Despite the busy-ness that occurs this time of year from shopping and parties and decorating, the holidays make me want to get crafty (I just don’t usually have the time!) I’m not talking making-bows-and-home-made-gifts-kind-of-crafty…but the good ol’ make-something-for-the-sake-of-making-something-crafty! I grew up in a household with homemade stockings and handmade ornaments fashioned out of everything and anything. Bright colors…sequin trims…felt in every color of the rainbow…salt dough…buttons…so many glitzy little notions that were crafted into fun little projects simply because my mom loved to do it. Nothing had a theme or a color palette, yet it never felt like Christmas until these items came out of their boxes.

Since I chose to take a break from big holiday decorating this year, I suddenly found myself with the time and energy to put toward some good leisurely craft time. I didn’t set out to make this project for a blog post…inspiration just struck, and I went with it! Love it when that happens!

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That inspiration struck in the strangest of places: the tile aisle! (Please tell me that’s normal!) On a child-free morning last week, I was roaming the aisles at Lowes looking for this and that and came across these Moroccan tiles. I must have had Christmas on the brain, because I suddenly thought their shaped resembled those of vintage ornaments…and an idea was born!

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Even though I consider myself pretty creative, I don’t really think of myself an artist, and I very rarely set off on a project without a plan. But this one was different. I had an idea, and instead of over-analyzing every color and pattern choice, I just went for it. I pulled out an array of oil-based paint pens, found some inspirational clipart images on Google/Etsy, turned on my recorded episodes of Sarah Sees Potential, and doodled my little heart out. The kiddo was in bed, the husband was taking an online exam, and I was in my own little crafting heaven!

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If you don’t consider yourself an artist either, don’t fret! These really were as simple as coloring on tiles with oil-based paint pens, but here’s a few tips I learned as I made 20 of them 🙂

  • Use inspirational images (just google vintage ornament clipart). I couldn’t dream up 20 designs from my own brain, but I could copy and tweak designs in countless directions. I actually found myself running out of tiles for the designs I wanted to do!
  • Both brands of paint pens worked great – Sharpies & Craftsmart. Don’t stress over the brand, just pick colors you love.
  • Layering colors on top of each other does NOT work so well (some layer better than others). It is better to color directly onto the tile, which means you have to frequently color around circles, stripes, etc to fill in blank space.
  • With that said, these pens dry super fast, so you can alternate/layer colors relatively quickly.
  • Zig-zags, stripes and dots are your best friends. Little tiny dots give almost every design a finished look!
  • These pens give great saturated color, one coat of each color is all you’ll need!
  • Don’t like how the design is turning out? I was able to use a very sturdy bristle brush and scrub off any designs I didn’t like. It took some arm strength, so know this paint does not come off easily!

After an evening of coloring, I had 20 fun and funky ornament-inspired tiles ready to be made into magnets!

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The tiles themselves are pretty heavy, so my original plan of using strips of magnetic tape (from a roll) didn’t work out (the magnets just slid down the refrigerator). I ended up super gluing some stronger magnets (from Lowes) onto the backs of each tile. No more sliding down the fridge, and I love the dimension they provide! By the way, I LOVE this Gorilla Glue Super Glue. It doesn’t expand or bubble and holds almost everything perfectly in place! I’ve used it on a bunch of projects recently and it’s my new go-to glue!

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Let the super glue dry and cure and then hang your magnets in any arrangement you desire!

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I added a star and rectangle (hand-cut from glittered cardstock) to help the tile formation look like a tree, but I also love the ornaments “strung” across our refrigerator like garlands holding up our Christmas cards that are starting to roll in!

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And here’s a fun little dose of reality for you. Our kitchen is a cave and gets no natural light. Determined to get some decent pictures of this project, what’s a girl to do? Well…they put refrigerators on wheels for a reason, right?!? 🙂 After the photo shoot, I rolled it back, and my husband is none-the-wiser 😉

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I had the pens on hand, which are admittedly the most expensive part of this project (use coupons to buy your paint pens if you don’t have any!), but otherwise, this project cost me about $12 (for the tile and magnets). These would also make a great project for school-age kids (who can be trusted with paint pens)…and great teacher/neighbor gifts!

These ornament magnets just make me smile. They are fun and whimsical and silly, but my son loves arranging and re-arranging them, and I loved my quiet night making them. Who knows – these silly tile ornaments just might become that thing that has to be pulled out every year for it to feel like Christmas! Time will tell on that one, I guess 🙂

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Have a great weekend friends! See you back here Monday!


This is not a sponsored post, but Gorilla Glue did provide me with a variety of products to try at my leisure. I’ve actually been using this super glue long before I was provided with any, so I am thrilled to add more of this fav to my stash! All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


See You Soon!