The Magical Key Cube. A Really Cool Magnetic Key Hanger.

Do you have keys laying all over the house?  Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Make one of these ridiculously fun magnetic key holders and never lose your keys again.

Skip right to the tutorial.

Today is the day you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s the day that you *actually* do a DIY that you saw online instead of just *thinking* you’d do a DIY that you saw online.  There’s a big difference. In once scenario you get a feeling of accomplishment, superiority, a rush of adrenaline and pride.  In the other scenario you get a really full Pinterest board.

I saw, and bought, one of these magnetic key hangers about 4 years ago at The One of a Kind Show.  It was like magic.  The only thing at the show I remember loving more was the slice of pizza I got.

I normally don’t like to copy the work of artisans from places like that but I think I’ve let enough time pass that I can do so without feeling like I’m appropriating his genius idea. Which, honestly, was probably the genius idea of whoever he stole it from.

This key hanger looks just like a wood cube but there’s a rare earth magnet hidden inside that your keyring sticks to.  Like magic.

 

Magnetic Cube Key Hanger

Materials

length of wood with sharp, square edges (2″x2″)
1/2″ drill bit
1/2″ rare earth magnet
3/16 x 2″ Dowel Screw
Veneer  (2″ iron on edge banding if you can find it, otherwise use a sheet of veneer)
Wood glue (if you don’t use iron on edge banding)

INSTRUCTIONS 

1. Cut your length of 2″ x 2″ into squares. 

Your 2″ by 2″ piece of wood will actually measure closer to 1 3/4″.  So your square pieces will be 1 3/4″ by 1 3/4″ by 1 3/4″ by 1 3/4″.

You can make these cubes in any shape you’d like.  A long rectangular one for example.

2. Drill a hole in one side of the cube with a 1/2 drill bit to the depth of your magnet. 

I used a drill press because it’s fun but you can just use a regular drill.  I used a spade bit works well because it gives you a flat bottom to rest the magnet on.

 

3.  Press your magnet into the hole.  If you drilled straight down without wiggling your drill bit, the magnet will fit snugly. 

 

 

4. On any side that butts up to the side with the magnet, drill a hole for the dowel screw.

 

5. Screw in dowel screw until half of it is in the cube.

If it’s too hard to hand tighten use a pair of pliers to grab the screw being careful not to squish the threads.  You can also put the screw into a vice (again being careful not to squish the threads) and screw the cube in further by hand.

If you’re lucky you’ll find dowel screws like these that have a smooth centre, letting you grab it with a pair of vice grips without worrying about squishing threads.

6. Cut veneer squares for 5 sides of the wood. You won’t veneer the back where the dowel screw is.

You can cut the veneer slightly larger than you need and then just cut the excess off after they’ve been glued into place.

7.  If you’re using regular veneer apply a thin layer of wood glue to the wood cube and stick the veneer on top.  Clamp it.

When clamping, cover the veneer with another piece of wood.  Doing this will stop the clamps from denting the veneer and it’ll distribute the force of the clamps evenly over the veneer.

 

8. Once all your veneer is glued on (or ironed on if you’re using iron on edge banding) and trimmed you can stain, paint or just leave your cube natural.

I’ve stained my birch veneer with Early American Minwax stain.

9. To hang the cube, drill a hole into your wall and add an anchor if needed (for hollow walls, sheetrock/drywall). 

10. Screw the cube into the wall. 

It’s important that you pre-drill the hole otherwise you could end up pushing the dowel screw through the front of the cube.

 

Wanna see it in action?


And yes.  You have to add the veneer.  Otherwise there’s nothing to hide the magnet.

 

You’re probably thinking, well yeah, but I have WAY more than 1 key that hangs off of my keyring.  This would NEVER hold up all of my keys.

Not true.  Rare earth magnets are incredibly strong. They hold my big honking keychain with a fob, various keys and a tape measure hanging off of it.

I just have one but you could have one for each person in the family all lined up on the wall of the door you come in.

Or do a long rectangle instead of a cube and add a magnet every 3″ so that everyone has their own key spot on it.

These painted different colours would be really fantastic.  Glossy hot pink, or if you have several you could go from dark to light (ombre) of the same colour.

Really the possibilities are endless for how you could configure these or make them look.  There’s only ONE thing that you absolutely HAVE to do, to make these work properly.

You can’t just Pin it to your Pinterest board.  You have to actually make one. 😉

 

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The Magic Key cube!  Make one of these babies in about an hour and always know where your keys are. They're on that really cool looking magnetic cube. ;)

16 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    That does look sharp, and very nice instructions too. 🙂 Doesn’t pinterest count like 95% of making it???

  2. TucsonPatty says:

    That is certainly how I look at it – like pinning the recipe counts for making it, at least the one time! See also: buying an excercise video you never actually even watch, let alone actually use, or buying hair products that sit in your cupboard.
    Karen, can you put a magnet on three sides so the keys can be placed on two sides and the bottom, or is that a stupid magnet north and south pole question/problem? This is pretty darn cool!

    • Karen says:

      Absolutely you can put the magnets on all sides! In fact that’s exactly what the one I bought is like. ~ karen!

    • Ina says:

      I thought I was the only one with a cupboard full of unused hair products!

      • TucsonPatty says:

        Nope. I’m a hairstylist, and I cannot count the clients who tell me they already have “that product” but they forgot about it in the cupboard. I’ll add you to the list. I always laugh and tell them it doesn’t work as well on their hair when it is still on the shelf.

  3. Lynn says:

    So cool I seen one years ago , I just never considered how to make one. Now I know thank you Karen now I just need to find those magnets I bought so many years ago…
    Treasure hunt time hahaha

  4. maggieb says:

    You can buy iron on veneer, seriously?

    Okay back to reading post…

  5. Carrie says:

    Ok……I NEED this!!
    Love the different shades of color idea😄
    Also, is your rolling pin hanging on your wall??……

  6. Sarah McDonnell says:

    One of A Kind Show? OMG! How did I miss this wonderful thing?( 1300 miles distance, maybe).
    Had to Google, now totally addicted to the shopping site. Stinson Maple, those scarf thingys! Ooo la la!

  7. Mary W says:

    I immediately thought of knife holders. Also, I thought you were going to remove the tape measure so you don’t mess up your ignition. LOVE the clean wood block look! What is a rare-earth magnet – from a rare planet called earth – aren’t they all from earth? Or is there a natural magnetic rock (how is this possible?) verses a man made magnetic rock (how is this possible?) I obviously know nothing about magnets except I shouldn’t use one near my computer or it will erase the hard drive – I’m sure this a an “old wives tale” which again is a mystery – are they old women or is the tale old? I should have paid attention in science but —– my teacher was incredibly boring and monotone and I always chose B on my quizzes and made an A without trying. How did so many questions come up from such an incredibly easy DIY?

    • Karen says:

      Um … I’ll address the one question, lol. Rare Earth Magnets are very, VERY strong man made magnets. Not like regular magnets. Crazy strong! ~ karen!

      • TucsonPatty says:

        I wouldn’t know this from experience, ut they can give you a blood blister if you aren’t careful. Telling you from a friend. 😀

  8. Karen says:

    I think you should put a magnet inside the deer’s mouth…….

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