Glass Pebble Magnets

I learned how to do this really neat little project from a visit to the Work*Shop in Austin a couple of years ago.

These adorable glass magnets make great little gifts, original kitchen or office magnets - as well as a terrific craft for an older child, a teenager or a real grown-up like me. If you do take the time to do it properly, these may be the most satisfying fifteen minutes you spend on an artsy-fartsy craft and end up with a really unique-looking creation, one that finally answers the elusive search for form and function.

What you need:
- Transparent glass pebbles with a flat back, the kind you find in the flower arrangement section of your local art/craft supply store. Try to choose the clearest ones you can, you should be able to see your chosen design underneath. It's okay if the pebble shows a little bit of a moiré effect as they often do, it may even add to the charm of the finished piece. You can use different sizes, but it's easier to work with the larger ones.
- Small scale images, anything that strikes your fancy, as long as it fits inside the pebble's diameter and can handle a glop of glue - images from wall calendars work very well. When choosing your image, remember that the glass pebble has a slightly magnifying effect.
- Mod Podge, or other strong glue that works with glass and dries out clear
- Strong magnets, slightly smaller than the pebble you're working with.
- Scissors

How to:
Trim the image you chose to the size of the glass pebble. Don't worry too much about exact borders, you can always trim later (See last picture).
Put a drop of glue on the image, and press very firmly to the glass pebble to adhere - make sure to smooth out the bubbles. Let dry (remember to clean up the mess from the glass while still wet - it won't ever come out otherwise and you'll just have a dull piece of glass to show for it).
Trim the image if necessary (always the case with me), but only after the glue has dried - trust me, you don't want to glue your scissors permanently shut.
Make sure the back of the pebble is dry enough and the picture will not move before glueing on the magnet. Let that dry for a couple of days before using. That's it!


Neda said...

I remember this! We had so much fun, even the kids had fun with this great craft. By the way, I am quite heavy-handed when it comes to glues, so I always put too much Modge Podge and it leaves a milky film if you are not careful. A couple of glue suggestions: the Liquitex gloss medium and varnish (expensive) or better yet the very-affordable and versatile Crafter's Pick Glue ("the Ultimate"). Both dry clear in less than an hour max.

Debi Cates said...

I love reading all your how-to's, inspiring yet practical. They make me laugh at things I'd probably learn the hard way, too. Like, "Trim the image if necessary (always the case with me), but only after the glue has dried - trust me, you don't want to glue your scissors permanently shut."

ceramyk said...

I want to use images I printed on my computer, any suggestions on a glue that wont run the ink?

Rima said...

Hi, Ceramyk, hope you get this reply. I just received your comment, with a bunch of others - Blogger seems to be acting up - sorry!
I've always liked good old ModPodge myself, it bonds well and dries quickly. Usually acrylic mediums are better, but I don't know how well they would adhere to the glass, prob not v. well.

I think the best thing is trial-and-error.
Hope this helps