DIY: Create Your Own Hunger Games Charms & Magnets

You love The Hunger Games and would love to make a charm bracelet, cell phone charm, or even a magnet to stick on your whiteboard (or in your locker), but have no idea where to begin.

Lesson #1 - Begin here! I've been making my own charms and magnets for several years now. They make great classroom gifts for students who participate in various activities, score well on a really hard test, or just give that extra effort. These will take a couple of days (perhaps longer for 2-sided charms), but the end product is worth it!

Supplies you will need for CHARMS:
1. Charm blanks (I actually buy these on eBay & they come from China. But you can find them other places, as well.)

2. Glue & glaze for the top coat (or a glass bauble, found in craft or dime stores). I prefer Aleen's Paper Glaze for gluing and Judikins Diamond Glaze for the top coat. I have also used Sakura's 3D Crystal Lacquer with success, except it takes much longer to set up. I know many people use other types or two-part resins. Annie Howe's page offers some suggested products. Since I do not make these daily (I usually only make them in the summer or on school breaks), using Judikins Diamond Glaze has worked best for me.

3. Paper cut out of what you want to put in the charm. (Which means you may need to do some photo altering and use a craft paper punch for the right size charm. Most measurements of charms are in mm, while we use inches in the US.)

4. A flat surface in which they can dry for a day or two. I like to use a metal tray. I find these on clearance after holidays for 50¢ or less. The depth of the try keeps the charms from sliding on the floor if you move them (which I usually do, since I work on our dining room table and this is where we eat).

Additional supplies needed for MAGNETS:
1. Magnets - You can buy very strong magnets at a craft store. It's important to get those that are strong because if you use them on your whiteboard at school, you want them to be able to hold up a poster or even a calendar. I've purchased the kind pictured below at Ben Franklin, and also online at Sunshine Discount Crafts.

2. If you prefer, a glass bauble on top (not necessary, though).

Lesson #2 - Create Your Charm

1. Cut out your picture you want to put on your charm blank.
2. Glue the picture onto the charm using Aleen's Paper Glaze (or your preferred brand). You don't want to use too much, but you also don't want to use too little. Experiment with what works. Different surfaces respond differently.

 3. If you have a two-sided charm, glue your picture onto the other side before putting the glaze over the image.

4. Let each side dry for 15 min. or so. Aleen's dries pretty quickly; it is important for the image to be set before you move on.

5. Use your top glaze (I like Judikins Diamond Glaze) and apply a thin first coat. If you have any air bubbles, pop them (or slide them out) with a head pin before it dries.
6. Make sure the glaze is going on evenly and dries on a level surface. Let it dry for at least 3-4 hours before applying a second coat. Then I let it dry until the next day and decide if it needs a third coat. By day 3, it is usually ready to flip over to do the other side. Repeat the steps above for the other side. If you are using Sakura Crystal Glaze, you will need an additional day to let it dry. Also, do not apply the second coat until 24 hours later. Usually, however, this brand may only need 1-2 coats at the most.

7. Once dry, you can use your charms to make charm bracelets, neckalces, earrings, bookmarks, key rings, cell phone charm lanyards, holiday ornaments...whatever. The possibilities are endless!

Lesson #3 - Create Your Magnets

1. You will follow the same steps as creating the charms, except magnets can only be one sided. I'll also add putting a glass bauble on it (which you can do with a charm, but I didn't go over it above). So the first step is to cut out your image you want on your magnet.

2. Place the magnets on a magnetic surface so they don't move around. (I like to use those metal trays, but popcorn tin lids work very well, also.)

3. Next, glue your image directly to the magnet. Again, I use Aleen's Paper Glaze. Other brands do not seem to adhere to the paper or the surface as well, which is especially important with the magnets.

4. Let it dry for at least an hour, just to be sure.

5.   Go to step 6 if you aren't using a glass bauble on top.  Go to step 7 if you are using a glass bauble.

6. IF YOU ARE NOT USING A GLASS BAUBLE: Carefully apply a top coat of the Diamond Glaze. Repeat using the steps listed above for the charms. Once dry, you are done!

7. IF YOU ARE USING A GLASS BAUBLE: Using Aleen's Paper Glaze, glue the glass bauble right on top of the image. Let it set for an hour or so.

8. After the glass bauble seems to have set, apply glue on the bottom if you have any sort of overhang. If the image is larger than the magnet, you'll actually glue the glass bauble to the image first, then glue to the magnet last, and apply glue on the bottom. The glue will act as a seal so the image is preserved. Let dry & you are done!

 I love using the super strong magnets to hold things up in my classroom.  If you are using a glass bauble, you really need a strong magnet, otherwise the magnet will just fall off the surface.

Here's a great tip for transporting and storing them (because those strong ones are going to be drawn to everything - including other magnets!): Use old popcorn tin lids, cookie and candy tins, cough drop or breath mint tins, and even jewelry/watch tins (don't we all get one or two of these for the holidays anyway? What do you do with them? This! They are great for storing magnets!).

They also make great gifts - for your friends, students, family, and your teacher (if you are a student). Make them personal - use a family picture, type a name, or use a picture of your school mascot, a favorite book, movie, actor, sports team...

If you liked this, make sure to share with others or click "Like" above! Thanks for reading and happy crafting!


I have many requests for a template. Unfortunately, I create these in InDesign and just keep replacing images as I need them. Right now I have half a page of Seneca Crane's beard and the other half with names of people I made for magnets before Christmas. I am providing a couple of links, however, that may be helpful.
•  One is to a 1-inch circular template for Microsoft Word that you can download free and place images and edit how you wish.
•  The other is to my Hunger Games Badges activity that I sell for $2; it is a PDF file with button templates with the images/words already in place, but it cannot be edited. I created it in InDesign.

Thanks so much for your interest!
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