How to Make Bubble Push-pins (or Fish-eye Thumb Tacks)




Introduction: How to Make Bubble Push-pins (or Fish-eye Thumb Tacks)

About: I don't have to think inside or outside of the box if the box doesn't exist, right? So I try not to limit myself. Mixed mediums, new ideas, try it before you think it's not going to work. The world thrives o...

Don't you just love it when someone comes over, notices something and says, "Why, that's just plain awesome," and you can puff out your chest proudly and say , "Thank you. I made it." Well, this Instructable is designed to get that kind of reaction even if that someone is checking out all the confidential documents you hang on your bulletin board!

Push pins, or thumb tacks, are pretty essential, so why not spice them up? With a few household items and some cheap additions, you'll be hanging those papers in style.

Step 1: Stuff You're Going to Need

The ingredient list is pretty short:

- clear half-marbles (I found mine at the local Dollarstore, in the flower arrangement section)
- wide diametre earring posts (mine were 11/16")
- colourful scrapbooking paper or other snazzy designs
- White glue (important: must dry clear!)
- toothpicks
- scissors
- pencil

Step 2: Drawn and Circled: Cutting the Paper

For an exact measurement, place the earring post circle-side down on the paper and trace around it with your pencil. Note: you'll want to use either a mechanical pencil or a very well-sharpened one to keep the line fine. (see image 1)

Make sure that you pick the nicest part of the pattern for the center. Half-marbles aren't precision-made, so you can expect a little 'warping' of the pattern depending on the marble you choose. If you have a word or design you definitely want to see, make it close to the middle and it should show up just fine. (see image 2)

Using your scissors, cut out the circle as precisely as you can. Don't worry if you go into the circle a bit, but try not to go out (making it bigger than drawn). (see image 3)

Step 3: The Quest for the Perfect Half-marble

Like I said, half-marbles are definitely not precision-made. So it's worth it to spend a little time carefully choosing the marbles you want to use. Place them on top of the paper you just cut and see how the pattern shows through. Is the marble too flat or too rounded or too small? This step will pay off in the end.

The one I chose in the photo is just the right size, and has a nice little sunburst coming out the side. Imperfections aren't always a bad thing.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Once you've picked your pieces, it's time to get out the glue. With or without the help of Tiny Hands, dip the toothpick in the glue and spread a thin layer directly onto the marble. (see image 1)

Next, place the cut-out circle of paper pattern-side down onto the marble. Center it approximately. (see image 2)

Press down on the edges of the paper to round it to the marble. You don't have to hold it down very long before the gluing action takes effect. (see image 3)

Step 5: Adding the Stinger

All that's left is to place your marble round side down on a table, slather a bit of glue via toothpick onto the circle of the earring post and centre it on the marble. Let dry about 30 mins, to be sure, and voilà! Fantastic, inexpensive, personnalised push-pins that will amaze your friends and delight your coworkers!

Variations: I've seen it plenty around the internet, but it's worth a mention. Instead of an earring post, glue a small earth-magnet to the back of your papered marble for a unique fridge accessory! Or if you're feeling jewelry-frisky, just use the papered marble as a cabochon and wire-wrap or bead weave that sucker into a necklace. Have fun with them!

Remember: There is no box!

--- No tiny hands were harmed or glued in the making of this Instructable. ---

Be the First to Share


    • Exercise Speed Challenge

      Exercise Speed Challenge
    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Super-Size Speed Challenge

      Super-Size Speed Challenge

    11 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    These are great! I'd never have to worry about losing these if they accidentally fell on the carpet ;)

    I'm not having any luck finding the wide diameter earring posts. May I ask if you have any recommendations for suppliers?

    Thanks for a super 'ible!

    {Tiny Hands are adorable <3}


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    If I remember correctly, I picked mine up in a random metal pack from Michael's Craft Store in Ontario a couple of years ago. I think they'd probably still carry them in store... the selection on their site is abysmal, but the store itself is really well stocked.

    Otherwise, Walmart might be a good place to try too. Etsy and eBay are possible choices, depending on the inventory. Searching for 17 or 18mm earring posts or earstuds might yield something good, such as these 14mm earstuds:

    They aren't exactly the full size, but the length of the post doesn't change, so a good glue will ensure that your marble stays well connected.

    Good luck, and thanks! :) Let me know how they turn out!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    These also make great magnets. I've been making them for a couple years now with all sorts of scrap paper--the free space from my Drag Queen Bingo cards, the little leaves off the paper on the chopsticks at my favourite sushi place, travel pamphlets from places I've been...


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Absolutely! And great ideas for the paper, by the way, picking out things that have meaning for you. It's a little 'I remember that' moment every time you see them :)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, and if you decide to make your own, we'd love a picture!


    10 years ago on Step 5

    nice project and well done to tiny hands ... your story made me laugh ;-) have a nice day