Make your own face magnets

Feature writer Anne shows us how to recycle old magazines by making some fun mix and match magnets for your little ones to play with.

Make your own face magnets

My toddler is at the age where faces are fascinating, and he’s learning to name the various parts of his face. I made him a set of face magnets, using pictures from an old magazine, to vary our face games so it’s not always him pointing to his own face or mine. He loves his new game! We use them on the dishwasher in the kitchen or make the game portable by using a baking tray.

I reinforced the pieces by first sticking them on card and then laminating them. If you don’t have access to a laminator, you could also cover them in clear sticky back plastic or just leave them without covering them.

I used an old manila folder to stick my face parts on; you could also use old cereal boxes or any other card you would normally throw in the recycling bin. If you have some old magnets lying around, you could recycle them as well, rather than buying adhesive magnetic tape.

And don’t just stop at faces. You can make a set of animal magnets, food magnets, mix and match body magnets, whatever nice pictures you find in old magazines or even old picture books you would otherwise throw away. Of course you can also print out free clipart images, but I think recycling is better!

I’m sure older kids would love making their own sets of magnets, deciding themselves which pictures to cut out. Why not also try making a set of mix and match faces from photos of family members?


  • Old magazines
  • Card (for example, old cereal boxes or manila folders)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Self adhesive magnetic tape or old magnets
  • Laminator pouches and laminator or clear sticky back plastic (optional)

1. Cut out pictures of faces from magazines (the larger the better) and then cut out the individual facial features (mouth, nose and eyes).

2. Stick the face pieces onto card and then cut around the pieces again.

3. Either laminate or cover each piece in adhesive plastic, leaving a couple of millimetres as an edge around each piece.

4. Cut small lengths of the magnetic tape (about 1.5-2cm) and stick to the back of each piece.

5. Start mix and matching!

+Anne Willicombe

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