Use the (Magnetic) Force: Upcycling Button Pins


Remember those “I Am Loved” pins that were all the rage back in…the late 90s? (Is my age showing?) Or how about the craft accomplishment pins from the recently deceased Whimseybox?

Ever thought about doing something with them?

Well, yes, surely. PIN THEM! No, not like on Pinterest, but in the real physical world, through soft, possibly perforated materials like your favorite trivia night t-shirt or the canvas bags you keep forgetting to bring on your shopping trips.

If you’re not into that, there are other options. This is just one of them, and while I don’t know if I can claim it to be the easiest DIY in the world, it’s definitely up there.

Here’s what you need:

button pin magnets

  • Small button pins — ones that have open access to the “pin” part
  • Magnets – these are 3/4″ in diameter and came in a box of 100 for relatively cheap on Amazon
  • E6000 or your favorite industrial adhesive
  • Pliers

(1+2) Use the pliers to remove the pins. In most cases, you just have to push some part that is flush with the rim towards the center.
(3) Apply your favorite adhesives. A nice dollop would be good for concave surfaces, such as for this button.
(4) Stick the magnet in the back. BUT BEFORE YOU DO, if you’re picky about orientation (e.g., you want your future magnets to be stackable or stick back-to-back), then check before you start sticking things down. Also, the magnet might put up a fight and try to stick to other parts of the button as you bring it close. SHOW IT WHO’S BOSS!

If you have oriented the magnets correctly, you can get a series of them stacked, as shown in the upper right-hand corner.

In my experience, I have found that it is actually possible to pull apart objects stuck together with E6000 (and personally I think it has a strange texture when dried — more on this possibly in the future), so if you mess up, it may not be all lost. Unless you used a really strong magnet, like the Grade 5 ones I have (2800 G or 0.28 T).

The remaining question is, what to do about all these pins?


Maybe stick them to actual buttons to cut down on sewing?

Maybe later.

Now, go stick these magnets everywhere.