Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo Collage Magnets

I created these photo collage magnets as a personal and fun gift for a special family member. Made with flat-backed glass marbles that magnify and frame an image, they are easy and fun to make. Used as refrigerator magnets, they are a special reminder of family memories and a useful gift to tack up memos or even more photos!


Flat backed glass marbles (craft store)

E6000 epoxy adhesive (craft store)

round magnets (craft store)

Color Copied Photos with small images

paper collage elements (small images or words)

glue stick



Rigid plastic work surface for gluing. ( A plastic cutting board works great!)

I found family related words from magazines and newspapers for my collages

I chose photos with tiny images. Group shots are ideal for that. Also, you could use individual photos.

Make photo copies of your images as you will be cutting these to fit.

Trace around the marble to cut out your image. Each marble is shaped slightly different, so you will want to keep your marble with your photo as you go along. Don't worry about getting the image to fit exactly at this point. You can trim things up when you are finished gluing.

Clean your marble with glass cleaner.

Place your collage elements on your photo. I simply slid the back of the word onto the top of a glue stick to apply adhesive, then pressed onto the photo.

It's so fun to pick special words for each photo.

A good place to find family related words is in the newspaper, in the crossword puzzle hints, or the obituaries. (I know, a little sad)

You could also cut around the image and use an alternate background paper to place the image on. You could add stars or hearts, whatever you desire. I kept mine simple by just adding words.

Once you have all of your marbles matched with photos and words, it is time to glue everything together.

This calls for the E6000 epoxy adhesive. The reason you need to use this is because it is photo safe, crystal clear, super strong and will bond the heavy glass to the magnet.

This is a rather thick and slow moving, slow drying adhesive that must be used outdoors or in a very well ventilated room. In other words, you don't want to breathe this stuff in. And it goes without saying that this is not a project to do with the kids!

But it is easy to use and works so beautifully!

So, that being said, let's begin.

You want to use the nozzle that comes with the adhesive and simply snip off the tip.

Start by holding your marble in your hand (remember how it is placed on the image) and apply the adhesive to the back, than press firmly over the collage. Glue coming out the sides is a good thing. Wiggle it around to dispel any bubbles. Set aside to cure for several hours or overnight. (You can let it dry outside for an hour or so, then bring it in, there won't be any fumes by then)

Once the glue is dry, you can then use small scissors to trim around any protruding photo edges. The glue is easy to cut.

Now you are ready to glue the magnet onto the back.

Hold the magnet in your hand to apply the glue and then press onto the back of your marble collage. Again, a little glue coming out the sides is good.

 A word to the wise at this point - you will want to keep the photo magnets well separated! I didn't, and they started migrating towards each other! Two of them jumped and stuck together and I had to re-glue them! Also, the magnets will slide on the wet glue in their attraction to each other! It was very funny.

So keep them about 6 inches apart while the glue is drying!

These are so fun and easy to make. Give yourself a few days to complete each step one at a time and let the glue dry. You will be rewarded with a personal and useful gift or a delightful keepsake for yourself!

Present these in a collage decorated Altoid tin for a unique gift.

Happy Crafting!


  1. Wow! What a wonderful and thoughtful gift! They turned out so good. I know who the recipient is and she will adore them. XXOO

  2. Thank you, Heather, I know if you like them, she will, too! xx

  3. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me Karen! Those are very cool. I might see if my daughter wants to have a go at making some, when she's feeling a bit better.

  4. How clever..Love your shot! Sorry I been so quiet these last couple weeks, I’ve been really ill (now finally diagnosed with Whooping Cough even though I was immunized) and have had a very rough week.

  5. Great idea, Karen - I am definitely going to do this one. <3

  6. Those are so cute, what a great gift idea.

    You made me laugh at the thought of the collage magnets sliding around and trying to touch each other. That must have been fun to see.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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