Glass Marble Magnets

Visit any gift shop today and you'll likely see glass marble magnet sets.  These are surprisingly easy to make yourself!  For Christmas 2008, my husband and I made as many as twenty sets to give away as gifts.  (He's the one that came up with the great packaging idea.)
For the images, you have a myriad of options.  We used two methods.  I opted for recycling greeting cards that I had saved from past birthdays and holidays.  My husband found images in clip-art or our own photos, transferred them to a circle template on the computer, then printed them out on cardstock. 

You will need:
images on cardstock
paper punch (1/2" to 5/8" will fit most glass beads)
clear glass beads/marbles (about 3/4" round)
clear silicone adhesive sealant
small, round magnets (no larger than 1/2" diameter, 1/16" thick)

Optional for making your own containers:
canning lids and rings
gold and/or silver spray paint

Note about the magnets: you can find small round magnets at any craft supply store, but if you want to buy the stronger magnets, called neodymium rare earth magnets, I recommend buying them online.  Several sellers on Etsy offer them and you can find them on Amazon, too.

1. Select images and use the paper punch to cut them out.

2. Sort through the glass marbles and remove any that are very oval or are excessively scratched.

3. Cover your working surface with scrap paper.  Apply a small dab of silicone adhesive to images (about five at a time); center a glass marble over each image and press down (this part is really fun for some reason).  Make sure there are no air bubbles.  If there is excessive glue around the edges, gently remove with a toothpick.  Your fingers will get messy, so keep a dampened paper towel handy.  Invert glass marbles and allow the glue to dry for at least an hour.  Repeat with remaining marbles and images.

4. Apply a dab of the silicone adhesive to a magnet and press onto the back of a now-dry glass marble.  Center the magnet.  Invert the marble once again and repeat with the remaining magnets and marbles.  Allow to dry for several hours, overnight, if possible.

5. To make your own containers, spread out rings and lids on newspaper in a well-ventilated area.  Following the instructions on the spray paint can, paint the lids and rings.  Allow to dry, then turn them over and paint the other sides.  When completely dry, glue lids into rings.

Of course, you can find great little tins at craft supply stores. 

Suggestions for finding supplies:
paper punch - Michael's or other craft supply stores, online (
glass marbles - WalMart or Michael's (UPDATE: I've had a hard time finding plain, clear marbles at these stores, so I'm now ordering mine from
silicone adhesive sealant - WalMart or online
magnets - some craft supply stores, but for buying in bulk, search online (
canning lids and rings - WalMart, some grocery stores, online
spray paint - hardware stores, craft supply stores

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