Made: Mini Fridge Magnets

Map Magnets

I've seen magnets like these many places, but it never dawned on my how easy it would be to make them until I saw the plastic flat marble cabochons at TAP Plastics. I picked up 6 of the 1 1/4" cabochons.

I thought I could put the cabochon down over my yuzen paper and just cut around it with an Exacto knife and then do the same with a magnet and it'd be perfect. The ragged edges were very visible, and with the thin yuzen I couldn't squeeze all the air bubbles out of the Amazing Goop I was using. I ended up with 2 cute yellow flowers my husband or mom could love, but not so much for anyone else.

I was using a sheet of black magnet that was very thin and flexible and about 2.99 from JoAnn, perfect for cutting into size. My first additional purchase for this project was an Ek Success 1-1/4-Inch Paper Shapers Circle Nesting Punch. This cut my paper and my magnets down to the perfect size, and let me see the area I was punching.

Investment #2 was in a large size tube of E-6000. It requires the windows to be open and causes cancer in California, but the glue adheres perfect and clear without any bubbles.

With those 2 little changes these magnets came right together. Take the cabochon, put a tiny amount of the E-6000 on it, half of pea size, and then rush to get the cap back on the E-6000 before it explodes on your desk. My stock of kraft paper comes in handy to use as desk cover in times like these. Have your paper backing sitting on your desk and turn the cabochon over and push down on it until you see the glue spread to the edges and all the bubbles disappear. Clean up any glue on your cabochon now, before it dries. Let it sit for a few hours, with the windows open if in doors. Take care of any uneven paper edges with a knife, then punch out a self adhesive magnet and slap it on.

Lots of people make these with the round glass flat marbles you can get in the fake flower aisle, but they're full of bubbles and scratches, and I like having something perfectly round to use that's always the same size.

Button Button Button

My time has become consumed with an idea.

For the longest time I have wanted to make buttons: cute buttons, funny buttons, penguin covered buttons. One of my absolute favorite possessions as a child was a big purple glitter button that said COURTNEY. From my first real job I keep an 'I Love Trucks' button. I went to Japan and let a squirrel run up my back and brought back three Kinkazan Squirrel Village pinback souvenirs.

Somewhere I got interested enough to buy a $30 starter kit from Badge a Minit and I made a few excellent Scarlet Pig buttons for a friend who suffered through a PAX borne Swine flu.

This takes us to Christmas 2010 when the endurer of all my grand schemes, Jason, buys me a serious for real buttonmaker. (Or is it button maker? I need to know these things.) This wasn't a cheap piece of plastic anymore, it was a professional machine worth hundreds of dollars. I had to do something with it.

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My straight up artistic skills have always lacked, so I'm playing with what graphic design instinct I have until I can learn to draw a cute penguin or two. I've also found that my buttonmarker, at 2.25", also makes magnets, mirrors and bottle openers of the same size. Things I love to have, and hope other people will want to.

Currently, I'm trying to fund the purchase of a 1" buttonmaker setup, which is 1 machine, 1 hole punch and 500 button pieces. Each button is made up of 3 pieces, plus printed artwork. The local company all my supplies have been purchased through, buttonmakers.net, is selling this setup for $379.00. I could buy it outright, but I've chosen to spend money on setting up a business with the 2.25" buttonmaker first. I'm hoping to find a way to make enough from my first buttonmaker to fund my second.

It will seem silly when I tell you this: I've already spent $800 on set up. That's material, domain names, a color laser multi function printer, fancy scissors and my new favorite money sink- Japanese chiyogami paper. I've put a real desk in my office and attached multiple lamps to it for product photography.

And here's where I spill my dark secret. I do crap like this a lot. I mean, never to this extent financially, but I regularly get what I feel is a good idea and revel in the idea…until my next idea. In the course of researching this I've also bought supplies to make plastic resin jewelery, a learn to felt kit and a make your own notebook kit. Easily distracted is my game.

I have an etsy store up currently where I'm putting up my already created wares. I've only got about 15% online currently, but please, encourage me sticking with an idea if you feel inclined.

Vonderific Buttons and Accessories