Monday, December 8, 2008

How to make sew-in magnets...

(..when you've accidentally botched a large-ish and expensive import order). What I wanted was THESE -
And what I got were THESE super-sticky non-pvc-coated magnet snaps. (Those are heavy 12-inch tailors shears they're holding up, folks!).

My suppliers in Asia are not particularly interested in a return or swap arrangement, so I'm making the best of the situation and playing with my new friends, the magnets. Trying new things.

Super-Sarah wants to make fridge-magnets out of them. Not a bad idea... they'll never fall off!!

In fabric heavier than quilting cotton, I reckon they'd be fine to be placed directy on the (wrong side of) fabric and "trapped" with a layer of fabric sewn over the back of them. On leather you could probably just glue them into place between the outside and the lining of whatever you're making.

On the fine cotton and silk that I was trying to sew, I thought they showed through a little too much without a bit of softening, so I made my own "sew-in" magnets!

I laid the magnets on a scrap of light fusible interfacing. (You could equally use organza or voile with vliesofix or basting spray, I think...).
Folded it over.Pressed the interfacing to fuse it... both sides of the magnets.
With a zipper foot I sewed around the magnets - to stop them slipping and moving with use over time. I don't trust the interfacing to stick together forever. (Did I ever mention that I'm hyper-cautious about ensuring things don't fall apart??).
I forgot to take a photo of this step, but you can see the finished magnet below - all pinned in place and ready to be sewn in.

Ok... so we're into another tutorial now. I'll follow with another post of my new last-minute-gift idea tutorial, which uses the new sew-in magnets. Watch this space.

In the meantime, I'm selling the magnets off VERY close to cost price. They'll be up on the website very soon.
I'm off to check my product codes before I place another order.....

9 comments: said...

WOW-I'm learning so much here today!

Kirsty said...

Genius - I love this making the most of what you've got.

Handmade said...

Yes - you are a genius - no doubt about it!

Michelle Cheuk said...

Wow!! So cool. Thank you SO much. I needed a way to safely sew in these magnets for my toddler, and now this makes me feel more confident. Thank you.

I'm Feelin' Crafty said...

This is great! I have a whole pile of sew in magnets that I love, but forgot where I got them.. So this will be great to use when I run out of those. I posted a tutorial using sew in magnets, and I've directed quite a few people this way to learn how to make thier own. I might have to just add a link in my blog post.... Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Hi I love this idea and would like to have a go but unsure which magnet to buy online. Any tips? Shiny ones or cheaper black ones.
Thank you,

Laura Howard said...

Hello there,

I appreciate this post is old, but I have a question for you regarding the sewing buttons.

I'm getting into sewing and have some projects I'd like to work on. I have small disc magnets and interfacing, so whipping up these buttons is something I could do easily.

Do the neodymium disc magnets you can buy on Ebay typically hold up well with being washed repeatedly? Or do I need to expressly buy magnetic buttons designed to be placed in clothing?

Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I'm trying to weed out all of the miscellaneous craft stuff I have to make more room. I'll make my own buttons if I can!

Anonymous said...

Hello :)

I would like to know if you sewed around the magnet by hand? I am using an industrial sewing machine and it is obviously metal which makes it very hard to sew around the magnets. Could you shed some light on how I could get around this problem please?

Thank you,


Unknown said...

Hi Emily,
I found this site just last week after hitting all the quilt shops in the San Diego area looking to purchase the sew in magnets shown above. They were either sold out or never carried them. But like you i too have a metal (1968) sewing machine but with a little patience I was able yo sew them. I first arraigned the magnets in two rows on the fusible on my cutting table then holding the fabric at on one end I slipped the whole thing onto a piece of cardboard then to the ironing board to fuse it all together. At that point you can cut them into individual pieces (I didn't) and sew them on you machine. Of course since they will stick to your machine youll have to stop and move them quite often but it can be done and of course your saving quite a bit of money making your own. I made 5 sets. FYI - using a zipper foot to sew close to the magnet will keep them from slipping around the fabric disc. You can also just use bits if fabric scraps to make little pockets if you don't have fusible.