Fine Tuning of the Marble Magnets With a Mini Photoshop Lesson!

So in the midst of all the hoopla getting the booth set up, I haven’t had time to work on a lot of craft projects. I have however, been slowly perfecting my marble magnet technique. I know there are 1000 tutorials online on how to make them, but I have found that your technique and materials can make all the difference between okay magnets and awesome ones! By awesome, I mean clean, clear, and durable.

Here is the latest set! I made them for my friend with pictures of her little girl, Melanie!

For custom sets like this one, I have found it’s easiest to print out the pictures at the size I need them, by bringing them into Photoshop for quick and easy size adjustment.Β  Start by opening up a new document sized at 8.5 x 11, with a resolution of 300 dpi.

Tip: Remember, if you are going to print an image, the ideal resolution is 300 dpi (dots per inch, or ppi, pixels per inch). Anything less than that, in terms of resolution, will come out pixellated and unclear. For web viewing only, (images for use on your blog, website, etc.) you can get away with 72 dpi.

Then, open up all the images you want to use for your magnets. Select the crop tool. Set your crop settings to 20 mm for the width and height, and the resolution. See the screen capture below. I use 20 mm because that’s the size of the marbles I am using…so obviously size according to your materials!

Crop all of your images and drag them onto your new document one by one. They should look like this:

You can see I did two of each. I selected them (one at a time) in the layer palette, right clicked to make a duplicate of that layer, and re-sized them a little smaller using edit > transform > scale. Sometimes 20 mm is slightly too big, depending on the content of the picture. I like having options. πŸ™‚

I suppose instead of all this, you could just eyeball it and use your magnet to test and see if the images are small enough. I am just slightly obsessive-compulsive andΒ  I’ll use any excuse to play around in Photoshop!

I used this technique with other images I found online. Here are a few sets that I plan to make!



Supplies to get if you plan on mass producing these things:

A 20 mm hole punch, found in the scrap booking section of the craft store. Saves a ton of time and makes a nice, clean cut.

A bulk order of clear, “cabochons”. They are flat backed, perfectly clear, acrylic little marbles. They come individually wrapped like this:

I hate that it’s such a waste of packaging…it’s not very “green.” BUT, it does mean your marbles are perfectly clean and clear and have virtually no defects. I would never go back to using the marbles from the craft store….they aren’t clear enough for my liking.

I bought mine in bulk here! The rest of the supplies/technique can be found in my old marble magnet tutorials; this post was just about tweaking them. πŸ™‚

I would love to see your magnets if you try these! Check out The Graphics Fairy for AWESOME, free vintage art, which would be great for this project!!!!

HAPPY ALMOST SPRING!!! Talk to ya’ll later! πŸ™‚


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 20:09:32

    What a beautiful baby that Melanie is! Great choice Margaret; great idea and great job!


    Mar 30, 2011 @ 20:38:32

    I know what I am making the grandparents for Christmas 8O)


  3. Alexis
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 22:48:54

    I can’t tell – are the 5mm cabochons $5.79 each and you have to buy 200 at a time? I love these : ) definitely going to make them for Christmas presents!


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Mar 31, 2011 @ 08:32:29

      Hi Alexis! I am pretty sure the 5mm ones are $5.79 for 200 of them. If you are planning on making a bunch of sets, it might be worth getting 200! You’ll be amazed at how addicting they are to make! The 5mm ones are quite small, so make sure that is what you want before you order! They make AWESOME presents…good luck! I wanna see pix! πŸ™‚ ~Maggie


      • Alexis
        Apr 02, 2011 @ 21:32:29

        Thanks for the reply Maggie! Wow that’s a great price! And thanks for point out the size . . . I’ll probably order a little larger : )

  4. Nola
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 23:42:51

    Thanks for sharing all the details on the marbles. I’ve had trouble also finding flat marbles with no defects…some are almost convex and that doesn’t make a clear picture. But yours look great. Also, thanks for the pic of the little “flower” girl. I remember seeing these little girls when I was growing up and now they are cuter than ever!


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Mar 31, 2011 @ 08:37:54

      Hi! Thanks for the nice comment! πŸ™‚ I love working with the flat-backed marbles that I showed in the post…I just like that clean look. I highly recommend them for this project. I love the little flower girl too….I just adore those whimsical vintage images. They make me smile! Good luck with your magnets!!! ~Maggie


  5. Farida
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 15:43:44

    Thanks for the tips! You can now buy perfectly clear and uniformly round glass circles/wafers/gems on stay. Marble magnets are my fav craft! If you come up with new techniques, please let me know! πŸ™‚


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