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Posts Tagged ‘Magnets’

Magnetic bottlecap rings are like wine charms for bottles

19 Apr

Labeled magnet, ring, and finished bottle cap holderI often pour one glass of cider and recork the larger bottle for later. This has one drawback: no longer do I know what type of cider inside the bottle. Without caps, my blank bottles are impossible to tell apart.

My solution? With a magnet and a steel ring, I can attach the cap to the neck of the bottle. These things are require no tools to make, and they are infinitely reusable. I keep several stuck to the fridge in case I have a bottle-labeling emergency of some kind.

How to make one: Stick the magnet on the ring, and drop the ring around the neck of the bottle. The magnet will hold the cap there as long as you like. Magnetic or ring-based charms could also help people identify their bottles at a party.

Magnetic cap holder on bottleMagnetic bottle cap holder

Where to get the parts: I used magnets from hard drives because they’re powerful and semi-elegant, but any magnet that keeps the cap from flying away under normal drinking conditions should be fine. As for the rings, large ones work best — they need an internal diameter of at least 1.1″ (28 cm) to fit past the flared mouths of most bottles. Split rings (a.k.a. key rings) are fine if they’re large enough. Hardware stores also have a number of cheap plumbing fittings that would work as long as they’re ferromagnetic (made of metals like iron or steel) and will attract to a magnet.

 

Never to wonder if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty again

24 Mar

Clean dirty indicator combinedKnowing that the dishwasher is clean saves time. Here’s a double-sided clean/dirty indicator that you can make in less than a minute.

Dishwasher indicator magnetsFirst, use a magnet to find any ferrous surfaces on your dishwasher. Even if your dishwasher appears to be plastic, there may be metal bracing in some areas. If the magnet sticks, you are in business.

Put two magnets in an Altoids tin, with one on the lid and one on the bottom. This way, the tin will stick to your washer no matter which side is facing out.

Finally, put nametags (or other adhesive labels) reading “Clean” and “Dirty” on opposite sides. Flip the indicator as needed.

 

Use register tape for shopping lists and other household notes

10 Nov

Register tape mountMy friend Carly gets all the credit for this one. She has a roll of register tape mounted on a handsome spindle to use for household notes like shopping lists. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to make my own. Classy, cheap, and functional? I’m sold even without the classy. It’s easy to slap one together from spare parts that any packrat will have around the house.

I’ve attached notepads to the refrigerator door for shopping lists, which is a great idea for anyone to use, but this is superior and more aesthetically pleasing to boot. I like the elegance of tearing off as much paper as you need for any given task. Register tape is cheap, too, since a 130-foot roll costs less than a dollar. With an Altoids tin, a pair of corner braces, and a few magnets, you can be taking notes on a roll like the rest of us. Read the rest of this entry »

 

How to make magnetic LEGO® blocks

26 Sep

Magnet and postcardLet’s just admit it: magnets are fun. There is something inherently entertaining about playing with invisible forces that satisfies the inner child that still longs for Jedi powers and hoverboards. Therefore, I pounce on any chance to buy cheap magnets, and I never throw a magnet away without trying to find a new use for it. I recommend you do the same.

I think Lego® blocks are just as irresistible as magnets, so combining the two is win-win situation. I insist on high-quality, entertaining magnets on my fridge, and these meet my standards (as usual, my rules for what is entertaining or high quality are exacting and bizarre). Read the rest of this entry »

 

Magnetic Towel Bar

11 May

For renters, simple projects like “hanging a picture” or “installing a towel bar” have to be weighed against the potential wrath of that villain in the shadows, The Landlord. In my opinion, a two-bedroom apartment needs to have two towel bars in the bathroom, but I had to ask myself: “Is it worth putting holes in the wall if I’ll have to repair them to get my security deposit back?”

“Yes,” I decided (particularly since there are plenty of holes for picture hangers that I’ll need to fix anyway), but there wasn’t even a good place to mount the bar without drilling through tile or metal. That’s when I came up with my renter-friendly towel bar, held to the radiator cover by nothing but Altoids tins and magnets. As a bonus, my towel dries much faster hanging in front of the radiator. Read the rest of this entry »