Although they're quite common, refrigerator magnets are actually a pretty good craft if you're looking for something to make and sell. They're easy to customize, and they fall within the price range that most people are willing to spend for an impulse buy. As long as you have the time and effort to dedicate to this enterprise, you have a good shot at making a profit.
Things You'll Need
Magnetic tape or small magnets
Wood, card stock or craft board backing
Scissors, knife or saw
Polyurethane or other finish
To create a base for the magnets, cut out small shapes from cardboard, craft board or thin wood with scissors or a saw. Rectangles or circles are traditional shapes, but there are all sorts of directions you could go with this. Try something different to make your magnets stand from the crowd.
Decorate the magnets with small drawings or cartoons, or paint your own little scene, or add your own photograph. Your options are just about endless.
Finish the refrigerator magnets with polyurethane, resin, or another strong, clear finish. Since magnets generally are used in the kitchen they'll be more appealing and hold up better with an easy-to-clean surface.
Attach magnetic tape to the backs of the boards (this is most suitable for very light magnets), or stick on small round magnets with super glue or a glue gun (use plenty of glue).
Price your refrigerator magnets to sell. Most people would not consider paying more than a dollar or so for a small item like this, unless it's truly amazing. The key to making money with refrigerator magnets is to streamline your creation process and sell as many as possible.
Sell refrigerator magnets at local craft fairs or flea markets. If you have trouble finding venues in your area, ask other local crafters where they sell their products.
Approach local stores that carry crafts or gift items, and ask if they would be interested in carrying your magnets. You may be able to sell a few outright, or interest businesses in selling your products on commission.
Sell refrigerator magnets online. Set up a website or blog featuring your products, and advertise with e-mail, business cards or flyers, and by participating in craft-related events.
Like most craft businesses, you may have the most success selling refrigerator magnets if you can identify a specific niche. If your art is very distinctive-looking, that's a plus. Otherwise, consider making magnets for special occasions (great for gifts) or on subjects that appeal to people with specific interests.
Most craft businesses take a while to get off the ground. Start your refrigerator magnet project small, and it can grow from there if necessary.