When it comes to making magnets from scratch, the possibilities are endless. Just about anything you can glue to a magnet will add more color and character to your refrigerator or locker. With epoxy resin, you have a chance to add even more customizability to the mix.
There are many techniques you can use to make your custom magnets distinct. In this guide, we’re going to talk about a few. These include using resin with a variety of additives (like glitter), incorporating glow-in-the-dark powder, using alcohol inks, brushing molds with mica powder, and adding details on with paint.
What You’ll Need:
- ProMarine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin
- Molds of choice
- Additives and Colorants of choice
- Optional: Paint markers
- Optional: Stickers
- Measuring cups
- Stir sticks
- Nitrile gloves
- Safety glasses
- Optional: Small paint brush
- Optional: Blow torch or heat gun
Resin additives and colorants
One of the many great things about resin is its compatibility with a wide variety of additives. These range from dried flowers and foliage to many kinds of glitter and item encapsulations. Below, we’ll talk you through the process through which we made custom refrigerator magnets we made using different inclusions.
For the cat lovers out there, we’re starting with this precious mold. We wanted to keep the color simple so that the dried flowers we added could really shine.
For the flowers, we purchased some pre-dried packs online that came in several different colors. However, if you’d like to forage for your own foliage, we have an easy-to-follow guide on drying your own flowers.
When you have assembled all the supplies you need, measure and mix your epoxy resin. We created these magnets in batches, but they don’t need too much resin when made individually.
We didn’t add any color, and once you’ve mixed up the resin, there are a few different ways you can approach adding the flower. Since some additives have a tendency to float, it can help to pour a thin layer of resin before placing them. If you wait for this first layer to start the curing process after setting down the dried flowers, it can help hold them in place.
Otherwise, you may simply pour another layer on top of the uncured layer and flowers. Alternatively, you can place the flowers down, pour resin on top, add more flowers, and then pour another thin coat of resin. We approached this project using the last method.
Set aside your magnet mold and allow it to cure for around 24 hours before demolding.
After you demold your resin, all you need to do is attach a magnet to the back using any glue you’re comfortable with. Allow the glue to dry properly, and your magnet will be ready to go.
When you're gluing on a magnet, make sure to sure a glue that dries clear. Some of these magnets are translucent or completely clear, so you might be able to see the glue if it doesn't dry clear.
With additives like glitter, the easiest means of incorporation is by mixing them into the combined epoxy. For this skull magnet, we mixed in a few different kinds of glitter to make this sparkling concoction.
Keep in mind that you can always add more glitter, but it’s a little more difficult to take some away. Start slow and add more until you get the concentration you’re looking for.
Pour your resin into the mold. You can use a toothpick to swirl the glitter around or push down any pieces that may float up.
Allow the resin to cure, attach your magnet, and that’s one of many personalized magnets down!
When you’re working with different-shaped additives like these little fruit confetti pieces we use, the process is very similar to that of using glitter. One of the best approaches is to mix the additive with your combined epoxy resin before pouring.
Fill your mold slowly. Sometimes, these types of additives will sink to the bottom of the cup. In this case, it helps to sprinkle a little extra additive directly onto your pour and use a toothpick or popsicle stick to push the pieces down.
Then, all you need to do is set the mold aside and wait for it to cure. Demold and don’t forget to glue on a magnet.
As an example, here’s how our apple magnets, with fruit confetti additives, turned out:
For an out-of-this-galaxy glow, you can use glow-in-the-dark powder with your resin in addition to dyes and colorants.
To create a resin magnet with this alien mold, we mixed a little Alumilite Flo Green Dye and a small dash of PolyColor Green Glow Resin Powder. Be sure not to use too much of either, as these things can affect how resin cures.
Mix thoroughly until the powder and colorant have combined with the resin. Pour and allow the resin to cure.
When you demold 24 hours later, your project should glow just like this little guy.
Alcohol Ink Techniques
Alcohol ink techniques offer a wide variety of unique finishes for resin projects. The specific approach we’re going to talk about involves adding alcohol ink to clear resin after it’s been poured. We’re going to try it out on this adorable cat mold!
Like with the previous projects, you’re going to measure and mix your resin. Then, fill up your mold with the combined resin.
Decide which colors you’d like to use for this project—we chose magenta, light pink, and purple. Carefully add drops of your colors of choice to the surface of the poured resin. From the very start, you can see how the ink moves through the resin and to create eye-catching effects.
Be careful not to add too much color, as this can alter how the resin cures.
Once you’ve added your color, set the mold aside and allow it to cure.
Check your project after around 24 hours to make sure it’s sturdy enough to demold. Then, demold and see how the alcohol ink patterns turned out.
Lastly, glue on your magnet, and it’ll be done!
Brushing on Mica Powder
Mica powder is a common inclusion used to add color and a shiny metallic finish to resin projects. Where ink colorants might have a level of translucence, mica powders turn the resin fairly opaque.
Typically, you can mix mica powder directly into the resin. However, you can also use a paintbrush to brush mica powder directly into the mold. This can be especially helpful if you want certain parts of the mold to be certain colors.
For our custom magnets, we wanted to test out the second technique on these small retro-themed molds. We brushed on the Pro Mica Powder, using a different color for each mold, and then poured the resin.
Make sure you brush the sides of the mold to ensure that the coloring is consistent across the entire design.
You know the rest: Set aside, allow it to cure, and demold.
We also added more detail after demolding them, as we’ll discuss in the next section.
Here’s how one of the pieces looked straight out of the mold.
Painting and Adding Details Post-Cure
One of the last techniques we’ll discuss is self-explanatory.
Once resin like our Table Top Epoxy has cured, you can decorate on top of it. In fact, it’s not uncommon for crafters to go over resin with acrylic paints, add stickers, or use paint markers.
Since the goal of this guide was to demonstrate the versatility of epoxy resin in creating projects like custom magnets, we tried a few different methods of decorating these projects post-cure.
In this image, you can see that we added stickers to some of the magnets and painted others to bring them to life! The cow becomes livelier with a set of googly eyes and a painted nose, and the details of these small retro magnets really stand out with a little extra color.
Talk to Us at ProMarine Supplies!
Whether you’ve used these techniques to create your own resin magnets, locker magnets, or another project entirely, we’d love to see it! Visit our any of our social media sites and tag your resin projects with the following: #promarinesupplies #promarine #pmtabletop #pmproart #pmpropour
Is there any kind of project you’d like for us to post a tutorial on? Contact us about it or leave a comment on this post!