You can make just about anything into a magnet, and I’m going to prove it to you!
1. alphabet. Has the kiddo outgrown her magnetic alphabet? Make it look swanky and leave it up for the grown-ups!
2. Altoid tins. These are transformed into magnetic shadow boxes, and I LOVE them!
3. bottle caps. These do work best with epoxy, but if you’d like a non-toxic alternative, you can play with Mod Podge as a sealant.
4. buttons. These would look especially cute on a miniature magnetic board.
5. clay. This is an easy way to make your own magnets from scratch.
6. clothespins. The tute calls for embellishments using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge, but if you’ve got washi tape on hand, that’s a quicker, easier solution.
7. coins. This is a great way to show off foreign coins that you’ve collected on your travels.
8. crystals. Look for ones that have a flat side, so that the magnet will have good surface adhesion.
9. fabric scraps. These require a bit more hardware to make, but the reward is getting to see your beautiful fabric every day!
10. leaves. You do have to laminate these, so the process isn’t terribly eco-friendly, but they should last for several years.
11. LEGOs. If you use super-strong magnets, kids will be able to build right on top of the refrigerator!
12. Mason jar lids. You’ll love your new mini chalkboard magnets!
13. paint chips. Just remember: paint chip crafts are only eco-friendly if you’ve obtained the paint chips for a legitimate purpose first. Just grabbing paint chips and crafting with them is NOT upcycling!
14. pipe fittings. Add toilet paper tubes and PVC or vinyl tubing scraps, and you’ve got an epic magnetic marble run for your refrigerator door. The kids will be thrilled!
15. puzzle pieces. Use large puzzles meant for small children, and then decoupage them with your own pretty papers.
16. rocks. Paint them or leave them natural.
17. Scrabble tiles. We use these magnets both to spell words and to actually hold stuff to our big magnetic memo board, so I like to use these really strong magnets to back them.
18. sheet music. This is just one of the MANY types of magnets that you can make with flattened glass marbles.
19. shells. The ones in this tutorial are painted to look like turtles and crabs, which is pretty cute.
20. toy animals. Instead of buying these new, I suggest thrifting them or asking a kid if you can buy some from them.
21. vintage jewelry. Chunky pieces make great magnets.
22. wine corks. Show off that special vintage!
23. wood. Paint and a little lace make these wood bits into lovely magnets.
24. wooden cubes. I use a weak magnetic tape for the backs of these, as they’re meant to be mosaic tiles to play with.
25. wood slices. To make these more eco-friendly, stencil and paint your design instead of using vinyl. And to make them more elegant, drill a bit into the wood so that the magnet can be inset and the wood slice can sit flush against your metal surface.