Well, no money that I had to put out while making the magnets, anyway. I sourced magnets from things that I had in the house. (More on that in a moment.) The tiles were left over from the ones we bought for the mosaic tile floor that I made and wrote about here and here.
The glue is the really good stuff--E6000--which I bought for DIY and crafting projects. I haven't used it much but I honestly haven't been able to DIY or craft much either.
So back to the reason for this post: how do you source magnets from around the house? For starters, you pay attention to the things in your house. I tend to take everything apart when it's no longer any good. Sometimes I find interesting bits; other times I waste my time. Well, maybe not waste my time. I discover all sorts of things and add to my knowledge base, so there's that. I also find things that I have to ask about, but that should be a whole other post.
I found this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess. I made a few changes, but the idea is the same, so this post is mostly about my sourcing the magnets. I discovered that Sonicare replacement brushes have a magnet that is WOW strong. Really, removing one of these from whatever it has attached to is work you do not expect.
I've been keeping used brushes for the last year or so thinking I could eventually use something on them. Be forewarned, removing the magnet is difficult. The cover (above the red arrow) slips off easily giving more access to the magnet (the red arrow points to it). I used heavy wire cutters and needle-nose pliers to cut into the plastic part that holds the magnet, breaking it as much as I could.
Basically I cut and pinched and pulled at anything I could grab hold of. The pliers helped me to hold onto the metal arms that run from the magnet to the top of the brush; the wire cutters did the hard work of cutting into and breaking off the plastic that the magnets are glued onto. Eventually everything breaks and the magnet comes loose. I cleaned off the water residue and calcium buildup and let it dry, and it was ready for a tile.
If you are lucky enough to have more than one of these brushes, keep the magnets far away from each other. At 4 or 5 inches apart they managed to pull together and separating them was interesting.
The magnet is actually three pieces, but I left them all together because I could not break all three apart from each other. Trying to separate them is an option you can attempt. I think they are held in place with the same glue that devils use when they want to punish a wayward soul.
My other magnet source is the shower curtain liners that I use in our bathrooms. I needed to replace the one in our bathroom (which you will not see).
When I changed it, I cut open the little circle that holds the magnets in the bottom of the liner and snagged all three. These are not as strong as the brush magnets, but they will hold a photo quite nicely.
Really there's no need to tell you how I glued the magnet to the tile, it's very straightforward: put a dab of glue on the back of the tile and add the magnet. I was reminded, however, that gluing the magnet backward makes a difference. I had to fix a couple. Let's just say it's a good idea to check this out before the glue dries.
Finally, dropping a small glass tile on a tile floor can cause breakage. Recovering the magnet from the broken tile is dangerous so wear safety goggles. Once you're blind the magnets aren't as pretty.