An Easy Beaded Square Stitch Magnet for a Last-Minute Gift

Beaded heart magnet by Michelle MachOne of my beadweaving friends recently had a baby.  I wanted to make her a small gift that would showcase her love of beads and would be fairly quick to make.  Seed beads and babies don't mix well, so I knew anything I made had to be sturdy and kept in a place that would be away from little grabby hands. When I came across a photo of a refrigerator covered with photos and kid drawings, I decided to create a beaded magnet.

Layers of Love Heart Magnet

The simple heart design symbolizes the new family:  the pink in the center is the new baby girl and each outline represents one of her parents.  I wanted the heart to glow and shine with the light, so I used matte beads as the background and a few silver-lined beads for the heart.

Materials and Tools

Size 11 Delicas in matte cream (DB352), opaque pearl pink (DB244), transparent silver-lined semi-matte pink (DB625), and transparent silver-lined semi-matte lavender (DB629)
Beading needle
Crystal 4lb FireLine
Bead stop
Graph paper
Colored pencils
Scissors (2 pairs, one for FireLine and one for the magnet)
Mod Podge sealant
Magnet sheet with adhesive backing
E-6000 adhesive (optional)

Finished size:
1" x 13/15"
(15 x 15 beads)

Technique: Square stitch

1. Graph your design.  I used the square stitch paper, but you could easily do this with peyote stitch if you prefer.  You could also make this on a bead loom if you are lucky enough to own one.  I know there are computer programs that make beading patterns, but I find it fun and relaxing to step away from the computer and sketch designs by hand.

2. Use square stitch to create the beaded square following your pattern.  Since I used 4 lb thread, I made multiple passes through the beads to make the square stiff and uniform.  (If I'd had any 6 lb, I'd have used that instead. Note to self:  Stock up on beading thread!)

3. Coat the beaded square with Mod Podge to make it extra sturdy and withstand a lot of handling.  Let dry. I picked up this trick from making the beaded tins in Getting Started with Seed Beads by Dustin Wedekind. 

Note:  This step can dull the finish of the beads, so you may want to skip it.  I was concerned about the bright finish of the heart, so I only dabbed the sealant on the matte background beads. 

4. Peel off the paper backing from the magnet and press the square onto it.  (Tip: I like the magnets that come in flat sheets at the craft store; it's been my experience that those that come in rolls never fully flatten.)  Use sharp scissors to cut around the edge of the square. 

If you find that the adhesive on the magnet isn't strong enough, you may need to use a dab of E-6000 or another strong glue to attach the square to the magnet.  If necessary, place a book (the old-fashioned paper kind!) on top of the magnet to help it adhere to the beaded square until set. 

A cute drawstring bag and a little tissue paper makes quick packaging for this small gift.


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