Handmade for the Holidays: Marble Magnet Tutorial

Handmade for the holidays

Okay, before you start heckling, telling me that you've been making marble magnets since you were the age of 3, hear me out. First, I am always amazed by how many people do not know about marble magnets. They are such an easy and simple gift and are a big crowd pleaser around the holidays. Plus, I've got these puppies perfected to an art form so I may have a few tips that you don't know about. Convinced yet? Okay, here we go...

First begin by gathering your supplies.


* flat back floral marbles (check the floral section of your local craft store)
* magazines, paper scaps, scrap-booking papers
* E6000 (or another strong glue)
* white glue or decoupage medium (a glue that dries clear)
* strong magnets (choose a suitable size for your marbles)
* optional but strongly recommended: a circle paper punch in a size that matches the size of your marbles.

Circle punch

Use your paper punch to punch out circles from your magazine pages, paper scraps, or scrap-booking papers. Choose corresponding colors and prints that will look good together. I like to use scrap-booking papers when I make these for gifts because you can easily tailor the colors and images to fit the person you are giving them too. You can do goth or shabby chic, or anything in between! Using magazine pages can also be fun and it's a great way to re-use and recycle.

When choosing a circle punch, it's better that the circle is a little bit smaller than the flat back of the marble (as opposed to larger). Just make sure the circles are also the same size or larger than your magnets (otherwise the magnet will show through the marble). For this tutorial, I used approx. 1 1/4" marbles, a 1" paper punch, and 3/4" magnets.

Gluing the paper

After punching your circles, you are ready to start gluing the circles to the marbles. Lay the marbles face-down so the flat side is facing you. As for the glue, you want to choose something that will dry completely clear and won't yellow or look cloudy. I like Judi-Kins Diamond Glaze or Crafty Chica Glossy Gloss Varnish. If you use a glue with a fine tip (like the Diamond Glaze pictured), you can spread the glue onto the marble with the tip. You want just enough glue to cover the whole back, but just a thin coat! If you are using decoupage medium (like Crafty Chica Glossy Gloss Varnish), you might brush on the glue with a paint brush. You can also put a little puddle of glue on a paper plate then "dip" the flat back of the marble lightly into the glue. Again, you want the entire back to be covered, but just a light coat.

Getting rid of bubbles

If you use the gluing method that I first described, you might end up with air bubbles. Pop the bubbles with a toothpick.

Let dry

Carefully center your paper circles onto the backs of the marbles. Press the paper down flat, no wrinkles!

Let dry

Brush glue or decoupage medium on the backs for added protection. Let dry for a few hours.

Getting ready to glue

Now you're ready to add the magnets. For this part, you'll need to use a strong glue or epoxy. Super-glue will work but I like E6000 the best (it's stronger than super-glue and won't seep through your paper like super-glue sometimes can). You might also want to protect your work surface. Plastic cutting boards or placemats are inexpensive and work great. Be careful, E6000 is gooey — and you also might get some fumes off of it so work in a well ventilated area.

Spreading glue on magnet

You can try spreading the glue straight from the tube to the magnet. E6000 can sometimes come out of the tube pretty fast and it's pretty gooey so this might not be the best method for you, especially if using a smaller size magnet (like the half inch ones). In this case, spread the glue on with a toothpick. You have more control that way.

Placing magnet

Center the magnet onto the back of the marble. Apply a tiny bit of pressure for a snug fit.

Letting the glue dry

Let the glue dry for at least 24 hours. Trust me, the E6000 may SEEM like it's dry after a couple of hours but it's best to wait the full 24. Otherwise you may have some magnet fatalities!

Finished marble magnets

After 24 hours, flip your magnets over. Ta-da! Now don't these look nice?

Packaged marble magnets

I like to package the large magnets in sets of 4. I put them in adhesive seal bags. They look much nicer than if you put them in zip-lock type bags. You can create labels or tags for them on your computer if you wish. When I make the smaller (3/4") magnets, I like to package them in little tins. You can get the tins in the wedding favor section of your local craft store.

Magnets on my bulleting board

Here they are on my bulletin board. The bumper sticker says "Don't blame me, I voted for Etsy!" And that's a bottle cap push-pin. If you are nice, I might show you how to make those too.

I hope this one wasn't too easy for you. I'll try to keep a good mix of projects going to please the novice and advanced crafter alike. Oh, and I should also mention that while YOU might think these are easy, your non-crafty friends will be extremely impressed!

Stay tuned for next week!


Tamie Snow said...

Another great tut! Keep it up!!!

belle said...

I love these and I am one of those lost souls who did not know how to make marble magnets..perfect for my 2 year olds nose!
love your site! great cut out and keep find

Missy said...

ooh! I love this one! I want to make some of these! Congrats on your 400th post! OMG! I haven't even done 200~ LOL!

Missy said...

ooh! I love this one! I want to make some of these! Congrats on your 400th post! OMG! I haven't even done 200~ LOL!

Purplelotusblossom said...

I love them! And the circle
hole punch! The glue on my magnets fell off so they fell off my fridge! :( Take care!

Peechy said...

WOW!! how supafab are these!

Thanks for the tut!! Been meaning to do some of these for the longest...think last christmas.... this really has motivated me.

simone said...

It's lovely!!!Thanks

Sarah said...

Thank you for this! I wasn't able to hunt down any Diamond Glaze at Michael's today so I used a glue stick that dried clear. I might go to Hobby Lobby tomorrow to see if they have it there.

I'm rambling. Thanks so much for this tutorial!


Anonymous said...

Where did you get the circle hole puncher? That's cool! :)


Ps. I can finally view blogspot now. YAY! Maybe its time I started blogging again.

Purplelotusblossom said...

What is the best glue to use to stick the paper part backing (not the magnets)? I tried the paste thing...but I think its not strong enough...(I am referring to my comment on August 28, 2008)! :)


Peptogirl said...

I usually use regular white glue - anything that dries clear (except paste?) lol. They sell Diamond Glaze at U Bead It (and I think Bead Fetish) but not at any of the other craft stores in town. It's great for jewelry collages because it dries clear and is similar to resin but easier to use ;)

Anonymous said...

When you package them in this way do you have issues with them sticking to each other?

Amy Cluck said...

Not sure if you mean because of the glue or because of the magnets? Make sure the glue is thoroughly dried before packaging. As far as the magnets, they are attracted to each other but you can make them stay flat in a package. Hope that helps!

Rachel said...

HELP - I am using E600 and the black from the magnets are showing threw any ideas on what to do for fixing this?

Amy Cluck said...

Hi Rachel,

Your paper must not be thick enough. Try adding a white circle of cardstock between your design and the magnet.

Good luck!

LisaandDenny said...

me too! I have black showing through also! They are quite clear prior to applying the E6000 and the magnet. I used modge podge to adhere the decorative paper to glass gem. I will try adding a layer of card stock also.

Andrea said...

I can't find diamond glaze anywhere so I used a modge podge that I had. Unfortunately it made the ink on my pictures run (I had printed out pics onto computer paper). So I used the E-6000 glue to attach the pics to the marbles and it fixed the running issue, but now I have huge bubbles that I can't get to go away. What would you recommend if I want to print out my pictures? Do you think printing to photo paper will prevent running? Is there another glue I can use (that can be easily found in stores) that might prevent running? Have you had problems with bubbles? How do you make sure you don't get them? I'm making these for a fundraiser, so I want them to be good quality. Thanks!!

Amy Cluck said...

Hi Andrea,
I couldn't find way to contact you so hopefully you check back here. I have tried printing my own as well and the ink does smear. You would probably have the best luck printing on a matte paper or cardstock (glossy photopaper is probably even more likely for the ink to run). Anything you can do to sort of dab the glue on rather than brushing it on should help. I wonder if you could cover the images in clear tapr or contact paper before gluing them? Sorry, I haven't had much luck with this either so I don't have a good solution. Good luck!

Andrea said...

Hi Amy, thanks for the reply! The clear tape idea is GENIUS!! I'm going to try that :) I'll let you know how that works out :D


Marta said...

I know this is an old post...but maybe you can help me.

We're going to be making these magnets at a party and I'd like the guests to be able to walk home with theirs. But if the glue takes 24 hours to dry, that can't happen. Do you think I could put them in personal boxes and they'd be fine? I'm not sure if cardboard or tin would be better. With tin, the magnets would stick to the bottom which might be good or bad. I just don't want them to fall apart.

Amy Cluck said...

Hi Marta,

Yes, small boxes will help. If you use E6000, its not a real slippery glue so if you keep them still for the most part, they will stay that way. Tin would be okay as long as use care when putting the magnets in the tin box, making sure the marble doesn't slide to the side of the magnet. If guests keep the boxes upright, they should stay in place.

Hope that helps!

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