folks at both graduation parties just couldn’t stop talking about how cute the magnets were 🙂

I am really looking forward to making some Christmas magnets to give as gifts! Pick your favorite Christmas sayings, photos and/or clipart! You can then pick a Christmas print cardstock paper (found in your scrapbooking section at any craft store) and cut out a rectangular-sized paper. To get your magnets to stay where you want, place the magnet on the front of your cardstock and use a metal washer behind the cardstock to “lock” the magnet in place! Oh, oh, oh…even better! Cut out a Christmas tree shape and the magnets can be “ornaments” on the tree! I think a set of 6 magnets would be a perfect gift to give! Who doesn’t have magnets all over their fridge?!

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Now you can personalize your OWN set of magnets! What ideas do you have for these photo magnets?? Need ideas on how to package your glass magnets? Check this post out: Packaging Glass Magnets.

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2 thoughts on “Photo Magnets – Soooo Easy & Soooo Cute!

  1. This is a wonderful tutorial! Could you explain how you were able to crop the pictures to an 8×10? What program you used?

    • I actually used Microsoft Publisher. Well, first I cropped the photos to 1×1 inch squares and then lined them up across the page in Publisher. I left a small space between rows so I could cut the rows apart and have a strip of photos. Then I used a 1″ hole punch to punch out each pic. Hope that helps 🙂

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