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3D Refrigerator Magnets

Refrigerator magnets molded using plaster of Paris
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What you will make:

If you are looking for a versatile craft that gives great results, this is it! Kids of all ages and adults love making these simple refrigerator magnets and are proud enough of the finished magnets to give them as gifts. In this project, you will learn how to make refrigerator magnets out of painted molded shapes created by pouring plaster of Paris into candy molds. Group instructions included. Options for magnets made without candy molds are also provided.

This project requires few materials and is great for family, classroom or group craft time. Teachers or group leaders can mold the shapes in advance to make this a quick and simple craft project.

Related craft: It's easy to make a pin or brooch using candy molds and plaster. See how in the Valentine's Day Pins project.

Here's what you need:
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Candy molds (or soap molds)
  • Paints and paintbrushes or markers
  • Plastic cups and spoons for mixing plaster of Paris
  • Glue
  • Magnets
  • Wax paper or newspaper
  • Toothpick or straight pin

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make 3D Refrigerator Magnets

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Read through the project, then gather the materials needed for making the magnets. When purchasing candy molds, select those with smaller shapes—no more than 2" in size or so. Some smaller soap molds are also suitable.

If doing this craft with a group, mold the magnet shapes in advance. It takes up to 48 hours for the plaster of Paris to dry enough to paint. Cover the work area with waxed paper or newspaper to catch drips and splatters.

Step 2: Mold 3D Shapes

Mix up a small quantity of plaster of Paris according to the package instructions. A slightly thicker mixture is good for magnets.

Slowly pour the plaster mixture into the molds, filling each mold well to the top. Tap the mold gently on the table to bring any bubbles to the top. Prick large bubbles with a dry toothpick or straight pin.

Set the molds aside for 1 to 2 hours (depending on temperature and humidity) until the plaster has set, then unmold the shapes. Let the molded shapes dry for about 48 hours. Painting wet shapes can result in the paint peeling or the colors bleeding and running.

Step 3: Paint

Paint the shapes any colors you like—use your imagination. If you are making a set of magnets to give as a gift, paint them in coordinating colors. Markers also work well.

Step 4: Glue Magnet

Attach the magnet to the back of the painted shape using a very strong craft glue, jewelry glue or hot glue gun. If the painted shape is heavy or large, use multiple magnets.

That's it! Your magnets are complete!
Plaster of Paris refrigerator magnets

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Thanks to...

Thanks to Carol D., who submitted the idea for this project to Aunt Annie's Craft Exchange in 1997.

Carol commented, "This is very fun for all ages. I did this with my 4-year-old, who loves to paint, and my 16-year-old, who loves art."

"Every year I make crafts with my daughters for them to give as Christmas gifts. It would be a great Christmas idea to give Grandma a set of refrigerator magnets!"

Seahorse, shell and fish refrigerator magnets

Tip: Make a set of magnets to give as a gift. These magnets were made using soap molds.

Magnets made from puddles of plaster, no molds needed

Tip: Refrigerator magnets can be made without a mold. Just pour puddles of plaster of Paris on waxed paper and paint them with fun designs. These thin shapes dry quickly, but are more fragile.

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