Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Make a Glass Magnet

I made glass magnets for friends this Christmas. Magnets are easy to make, and these feel wonderful in your hand because of the weight and smoothness of the glass.

Here is a short tutorial so you can make your own.

Supplies you will need:
  • Glass pebbles
  • White cardstock
  • Rubber stamp
  • Black ink
  • Transparent paints
  • Super strong magnet
  • Gel medium or white glue
  • E6000 glue
First, you will need to look over your glass pebbles and pick out a few that are very smooth. I kept this magnet, and did not give it away, because the glass pebble has a flaw you can see to the left of the image. If the surface is pitted, or has extra glass bits or lines, the image underneath will be obscured. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn't. For your first magnet, try to find pebbles that are as smooth as possible. This example uses a 1-1/4 inch glass pebble. Be careful to get pebbles that are plain glass. I also have some that have an AB, or aurora borealis finish, but the pretty AB effect gets in the way of the image. I have not been able to use them for this type of project, and will have to use them some other way.

When I am making magnets, I try many different rubber stamp images under the glass pebbles. The glass magnifies the image underneath, so you can easily use a very detailed image. I like to put the pebble over the image I am thinking about using because it is easier to visualize the final product.

Okay, so you have chosen a couple of different images, and you have some glass set aside. Now for the fun part!

Choose a few different paint colors and paint a sheet of cardstock. Just paint some general areas of color - don't worry about overlapping, or full coverage or getting messy. Just make some color. After you are done painting, and your sheet has dried, you need to cut squares. Because these pebbles are about 1-1/4 inch diameter, I cut my background sheet into squares of that size.

For these magnets, I used a few different colors of Radiant Pearls paint. I really like the Radiant Pearls because they have a sparkle effect when you move the paper. I don't think they are made any longer, however. Twinkling H2O paints would also work very well, and have the same sparkle.

Now ink up your rubber stamp with black ink, and stamp onto your cut squares. If your image is a large one, just ink up the part you want to use under the glass. You can also lay your rubber down on the table and press your square onto it if the stamp is too large to work with.

Here is a Victorian image from Paper Artsy on a green, red, and brown painted square.

Let everything dry. You can also use an embossing heat gun to help things along, but sometimes this makes the paper curl.

Place a pebble over the image and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the image. You should cut well within the tracing line; it is difficult to closely trace the pebbles because of their rounded edges and if you don't trim the image it will stick out beyond the bottom of the glass.

Put a good layer of gel medium or white glue on the bottom of the pebble and then push the image down onto that. For these magnets, I used Ultrecht Artists' Acrylic Medium - Gloss Medium. The last time I made magnets I used a simple white glue from Aleen's. Just be sure the glue you use dries clear. When you first glue the image to the glass, it will look opaque and milky. Don't worry! As the glue dries, everything will clear up.

Use the E6000 glue to attach a super strong magnet to the back of the pebble. The E6000 needs 24 to 72 hours to cure, but it is a great glue, and really holds the magnets on. I have tried hot glue, but the magnets would come off. This industrial strength glue is the best. Before gluing, I try out my magnets on a metal filing cabinet, as sometimes magnets have a strong side and a weaker one, and you want the strong side to be out as the glass pebble can be a little heavy.

Good luck!


Stephanie Pettengell said...

Thank you for that super tutorial, the idea is also excellent and I will be trying it out very soon.
I really enjoy reading your blog,

Anonymous said...

Super tutorial! It is currently Sept. 2009, about 21 months since the date of the original posting. Are the adhesives you chose still holding up the way you wanted, and has there been any yellowing of the adhesives? Using your instructions, I am making some magnets now. There are so many adhesives to choose from, I was just wanting to check and see how your original magnets were holding up. Thanks so much!

betty2dogs said...

I have had no yellowing and everything is still holding up great! Good luck with your magnets.