Sunday, February 12, 2012

photo magnets {tutorial}

One of my favorite things about Valentine's Day is that it's a perfect excuse to make personalized, handmade, lovey-dovey gifts.  And what could possibly be more personalized than a gift with your face on it?  :P  I'd seen some tutorials for making marble magnets using cardstock, but I found that the same rules do not apply for photographs.  I tried three different sealers and glues before I could find one that stuck and didn't ruin the photo.  So here it is.. a quick how to on photo magnets.

{ Supplies I used... }

  • Photos (shrunk them on the computer and printed 4 per a 4x6 page so they'd fit in the marbles)
  • Magnets (bought at Michael's)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Silicone Sealer (found at the home improvement section at Target, makes sure it's clear)
  • Clear Jumbo Marbles (you can also use the little ones if you wish, just make sure they are truly clear. Hold it up to the light, if you see any pink, blue, or green tinge, they're not clear.  Both kinds were at Joanne's.)
  • E600 (but any strong glue will work except a hot glue gun)
I tried using mod podge instead of the silicone sealer, but the glue refused to dry in the middle, no matter how think I spread it on the photo.  I also tried using just E600, but that damaged the photos I had and made them blurry.  It did work very well to glue down the magnets, however. :)

Start by choosing one of the marbles to work with (make sure it's not scratched, as a lot of mine were.  I also carefully washed all of mine before starting.) and tracing it around your photo.

Cut on the inside of the line, so that your photo is slightly smaller than how you traced it.  Put your marble over it and make sure the photo edge doesn't stick out anywhere.  You might have to trim parts of it to make it fit properly.  When finished, they should look like this:

...You'll notice two of those aren't photos of anyone.  :)  I chose to print some logos and pictures of stuff he likes, so he wouldn't be bombarded with our faces everywhere.  I also used photoshop to create a quick "happy valentines day 2012" one:

...I think it's cute. :)

Put a dab of the silicone sealer onto your marble.  I put on a lot more than was needed, because I wanted some spillover to ensure a good bond all the way around.  You don't have to put as much as I have on here.  Also, the silicone sealant looks white, but since it said "clear" on the tube, I knew it would dry clear, so don't freak out if it looks like that. :)

And then press the photo onto the glue until there's a good coat all around.  You can move around the photo if it's not centered (my sealer said it dried in 3 hours... so that gave me plenty of time!), and wipe off any excess around the edges.

Put them face down to dry.

Once dry, put a dab of glue onto the magnet, and glue them to the backs of your photo marble.

And... you're done! :)  Here is my finished batch:

They stay on the fridge quite well even though I didn't buy the "heavy duty" ones (couldn't find them anywhere), and even though I used jumbo marbles instead of the usual small ones.

Enjoy! :)

toastie studio


  1. These are so cute! Thank you so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  2. So cute! What a great job and a great tutorial! Thanks for commenting on my blog :)

    Leanne @ Because (I think) I Can

  3. These are ADORABLE!! Where do you get the flat large marbles like that?

    1. The ones I specifically used are from Joann's Fabrics, but I did see some at Michael's too (in the flower section). I believe you can get them at any craft store, usually in the flower decor section. :)

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    Ginger @