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Making Gem Magnets

Updated on September 21, 2007
Gem magnets
Gem magnets

These fun little magnets are simple to make, but are still really neat looking. You can use them to add your own personal creativity to your fridge, filing cabinet or locker door. If you like making gifts for friends, these are ideal stocking stuffers for Christmas.

Step 1: Your Materials

You don't need a lot of supplies to make these. You will need a button magnet (about ½ diameter), a glass gem, glue, an image, and clear silicone.

The gems are round pieces of clear glass, usually found in the floral display section of a craft store. They are flat on one side, and rounded on the other (sort of like a marble sliced in half). The magnet should be fairly thick, to have the strength to stick even once glued to the glass gem. Clear silicone can be found in the hardware store, or in the adhesive section of a craft store. Your chosen image can be cut from a magazine, a personal photo or something you've created yourself. It should be the same size as the magnet.

Step 2: Cut Out Image

Trace around your magnet to create a circle around your chosen photo or image, and cut it out. A hole punch would be helpful, though it can be hard to get the punch positioned just right over the image to keep it centered. Scissors or a craft knife would be fine. If the edges are a little uneven, it should still be fine. The edges of your image will be blurred by the edge of the glass gem anyway.

Step 3: Glue to Magnet

Using regular white glue, glue the image to the face of the button magnet. Make sure it is centered. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Add Silicone

Add a small dollop of silicone to the face of the image. You might need to experiment a bit to get the right amount. You really don't need much.

Step 5: Place Gem

Stick the gem onto the silicone, pressing carefully to make sure the silicone spreads to the edges of the magnet evenly. Wipe off any excess silicone that oozes out. Leave it to dry overnight.

That's it. You now have a neat little magnet that gives your image a bubble or fish-eye look to it. Photos that take up the entire circle will look the best, rather than a small image with a plain background. The bending effect is strongest around the edges.


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      CTStudios 8 years ago

      Nice job writing up this tutorial; I always like seeing silicone listed; gives that touch of waterproofing. I'd suggest not using magazines for the image, however, as all images in magazines are generally protected under copyright.

      Thanks for sharing these instructions ... Magnets are a great, and colorful item we can all make for gifts.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      I have many of these little gems, and you just gave me a great idea for making little magnets to give away to my customers with the theme being "Have a shining new year!! " thanks!!!