DIY Hand Made Magnetic Pin Dish

Learn how to make a magnetic pin cushion using our free tutorial. In this tutorial. You’ll learn how to create a DIY magnetic pin dish using air-dry clay! Customize your dish using botanical imprints in the clay or paint pouring!

pink and ivory hand shaped pin dishes on white tabletop

Hello friends! It’s Julia from Bayhill Studio. I’m excited to bring a handmade, little bit quirky, one-of-a-kind project to you today that will make the perfect unforgettable gift for any seamstress in your life.

These little “Hand” Made Magnetic Pin Dishes are a handy and decorative way to contain loose pins while you are sewing. I made two dishes – one using my hand, and the other using my daughter’s hand. These would be so adorable to make using the hands of children or grandchildren, don’t you think?

pink and ivory hand shaped pin dishes on white tabletop

You can customize each dish with unique designs using simple household objects like the tines of a fork, buttons, or even plants like I used in my dishes.

To make a “Hand” Made Magnetic Ring Dish, you will need:

package of clay, rolling pin and flowers on brown paper

Project Supplies

Project Instructions

Step One: Roll out and Imprint the Clay

Begin by rolling out a piece of clay so it is approximately ¼” thick and a little larger than the person’s hand you will be using as the template. If you are using plants as part of your design, now is the time to arrange them on the clay.

imprint of flowers rolled into air dry clay on brown paper

Use the rolling pin to gently press the plants into the clay. Here I am using chamomile flowers.

imprint of flowers rolled into air dry clay on brown paper
evergreen branches on white clay

For my second dish, I opted to use pine branches.

imprint of flowers rolled into air dry clay on brown paper

Carefully remove the plants.

Step Two: Trace the Shape

Place the person’s hand on the clay and cut out the shape, using a butter knife or sharp tool.

hand molding clay

Shape the hand however you like. For this first hand, I shaped it over a bowl so that only the fingers and back of the palm curved upward. The center part remained flat. 

hand molding clay

Use water to smooth out creases on the back of the clay, but this is optional as the back won’t be seen. 

To make a bowl shape, use a small narrow object like a basket. I wanted to create more of a bowl, curving the thumb and pinky fingers upward. The loose weave of the basket made it the perfect spot to let the dish dry.

hand molding clay over basket

You’ll want to let the air dry clay dish completely dry — this takes anywhere from 24-36 hours.

Step Three: Paint

Next, you’re going to paint the dish any way you like. I painted mine several times before settling on a color combination I liked.

I have been having fun experimenting with acrylic pouring lately, so I decided to try it out on my Pin Dishes. After trial and error, I found this will only work on the back of the dish, and that it’s best to start with the pour on the back, and when the paint dries, go ahead and paint the front of the dish.

white paint poured over dish on wire rack

To do the acrylic pour on the back, you’ll want to water down your acrylic paints until they are very fluid-like heavy cream consistency. I started by laying down a generous amount of white paint.

poured white and orange paint over bowl

Next, I added a layer of pearly orange.

pink, white and gold paint poured over dish

I followed the orange with a layer of hot pink, then a pearly light pink, and finally a layer of gold. Once you have the paints layered on the surface, simply tip the surface side to side and back and forth until the paint covers the entire surface, and the extra paint drops off the sides.

pink, white and gold paint poured over dish

Here is my finished result.

green and gold paint poured over dish

And here is my second dish. I couldn’t stop myself from having some fun with the paints, but keep in mind that the dish’s back will hardly be visible, so if you want to keep it simple, just paint it one solid color.

close up of pink pin dish with botanical detials

To recreate my chamomile dish, paint the front of the hand with two layers of pearly hot pink. After that dries, paint the stems and blossoms in gold. 

For the front of the pine needle dish, I started by painting it green, but I didn’t like how it looked. I finally painted over it using basic white paint. After I let the white paint dry, I painted a layer of gold, then quickly rubbed off the gold with a paper towel. The gold that made its way into the pine needle imprint remained and left a cool design.

pink and ivory hand shaped pin dishes on white tabletop

I finished off both dishes with a layer of resin. The resin creates a hard, durable finish, and fills the indentations left by the plants or other design tools you used on your clay. 


If you don’t want to use resin, just spray it with a clear varnish. If you are using resin, only apply the resin to one side at a time (trust me, I know from experience). Start by applying resin to the top of the dish and let it completely dry. After it has dried, you can apply the resin to the back of the dish.

hot glue gun and magnets on blue cutting mat

After the dishes have dried, it’s time to add the magnets! Grab a hot glue gun and glue the magnet to the back of the dish. You can also use a strong adhesive like E6000.

close up of magnets on reverse of pin dish

And that’s all there is to it. Such a fun, customized, and useful gift idea!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @bayhillstudio and on YouTube for more creative content and project ideas!

About the Maker

Julia Frazier is the founder of Bayhill Studio. Julia designs quilts and projects geared toward beginner quilters and crafters. You’ll usually find her at her sewing machine or hiking in the nearby mountains. Follow Julia on Instagram @bayhillstudio, and subscribe to her YouTube channel for new and exciting projects and tutorials. Be sure to check out her Bayhill Studio website for a growing list of tutorials and patterns.

Also by Julia:

red white and blue geometric quilt outdoors

Star Attraction Quilt Pattern

Brown and blue quilt featuring circles and squares

Improv Curves Crib Quilt

Buffalo quilt on fence outdoors in snow

Easy Border Panel Quilt

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pink and ivory hand shaped pin dishes on white tabletop

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