How to Make DIY Family Magnets Your Little Ones Will Love

I love magnets. I owe it in large part to the fact that I was an elementary school teacher for 10 years – 7 of which were spent teaching Kindergarten and Preschool. Magnets are kid friendly and so easy to change out. It was due to this magnet love that I came up with this idea for family magnets. Everyone who sees these magnets on our fridge asks about them so I figured it was time to share this diy family magnet post.

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I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. What mom doesn’t? Nathan and Emma tend to follow me there and want to play while I am cooking. I started creating different magnet sets for Nathan using my personal lamintor, which I love. I seriously think every mom should own one! But I digress…

Since Nathan was born, we’ve been intentional about talking about all our family members. You see, Andy and I are both the oldest of four. Our siblings (and their families) live in Missouri, Nebraska and Georgia, with grandparents in Texas and Indiana…most far away from our home in Indiana. We don’t get to see our family nearly as often as we’d like. We Skype and take trips to see them at least once a year, but I still wanted to make sure my children recognized all their aunts and uncles and cousins – whenever we saw them!

Here’s a glimpse into our family – minus the two most recent babies and my sister-in-law’s fiance. I need to make more family magnets!

These family magnets are some of Nathan’s absolute favorites – and mine as well! He loves to line up all the Uncles and Aunts and group the cousins (his “friends” – awww!) together.

They are such sturdy magnets that even when he moves them around to hold up his paper projects, he talks about who is holding up his papers. “I’m going to put Uncle Chris here and Grandpa Barz here.”

I love that he recognizes his family members so quickly and can’t wait for Emma to talk about them too!

While this idea would work for any family (near or far), the teacher in me also thinks it would be a great idea for a classroom. You could use this same idea to create a magnet for each of your students. The options for play or math activities are endless!

Now that you are all excited and ready to make a set for your family, let me share exactly how I did it. It’s actually much easier than you might think.

This is the most important part. Ready?

You make your family magnets using the 2×2 photo gallery magnets at Shutterfly.

Take a look here so you see exactly what I mean by these photo gallery magnets. Go ahead and look quick now because this will all make much more sense if you do that first. The magnet photo will open in another tab so you can come back and finish reading how I made the magnets next. Did you look to see what magnets I am talking about? Good. Now, let’s continue on.

You could certainly cut apart pictures and laminate these magnets, but to create a high quality, magnet of all your family members in a short amount of time, these 2×2 magnets from Shutterfly really can’t be beat.

Here are the exact steps to make your family magnets, with a couple tips and tricks.

1. Find all your family members in pictures.

The first thing you need to do is (obviously) look through your digital pictures to find pictures of all your relatives. This is actually the hardest part of the project – finding all the pictures of the family members you need for your magnets!

While you can use individual pictures of each person, group shoots can work too. I’ve found that it actually works best to find a picture that is not too close up. This picture of my husband and his siblings from our family vacation to the Smokies worked perfectly for the Aunt and Uncle pictures! It should give you a good idea of the face size you need.

Yes, your magnets will all have different backgrounds but that is part of the beauty of these magnets. Each one is unique. Just look for the best picture you can find of all your relatives.

I recommend you create a folder on your computer with all the family pictures you want to use – especially if you have a large family. Once you’ve found all your pictures, you’re ready to make your magnets.

2. Go to the 2×2 Photo Gallery Magnets. 

When you are ready to start your magnets, go directly to the 2×2 photo gallery magnets at Shutterfly. Feel free to save this post on Pinterest so you can come back here and quickly find the links when you are ready to order. I love Shutterfly (as you can see from this post about how I create my photo albums for free, thanks to Shutterfly) but even I know there are lots of products on Shutterfly to sort through!

The great thing about these magnets is that each set of 4 magnets can have 4 different pictures. That is why I love these 2×2 sets. I’ve also found there are regularly deals and sales at Shutterfly to get my magnets on sale – or for free! I also think the 2 inch size is perfect for little ones.

3. Create your family magnets. 

If you’ve assembled all your pictures, this process will be easy. Just follow Shutterfly’s directions. Upload your pictures and crop around the faces.

Repeat the process until you have 4 magnets completed. These are my parents (who live in Texas) and Andy’s parents (who live in Indiana). I am thankful that Nathan knows his Barz Grandparents almost as much as he knows his Whirrett Grandparents – although he sees the Barz side far less often.

DIY Family Magnets - What a great way to recognize family members!

Once you have created a set (4 magnets), save them and make another set. Repeat the process until you have made magnets for all your family members.

Your magnets will forever be saved in your account under projects which is handy for if / when a magnet gets bent or lost or (ahem) chewed on by a baby. It’s easy to order replacements or update the little kid pictures this way.

4. Order them and attempt to wait patiently for them to arrive!

Shutterfly regularly runs sales so if you have a large family like we do, don’t feel like you have to order all your magnets at once. I didn’t. I added to our magnet collection over time.

Shutterfly sales are listed as special offers right under the magnet tab so you can see the current sales. Also, be sure to look at the top bar because they are almost always running a 50% off sale when you use a certain code. If you’re really patient, wait for the free magnet sales which come around every so often. That’s what I did because I’m frugal like that!

5. Enjoy your new family magnets!

I hope you and your little ones enjoy their family magnets as much as me and my little ones do! Here’s a picture of Nathan playing with his magnets. Even when our refrigerator was moved to the dining room to put in new kitchen floors, Nathan would still walk by and play with his family magnets.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.

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