Cute as a Magnet

You know what I think is a great idea for souvenirs of your travels? Magnets. Easy to fit in a suitcase, and easy to remember where you got them. Too bad I keep buying ceramic magnets that break when they fall off the fridge. Oh well, my travels aren’t forgotten.

But my fridge was therefore lacking in magnets.

I went to a “Make-It Monday” party months ago, hosted by the lovely Robie Dodson of So Sew Something!, and we made covered buttons. Okay. I have to tell you I wasn’t convinced about the covered buttons. What am I going to do with covered buttons? Give them to grandma? But my skepticism was short-lived. I LOVE COVERED BUTTONS! My favorite use for them — magnets. In fact, I went out and bought supplies to make more.

You can buy a covered button kit for, oh, $2 in almost any craft section (bought mine at Walmart), along with a pack of magnets (Hobby Lobby) for $2.

First, decide what tiny little part of the fabric design you want to show up on your button (this is the fun part… one print can look totally different depending on how you position it), and cut a square twice the size of your button.

Hold the button on the fabric, and push it into the handy-dandy rubber button maker from your kit.

Trim off extra fabric so there’s not too much bulk for the back to fit on. I left about 1/4″.

Use pliers to pull the pin off the button back (you need a flat surface to glue the magnet to). I find that if you pinch the pin sideways between like pliers, like so, it’s easier to pry off.

Fold the fabric into the center and pop the back on until it clicks in place. (I put a dab of hot glue first to make sure the back stays put.)

Hot-glue the magnet on.

Finished! Cute, no?

Use your adorable magnets to put your birthday card from your grandma on the fridge. Right next to the one your friend Sara made for you.

And to stick the Groupon that’s about to expire on the fridge so you don’t forget to redeem it.

Then go crazy. You can put covered buttons on rings, bobby pins, barrettes, push-pins, paper clips. Or, of course, use them as real buttons to add some flair to a cardi, a DIY-headboard, or that re-upholstery project that requires matching buttons for tufting. I love tufting.

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  1. Alissa says:

    Cutie-patootie! Goes perfect with one of my other friend’s favorite vacation souvenirs: fabric! She’ll get fabric from Italy or Mauritius or Singapore and make something fun out of it when she gets home. Maybe she could make button magnets…

    • Amy says:

      Oh, that’s a GREAT souvenir idea! A friend of mine has some lovely yardage from Africa, India, and Thailand. Why didn’t I think of that?

  2. emily says:

    I really want to try this! My fridge would benefit from more cuteness and fewer free realtor and credit card magnets. Although those serve their purpose too – good for reusing as photo backs. If I ever got around to doing that.

    • Amy says:

      Look at all these new crafty ideas…. I didn’t think of that, either! Just glue a photo to ’em, huh? Excellent.

  3. Christine McAdams says:

    Hey now…whoa now! Something is definitely in the popsicles– I was wondering how to do such a project just yesterday, and now this lands in my inbox! Thanks to you, now I know how to do it without a big lump of cloth and glue on the back, and how to make the magnet part work. I think I will try it with some jumbo buttons if I can find them!

  4. Christine McAdams says:

    Or maybe I saw this yesterday and promptly forgot… Either way, so fun. Thanks!

  5. Amy says:

    Ooh! I’m in love! I just made some fabric covered buttons for a sewing project, but I have some leftover button blanks and lots of fabric that would be so cute. The best part is that it only takes a teeny bit of fabric to make these beauties. Thanks for such a great idea!

    • Amy says:

      I know… I need more quick, easy ways to show off fabric. Is there a technical term for a textile-aholic?

  6. Natalie Zaunbrecher says:

    Ooooo I love this idea!!

  7. Marjorie says:

    woohoo! now i know what to do with some of that asian/ african fabric– i should’ve thought of that before, cause i love these magnets!!

  8. Kerri says:

    adorable fabric, adorable buttons, adorable gal!

  9. I was just thinking about finding a fun and easy craft project for a group I facilitate – button magnets are perfect for the ‘artistically challenged!’ I think I’ll plan a “Punch on the Patio & Craft in the Kitchen” party! I’m also going to recommend this craft for another networking group! Keep those creative ideas coming!

  10. Mia says:

    would Krazy Glue work? (cuz i dont have a hot glue gun)

  11. Katie says:

    I just happened upon your site tonight and I am absolutely in love with all of your great project ideas! Over the summer, I realized my boyfriend really needed fridge magenets, so I started collecting caps from some of the more exotic beers we had been trying and made magnets with those. I intended to glue them on, but found that the caps stuck to the magnets on their own annnd the boys really seem to love switching out the caps with their new favorite beers. I love this fabric button idea too and I’m planning on making oodles of these for certain lucky recipients come the holidays 😉 Thanks for the great idea!