Step 1: Collect your materials!
The first step in creating a foreign coin fridge magnet is to acquire coins of a foreign (to you) nature. I accomplished this through eBay (coin search. I spent about $15 after shipping on a lot of 50+ coins.
You'll also need magnets and some type of adhesive to affix the magnets to the coin. I picked up some typical round magnets from the craft section in Wal*Mart. I also grabbed some Aleene's Tacky Glue. I chose the clear to make it easier to cover up my mistakes :).
Step 2: Cleaning the coins
Step 2: Cleaning:
The first step to cleaning the coins is to let them soak in mildly soapy water. I left mine in a bowl with just a little generic dish soap overnight. This helped to free up a lot of the dirt and gunk on the coins. I dried them using a standard (and old) towel.
The next step is to get the coins shiny and new-looking again. After doing some research, I decided on the well-known Taco Bell hot sauce method. This, of course, required me to eat food from Taco Bell.
While watching a movie to pass the time, each coin sat in a little bowl of the hot sauce for approximately 3-4 minutes. After that, I pulled them out, rubbed them a bit, and then dipped them into a bowl of water and dried them off with a paper towel.
Some of the coins came out better than others, but they all looked much cleaner. I waited until they were all clean before deciding which ones were clean/shiny/neat enough to be magnets.
Step 3: Magnet Affixation!
After picking out the coins, be sure to set the coins with the side you want to see facing down. It would suck to accidentally glue the magnet to the good-looking side.
Take your bottle of glue (or other chosen adhesive) and put just a small amount on the back of the coin. Too much and you'll just waste and make a mess. I found that a small drop works the best (see the second picture). You want just enough to fill in the surface underneath the magnet and have a little ridge around the magnet.
Take the magnet and slowly push down onto the coin. Make sure the magnet stays centered on the back of the coin. Once you've put the magnet on there, move on to the next coin.
Personally, I haven't had a problem with the glue I used yet. The magnets have been in use on the fridge for about 4 months now, and I haven't lost any coins yet. The only possible change I might make next time is to rough up the glued edge of the magnet (if possible) to help make the bond to the coin stronger.