Picture of Make a basic electromagnet
Electromagnets are very useful tools. They have the ability to gain a magnetic field with the introduction of current and to lose it once the current ceases. We will be building a very simple one that works with these principles. It is also a very cheap project, I had everything needed to make it lying around my house.

Update 1/27:
I added a better video, it isn't great, but it is an improvement.
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Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials
For this project we will need:

One large nail
Around 5 feet of 16 gauge wire.
One D cell battery
Some electrical tape (optional)

All of this can be bought at a hardware store for under $4.

Wire stripper

Step 2: Start Wrapping!

Picture of Start Wrapping!
Start wrapping your wire tightly around your nail. If you need to compress the coils, just pust the wire against the head of the nail. Keep in mind that the tighter the coils are, the stronger the magnet will be.

Step 3: Connect your battery

Picture of Connect your battery
Now we will get power into this. Strip both ends of the wire and connect them to your battery. I used electrical tape to hold down my battery, but you don't need to.

Step 4: The Finished Product and Video

So now we have our magnet finished. Lets take it and test it out!

This will get very hot if you leave the battery connected for to long. Please be careful! I am not responsible for you if you are burnt.