Crafting Revisit: Magnetic Pin Dishes

One of my most popular posts on this blog was from way back when I was just starting the blog about 6 years ago (has it really been that long!?!). I had seen a picture on Pinterest of a thrift store plate being turned into a magnetic pin dish. I though this was a fantastic idea. The original post I was inspired by has long since been taken down or disappeared into the ether of the internet, but my original magnetic pin dish post is still available. At some point or another, I revisit all of my most popular posts to see if there are ways I can improve on the original. This project I've never revisited because I hadn't come across a decent deal on the neodymium magnets needed to make the pin dishes. But I recently picked up a batch in an Amazon order, so there were no more excuses!

The next step was to get some plates or bowls that would work for this project. I stopped at the neighborhood Goodwill and had several options. The plates or bowls need to have a few features: not too thick of a base, a ridged base (so the magnets don't keep it from sitting flat on the table), and a nice curve to keep the pins from sliding out.

Though I could have brought home at least half a dozen choices, I ended up with 3. A saucer with blue flowers (this one was the largest and had a relatively thick base), a small bowl with a couple of flowers and a textured edged, and a newer small bowl with flowers painted along the edge. The smallest bowl was 79 cents and the other two were marked at 99 cents. Most of the bowls and plates that would work were marked around 99 cents at my local Goodwill. You may be able to get them for less at a rummage sale or at a non-chain thrift store....but 1-2 dollars is probably fairly standard for small glassware and dishes (at least in the Midwest).

I picked up some 10 mm (just under a half inch for those not savy in the metric system) neodymium magnets. They came in a nice little case, and would work great for fridge magnets. They are fairly strong, but they are the absolute smallest I would go with for this project. I had some 1/2 inch magnets from Michael's that were more magnetic for the first time I did this project. I'd recommend those over the 10 mm ones.

For this project you will need: a small bowl or plate, neodymium magnets, and e6000 glue. You may be able to use super glue or an epoxy glue if you've got those instead. 

My first step was to test the magnets on the dishes to see if they would hold pins. I just held one to the bottom of each and put some pins in the dish. All of them worked ok. So the next step was putting a small dollop of the e6000 on the bottom and attaching the magnets. One tricky aspect of working with neodymium magnets is that they are really magnetic. They attract each other pretty easily. The photo above is an example of what happens if you put your magnets too close together--they will slide right out of the glue. So I put one on each plate and let it dry for about an hour and then came back to add more. 

Because these magnets were barely strong enough for this project, I wanted to add extras to the bottom of the dishes. So I ended up using little strips of cardboard to keep them from pulling out of the glue and attracting to each other.

Once they were dry, I filled them with pins and was good to go.


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