Picture of Magnetic Workshop Rings

This Instructable is inspired by my complete inability to keep track of things, especially tiny ones.  I've dropped countless nails from atop ladders and have completely lost Dremel bits, that I swear...were just there a second ago! 

These simple wire rings use tiny neodymium magnets to hold on to small parts.  They easily hold several nails, a couple bits or those bookshelf things that I always, always misplace.  But they are not so strong that you'll be picking up all the hardware around you or pulling the iron out of your friends' blood. 

Since these are intended to be worn only while working on projects, the emphasis is on speed and ease of construction over durability.  Fully expect them to occasionally bend out of shape or need a new magnet now and then.  If you want something stronger, a soldering gun and more complex wire wrapping techniques could be employed.

Admittedly, the crystals add no practical value, however, being in your workshop all day doesn't mean you have to be a ragamuffin : )
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Cut and Wrap Wire

Picture of Cut and Wrap Wire

These are the supplies for all the rings.  I've divided the rest of the Instructable by design type as the steps are pretty straightforward.

16 gauge copper wire
Neodymium magnets
Swarovski crystals
Jewelry glue
Foil (Design 3 only)

Round pliers
Flat Pliers
Wire cutter
Metal File

Step 2: Design 1: Double S-Shape (Adjustable)

Picture of Design 1: Double S-Shape (Adjustable)

The convenient thing about this,and the next, ring design is that since they are not closed circles,  they are adjustable.  So it is not a problem if it turns out the wire was a little too long or short.  You can also wear on any finger.

  • Measure wire on mandrel and cut (For a Size 7 ring you'll need about a 4" piece of wire.)
  • Use round pliers to create two loops on each end of the wire (S-shape)
  • Turn both ends sideways
  • Bend around mandrel to shape
  • Place in vise and set in magnets and stone

Step 3: Design 2: Two Loops (Adjustable)

Picture of Design 2: Two Loops (Adjustable)

This one is just an easier version of the first (and probably the most practical).  You can make this in about 30 seconds, plus the amount of time for the glue to dry.

  • Measure wire on mandrel and cut (For a Size 7 ring you'll need about a 3" piece of wire.)
  • Use the round pliers to create one loop on each side
  • Turn loops inward
  • Use ring mandrel to bend into shape
  • Set ring in vise and glue in magnets

Step 4: Design 3: Large Magnet

This design if for setting a larger magnet.  The one in the picture is about  3/8" in diameter.

  • Measure wire on mandrel and cut (For a Size 7 ring you'll need about a 8" piece of wire)
  • Keeping the wire on the mandrel, wrap both ends clockwise to form a circle* just slightly smaller than the magnet
  • Leaving enough wire to create small loops, cut the ends
  • Use round pliers to make a loop on each end
  • Flatten wire circle if need be
  • Set ring in Vise
  • File down center to create as flat a surface as possible
  • Cut a piece of foil the same size at the wire circle
  • Glue foil to center , magnet to foil and add crystals (or additional tiny magnets) in the loops
Tttjande1 year ago

What an awesome idea!!! One tip if you want to make the ring hold it's shape better, before you add the crystals put it on the mandrel and harden by hammering. Can't wait to make one for myself and other friends who craft. So tired of constantly searching the floor. :)

sdfgeoff3 years ago
I sympathize entirely with losing things that were right next to you a second ago. I do it so often.
Brilliant solution too.
AlysiaMakes4 years ago
Very clever! I could see this coming in handy when I drop pins into the cracks in my workshop's wooden floor :P
KreaKatri4 years ago
Really great idea, and beautifully made as well!
Great for crafty women who likes to be girly/dressed up/whatever while crafting :)
sabu.dawdy4 years ago
awsome work
mcaliber.504 years ago
i see one flaw in this: the copper turning your finger green. but, you can get wire that won't at any craft store
annahowardshaw (author)  mcaliber.504 years ago
A couple coats of clear nail polish will prevent green fingers...I should have added that. Thanks!
i never would have hought of that! cool!
Myranda_e4 years ago
Uber clever! Magnets are supposed to works wonders on those with arthritis - good for circulation, no? Anyway, this one gets my vote. Good Luck!
ChrysN4 years ago
Clever, and they look nice too!
mikeasaurus4 years ago
I've lost so many small bits while working on projects, a neat idea!