Introduction: Slate Tile Magnet

About: The DOMUS project is the construction in scale 1:50 of an imaginary medieval palace. It's made of clay, stones, slate, wood and other construction materials in the style of rich genoese buildings from the midd…

This time I'm going to show you the making process of a simple carved slate tile, which with the addition of a cheap magnetic plate can become an excellent piece for the magnet collection on your fridge. And this time it won't be the usual made in China souvenir, but you'll have made it yourself!

I chose to represent the logo of my Domus project (it was a reward for my patrons on Patreon), but you can change the subject for other of your taste: a broken heart, the name of your cat, a Tibetan mandala... anything!


  • Some slate scraps. You can ask to a marble or stone laboratory, they often have large amounts of wastes available, or you can recycle those useless slate coasters that your aunt gave you for your birthday.
  • Ruler or square
  • Pencil
  • Hacksaw
  • Steel awl
  • Electric drilling machine with 2 or 3 different diamond bits
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • A self-adhesive magnetic sheet
  • Vinyl glue (in case the sheet is not so self-adhesive)
  • Safety glasses (recommended)

(work time: approx 1:30 hours)

Step 1: Cut Your Tile

I've made a square tile, but as for the subject, the shape of your tile is totally up to you!
My advice is to start with something easy, let the dodecahedron for a further time.

A simple shape can be cut by hand with a hacksaw and finished with files or by rubbing the edges on sandpaper.

Step 2: Draw the Subject

After studying your subject on a sheet, copy the drawing on the tile with a pencil, or if you feel confident, directly outline the template with the awl. Be careful though, in this case you cannot erase!

Then, to bring out the image, lightly scratch the background with the awl to the edge

Step 3: Let's Carve!

Now is the turn of the Dremel (or whatever electric tool you use).

Once again, start outlining the image with a fine bit. Then, use a bigger bit to dig away the excess material in the background and in the empty areas (in my case both arches and the small oculus between them). Finish rounding the profile with a small spherical bit (easy with the rotation speed or it may be difficult to control the movement and you could break some line).

While working, move the tile under the lamp to observe the progress from any possible angle, and occasionally blow on it to get rid of the dust (but try not to breathe it, I guess slate is not edible).

Step 4: Give the Finishing Touches...

You can choose to make the background smooth or to carve it according to a certain pattern. I left it rather rough and crossed by parallel diagonal grooves.

To accentuate the contrast, you can sand the relief with a sheet of fine-grained sandpaper.

After cleaning up the dust with a dry brush, you can finally cut out a square of magnetic sheet and glue it to the back of your tile.

That's all, your magnet is done!

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