Instructables

Keyboard Refrigerator Magnets - New Method

Set free your inner geek! Make fridge magnets from old keyboard keys!

My first instructable! The inspiration for this came after I discovered the keyboard wallet instructable. I thought it was cool but... what about all the other parts of the keyboard? Being a person who hates to see anything go to waste, I pondered the fate of the rest of the keyboard. Then it came to me: magnets! I could turn the keys into magnets! And what perfect timing, with the fridge magnet contest just beginning....

EDIT: A few hours after posting this, I found llama13's keyboard fridge magnets. This instructable was not inspired by his, it is just coincidence that we both had the same idea. However, my fridge magnets use slightly different supplies and methods.

And, since this instructable is competing in the fridge magnet challenge, please give it a + rating if you liked it!
 
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Step 1: Obtain the Necessary Tools and Supplies

Here are the things you'll need...

-Keyboard x 1
-Flat Magnet (Comes in strips or a roll)
-Screwdrivers (1 Phillips required, a jeweler's sized flathead is also handy.)
-Scissors
-Glue (Hot glue, tacky glue, whatever you like)
-Cutting Pliers

Flat magnets are fairly easy to obtain. Law firms and dentist's offices just love to stick them in your phonebooks, mailboxes, and anywhere else where you might be annoyed to find them. It doesn't matter what kind of picture is on the back, because we're not going to see that part anyway. However, if you don't want to reuse these magnets (I didn't have a bunch lying around) you can purchase them at craft stores, or other places (I got mine at Wal-Mart.)

As for the keyboard... most geeks will have no problem with this step. You might even have one gathering dust in a closet somewhere...

For those of you who are NOT geeks, go search goodwill or your local thrift stores (or dumpsters). You'll probably be able to get one for less than a couple bucks (or maybe even free).

Keep in mind that it doesn't have to work, it just has to have keys in decent enough shape that you'd be okay with having them on your fridge.
aminul5 years ago
I used a quicker, easier method for cleaning when I made the keyboard thumb tacks. Put the keyboard in the dish washer before you remove the keys. Clean as new.
I second this method. I often use it to clean my desktop's keyboard after removing the electronics. Put it in the top rack and it will look like new when it's done. Takes a while to dry fully but well worth it.
kerneykid14 years ago
wow this is amazing, I would have never thought of this
fairyduck5 years ago
Great instructions! I'll have to make sure I make some time to do this... my 2 year old will love having these on the fridge! (so will my rude friends... i think i'll separate most of the keys to have some fun.. i've got a couple of spare keyboards hanging around :) +++
Rist Rocket5 years ago
What brand/make of keyboards are you guys/gals using? I ask because I have opened up 4 different brands of keyboards and none of them have a separate plunger and key. All of the keys are molded with the plunger as one piece. Thanks for your help.
Fwirt (author) 7 years ago
I guess this isn't a new idea... I didn't see this before I wrote mine... Ugh, there goes an entire day of making magnets. I feel dumb. Oh well, my way of doing it is a bit different than his, so technically it's a project with different methods and ideas.
Echoing what other posts are saying, ideas don't exist in a vacuum. We create things based on what we've seen and our experiences. Truly original and unique ideas are very rare. New methods, different methods , or even just improved methods can often move whole industries forward. Sharing your methods and ideas may inspire others. So please share!
ewilhelm Fwirt7 years ago
There are multiple ways to do the same thing, and they are all valid Instructables.
No worries - there's always room for more than one ;)
ha ha ha cool I want to do it ,I have an old keyboard with all the buttons ripped out.
BytePilot6 years ago
Hiya,
After seeing the two related instructables I made my own keyboard fridge magnets. There were minor differences in the method I used.
magnets were 3mm x 1mm neodymium magnets from E-magnets UK held in with hot melt glue.
The only real wrinkle in the method was to embed the tiny magnets within the hot glue using a steel wire to push them into place, then whilst the glue was still molten put the key down on a cold steel plate.
The magnet pulls itself to the steel plate and cools the glue around it leaving a very thin layer of glue between the magnet and the steel.
This means the magnets don't fall out and also ensures that they are at exactly the right height to stick the keys flush to the fridge.
the hot glue I used did not stick well to the steel so removing the keys was just a matter of knocking them loose once the entire glue blob had cooled.