Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY: Tile Magnets

Sometime around Christmas, when I got a boatload of cards from family and clients (I LOVE IT when my clients send Christmas cards...they make my day and I legit dance around our house hugging each one to my heart the day it arrives in the mail...confirming to Ben that I am, in fact, insane) I realized that we did not have enough magnets to hold them all. Insert hashtag: first world problems.

So I went on a hunt for some fun photo magnets. I started looking at options for printing instagram photos, but wasn't happy with the price or quality of what I found. I wanted something sturdy that would stand out on my fridge and be adorbs in the months when the Christmas cards weren't overflowing my mailbox (which is 11 months of the year to be exact - so they had to be worth it). Stickygram makes instagram magnets, but I found them to be a little too thin and flimsy for what I wanted and Imagesnap makes tile magnets from your instagram photos, but at $4 a pop, I wasn't willing to spring for it.

Enter pinterest and the craze over tile coasters. Got me thinking...I could probably make them myself for less than I would pay in shipping on the the Imagesnap ones. A google search turned up this tutorial, and I was sold. In fact, I decided to go all out and make a set for each of my clients from last year as a thank you for letting me be their photographer.

So if you're looking for a fun weekend project, here's how to do it:

  1. Follow the tutorial at the link above. It's probably better than what I'm going to tell you.
  2. If you don't feel like going to that link, follow steps 3-9 below.
  3. Buy 2" (that are actual 1 7/8") tiles at your local big box hardware store. They will most likely come in a 12x12" square, attached together with some kind of obnoxious putty that you will have to remove. If you can find individual tiles, you will save yourself about a half-hour later.
  4. Print pictures in 1 6/8" squares. I just went to the local print store and had them done on a heavy-weight paper on the color laser printer. You could also do a normal glossy print at whereever you usually go, but whatever you do, don't print them out on an inkjet printer.
  5. Cut the pictures into individual squares.
  6. Use a paint brush and modgepodge to adhere the picture to the tile. Paint a coat of modge podge on top of the image, and cover the sides to make sure the corners stay down. (Note: I've heard that if you add a little bit of water to modgepodge, it will thin it out so that you don't get brush strokes).
  7. Repeat step six with all of the photos.
  8. Let dry and (optional) add a second, third, or fourth coat...your choice. 
  9. Hot glue a magnet to the back. I highly recommend the strong 1/4" thick round ones that the hardware store sells. Magnet tape will work, but the round magnets work better.

Or try these DIY teeny tiny polaroid-style magnets...they are super cute and have a slightly different look but are equally as cute.

Happy DIYing!


  1. Ahhh! Ana!! I love!! you are so awesome with the DYI!

  2. how do you print out pics like that!? ive been to many sites but dont give me an idea on how to do so. some make them for me but its expensive

    1. i made these in a photo editing program, but all you need to do is lay out square photos that are the size of your tiles on a blank document - you could probably use a basic drawing program or even a word processing program if you don't have photo editing software. once you save the digital file, you can take it to a local print shop and have them printed with a color laser printer. good luck!

  3. I use my inkjet orinter and have never had a problem. Also, if you stipple or pounce your mod podge on top, you get a faux canvas texture.

  4. Thanks for the great idea of making magnets out of these small tiles!

    You can print out on tissue paper (yes! the one you use for gift wrapping)! I get the white tissue paper from Target. I cut the tissue paper to the desired size and tape it to a card stock paper, then I print out the picture on my ink jet printer and mod podge on to the tile. It will look a little wrinkly but the wrinkles will smooth out!

  5. I'm totally making this for gifts this year. I bought the items last year and I didn't get a chance to do it, but I will this year :). Thank you for this great idea. I also linked your site on my blog.
    Merry Christmas!

  6. Hi, may i know any glue to replace Mod Podge? i couldn't get Mod Podge at my place.

  7. This is really a amazing article about the magnetic push pins. I am really glad that I have found this post.

    little magnets