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The types of fridge magnets available today are nearly endless. Not only are there many different kinds of promotional or advertising magnets given out by many businesses, but decorative fridge magnets can be purchased or crafted by hand. A fridge magnet could be flat or three-dimensional (3D). Three dimensional means that an object has depth, length and width. Fridge magnet possibilities are really limited only by the imagination as some refrigerator magnets also serve as picture frames, pen and note pad sets, calendars, menus and business cards.
Business card fridge magnets are usually flat and are printed with information similar to that on a regular paper business card. They are made to adhere to metal filing cabinets in offices as well as for use on refrigerators. Some restaurants give out large fridge magnets with a delivery menu and their phone number on them. When the customer doesn't want to cook and would rather order food in, the restaurant's phone number and menu is then right there conveniently on the fridge. Many real estate agents and other professionals hand out handy calendar fridge magnets with their contact information.
Fridge magnets that feature a magnetic pen and note pad are convenient for making shopping lists as well as writing notes and reminders for family members. A picture frame magnet is a miniature picture frame with a magnetic backing. This can make a cute gift idea. For example, a gift for grandparents may include their grandchild's photograph, added to the photo magnet. Similarly, a photograph of a pet could be inserted into the frame as a present for a pet lover.
Magnets designed for fridges can be purchased in retail and online stores in a wide array of designs, colors and materials. Acrylic, ceramic, wood and metal designs in many different shapes and sizes are available today, yet decades ago most fridge magnets were made mostly of brightly colored plastic. Decorative fridge magnets have many different motifs such as animals, sports and flowers. Making refrigerator magnets is inexpensive, quick and easy. Painted wood cut-outs or even seashells with a magnet glued onto the back may make desirable types of handmade refrigerator magnets.
The material in fridge magnets is magnetised in strips that run the length of the material, forming a Halbach Array. The result of this is that the magnet has a reasonably strong magnetic field, but this field extends no more than a millimetere or two beyond its surface. That's why you cannot use a fridge magnet to affix more than a few pages of paper to your fridge.
To see this for yourself, stick two fridge magnets together, back to back. They will slide against each other in one direction. If you slide them at right angles to that, they will alternately attract and repel one another.