Magnets are tiny pieces of art, and with the right design, can be marketed to anyone. While the craft creation is as easy as gluing a magnet to another object, there are several things that can set your creativity apart from the competition or find your own niche market.
Here are some common, simple magnetic crafts to get you started:
1. Glass Pebble Magnets
Glass pebble magnets are very popular, and therefore, you will have a lot of competition. Make sure that you use quality materials and that your craft the magnets to look right. You can either purchase the materials separately or together in a kit.
- If you are selling locally, create designs that celebrate your area and try to commission them to small gift shops. Use images of landmarks or maps to resonate that hometown feeling or a travel memento.
- Sell band magnets to record shops or magnets based on popular books to independent book stores. Look at the shops around you and use your imagination to find a unique niche.
- Layer images, stickers, and paint to create a small collage behind the glass.
- Create watercolors or drawings of plants, animals, or objects. Duplicate them with a high-quality printer, then use the images behind the glass for a completely original piece.
- Use words or images that mean something to a broad range of people. You can also put common household chores on them that people can use as reminders.
For a different effect, create shattered gems, then either paint their backs or place them over images for a stunning effect. Though there is added risk if done improperly, the process is easy and will give you additional options when creating glass magnets to sell.
2. Painted River Rock Magnets
If you have easy access to river rocks, find several small flat rocks that can be polished, painted, and turned into magnets. Even if you don’t have a river nearby, you can purchase some for the same purpose. If you want to sell the magnets in sets, try to find stones that are similar in shape and size.
Play with size options. While painted rocks on their own are generally a bit larger, you may want to go with a smaller size for magnets. A stone with a diameter of 2 inches is a good size for a magnet.
How should you paint your magnets? Here are a few ideas:
Instead of painting the smooth rocks, you can also engrave the stones with unique designs using a high-quality engraver, such as the Dremel 4300-5/40. You can also use paint or glaze after engraving for a different effect. Experiment for fresh ideas on how to make your product better.
3. Bottle Cap Magnets
Beer bottle caps make the perfect sized magnets. While you can collect them (and try to reshape them) from the beer you drink, you can also purchase unused caps in bulk.
- Fill the inside of the bottle cap with clay or plaster and mold or paint images over it. You can create “miniature pies” very easily in this way. Create a bouquet of flowers or carve letters into the medium. Carefully paint your creation with a glossy paint to finish.
- Affix an image, stamp, or sticker either to the inside of the bottle cap or to the outside. If you want to sell the magnets in groups, make sure that the images relate to each other in some way.
- Use small glass pebbles inside a bottle cap with an image or paint between them.
You can use a dimensional adhesive to act as a clear epoxy for your magnet. Make it as thick as you need and give it time to dry.
4. Plaster Based Magnets
There are several molds that you can use Plaster of Paris ceramics. Mix these with other mediums and paint or gloss them nicely to get a professional look.
- Florals are very popular, especially if you do sets in a variety of colors
- Create magnets that celebrate specific holidays
- Basic shapes like hearts and stars can be painted in the same you’d paint the river rocks (see above)
If you decide that you want to take your ceramic magnets to the next level, experiment with creating your own unique molds.
5. Magnets Made from Scrabble/Domino Pieces
Scrabble pieces are very popular in crafts because of their size, versatility, and the fact that they have a letter on each piece. The good news is, you don’t have to buy numerous games in order to get the pieces, because the pieces can be purchased on their own in bulk.
Dominoes can also be purchased in a variety of colors due to their popularity both as a game and for stacking. You can decide whether you wish to use wooden or plastic ones for your venture.
- While you can attach magnets to the back of each scrabble letter, you can also form words, such as “peace” or “joy.” Attach these to a thin piece of decorated wood, then glaze them.
- Flip the pieces over (or use blank pieces) for burned or painted designs that you can place at the end of a word. You can also use it instead of a vowel.
- Dominoes are a perfect size and weight for magnets. Use a dimensional adhesive or strong glue to affix images to the dominoes or sell them in sets that can line up correctly.
- Use beads, glitter, and other materials to make the dominoes stand out.
- Super glue small metal charms or rhinestones to the front (and top) of dominos after they have been decorated.
You can spray-paint both kinds of pieces to start out with a “blank slate” for several new forms of art.
6. Engraved Wooden Magnets
Wood can be carved into several shapes or be left in its natural state. While we recommend having thin slices of the wood, the ultimate shape is up to you.
- If you have an engraving machine, create a couple of samples and visit local attractions or restaurants. Ask to speak to the manager or the person in charge of marketing and show them your work. Explain that you can create custom designs in bulk. Ask if you can make a few for them to trial on commission. You may be able to pick up a few small contracts that will generate money for you over time.
- Advertise locally (or on Etsy) the ability to make special magnets for events, such as the birth of a child, a family reunion, or a wedding. Personalized magnets can serve as both announcements and party favors.
- Engrave or burn common sayings, names, or images onto the wood.
- Use a combination of engraving and stain or paint to create a unique piece of art.
If you still want to use wood, but don’t have a wood burner or an engraving machine, use paint or glue paper images to the wood, then cover it with a glossy finish.
7. Magnetic Objects
You don’t have to create flat magnets with the sole purpose of holding up documents or pictures. Find everyday household objects that could be improved with a magnet. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking: