Friday, August 12, 2011

Glittered Clothespin Magnets Tutorial

You know you’ve seen them, clothespins covered in glitter, and you know you want them.

Well, here is a relatively pain free, step by step tutorial on how to make your own. However if you simply don’t have the time, or the touch, you can purchase them from my Etsy shop



Wooden Clothespins
Acrylic Paint in a shade close to your glitter tone, this doesn’t need to be a high quality paint.
Old paint brush
Glue (Mod Podge and Crafters) any glue that dries clear would probably work for the glittering portion of this tutorial. I also use Mod Podge (high gloss) for the sealant portion of this tutorial, so if you decide to use a glue that doesn’t dry clear you will need a separate sealant. You will also need a glue to affix the magnets, I use a fast drying craft glue.
Glitter a fine or superfine, the chunkier glitters, in my opinion, make clumsy, childlike looking magnets. If you are interested in the colors I used please message me.
Magnet strips these can be found at any craft store, I cut mine to size so finding the right shape is not necessary. They should however be as flat as possible.

You might also want:
Wax paper, Heavy duty cardstock (to catch glitter), cup of water (to clean out paintbrush), damp paper towels (to clean up glue/paint drips).


I like to lay out a sheet of wax paper to work on top of and have some to clip the clothespins on while they are drying. Having wax paper between the teeth of the pin prevents the clothespin from sticking together, in other words, gluing it shut.

If working with more than one color at a time I suggest having a few sheets of wax paper and some water (to clean your paintbrush) handy. The separate sheets will keep the colors from getting on one another.

Step One: Applying Acrylic Paint to the Clothespin

The thing that I think is most important in making your clothespins is to make all the sides that show pretty. That means painting the entire clothespin.

So start with the top, make sure to get the top edges.

Work your way onto the sides, yes you are going to get paint on your hands. If you like you can always wear a pair of gloves.

And finally make sure to get the insides just for good measure. That’s why you want to use an old paintbrush, so you can work it into those hard to reach places. Also make sure you get enough paint on the metal bits.

Step 2: Allow time for the clothespins to dry completely

In this photo you can see how I am using the wax paper. I have clipped my painted clothespins onto one sheet and have them resting on another. Since most of the back of the clothespin is going to be covered with magnet it is fine to paint it and lay it down.

You want to use a fairly clean sheet of wax paper; anything built up on the sheet will stick to the wet paint. You also don’t want the clothespins soaking with paint. They should have a nice coating but not be dripping anywhere. Remember this is going to be coved up, I do this step to add depth to the areas that get glittered and to clover up the boring wood on the parts that don’t get glittered.

Step 3: Apply the glue for Glittering

For this step I change up what I am working on top of to a heavy weight sheet of cardstock (you can use a junk mail flyer or anything) that has been folded. I do this so that any glitter that falls off of the pin can be easily transferred back to the glitter jar, don’t want to waist any of the good stuff.

I’ve also cut smaller strips of wax paper and continue to have the clothespins clipped to them. Since we are working with glue it is now more important than ever that the clothespins not end up glued shut.

Using your old paint brush apply a thick, but not goopy, layer of glue to the top only of the clothespin. You want this to be as smooth and even as possible so that you get an even coating of glitter.
Make sure you don’t have any dripping down the sides. The glitter must be applied in stages and any glue running down the sides will mess up the view from the side.

Step 4: Applying Glitter

Lay your top/front glued clothespins on a flat surface and sprinkle glitter onto them. Make sure you get it fully covered especially along the edges.

Allow time for the glue to dry.

Step 5: Glitter the sides

Following the same procedure as step 4, apply glue to the sides of your clothespin and then sprinkle with glitter.

It is especially important during this step that you don’t get glue on the top or inside the clothespin. If some of the glue does get on the top (already glittered portion) or inside, wipe it off as best you can.

Allow time to dry.

Step 6: Sealing the Glitter
I like to use a high gloss Mod Podge for this step, you could try a spray sealant but I can’t guarantee the results. You could also skip this step but after time your glitter will come off.

Apply a thin, even coat of glue to all the areas with glitter. If you use Mod Podge it will be easy to tell where you have the glue since it is white (unless you are making white glitter clothespins).

Allow time to dry completely.

Step 7: Turning them into Magnets

 You can decide to leave them as they are at this point or make them multifunctional by turning them into magnets.

You can purchase magnet strips at most craft stores. I’ve found that even the strip ones are a little to wide for the clothespins so I cut mine. Using a sharp pair of scissors trim the magnet to the desired size.

Apply a small amount of glue (I use a quick drying craft glue) to the backs of the clothespins where the magnet will go. Even if you get the sticky back kind of magnet I recommend this step, I’ve found that many times the magnet doesn’t stay stuck.

Affix the magnet to the back of the clothespin and allow time to dry.

All Done and Ready to be used!

You can purchase already made Glitter Magnet Clothespins from my Etsy shop at

Mention this tutorial and get free shipping on your entire purchase now until Dec 1st 2011.

Please DO NOT duplicate or alter the artwork in this tutorial. Please use for inspiration only.

For a printable version of this tutorial please go HERE 

1 comment:

Betsy said...

Cute, cute, cute. Love the red, white, and blue!