Introduction: MAGNETIC Key Holder

Do you often find that you've lost your keys? Or do you just want to make life easier? This lesson will help you with all of that in one sleek and stylish product.

At every step of this build you will have the option to use either traditional tools, or a laser cutter, depending on the tools available to you. I will be using metric measurements however you can convert them here if you prefer to use imperial.


All you will require:

  • Band saw and drill or laser cutter
  • Craft knife
  • PVA glue (wood glue)
  • Assortment of high to low grit sandpaper
  • 3mm MDF wood
  • Two (or more) different shades of wood veneer.
  • Strong Magnets

Step 1: Basic Frame and Keyring

The basic frame and keyring serve the purpose of housing the magnets. The ugly MDF will ultimately be hidden by the sleek geometric design on the top.

When designing your own housing, you should try and keep the frame small. My base is 5 x 10 centimetres with semicircles with a diameter of 2.5 cm on each end. After much experimentation, I found this to be a good size. You also want to consider the distribution and number of magnets you embed in the frame. I only needed three slots, but there's nothing stopping you from expanding horizontally to hold more keys.

If you are using traditional tools, I suggest that you sketch out the design on the 3mm MDF board, then drill the holes for the magnets with a 10mm drill bit, and cut the perimeter with a bandsaw. Alternatively you could create your design in CAD and laser cut the MDF.

The keyring is more or less the same idea. The keyring should be long enough to house the magnet and key-chain, whilst protruding over the edge of the base plate. Again, its up to you how you want to personalise this.

When all the parts are finished glue the magnets into the keyring with multi purpose glue. (make sure you it's not visible)

Step 2: The Veneer

You will require two (or more) shades of veneer, a knife or laser cutter and wood glue.

This step is a great opportunity to give your design a personal feel. I used two shades of veneer and my own geometric design, but you could do whatever you want. If your looking for inspiration just search google images for geometric veneer designs. Once you've got an idea of what you want to do, draw it out on paper a bit bigger than the base, then draw the outline of the base on top, (using the base as a stencil) then trace it onto the veneer. Then you will want to trace the identical design onto all of the different coloured veneers in your design and cut them out with a craft knife and metal ruler. Or if you want to save time, you could draw your design in CAD then laser cut the pieces out. You should also cut a long thin strip that will act as the perimeter edge of the base plate

Finally organise the different coloured pieces like a jigsaw puzzle and glue down with PVA (wood glue) as shown above.

Step 3: Sanding and Varnishing

This next stage will make your pattern come to life and look amazing!

Start off with a relatively low grit sandpaper until you have achieved a flat surface. Then progressively increase the grit to create a smooth surface. Finally take the varnish or oil of you choice and apply as directed on the bottle. I used raw linseed oil, because of it's minimal impact on the environment, but the choice is yours.

Once dry use multi-purpose/ wood glue to fasten the magnets to the back.

Step 4: Mounting

Now just mount the base plate with some screws, or like I did, with adhesive pads. Remember, the base plate is magnetic so it will also cling to any magnetic surface you might own, such as a whiteboard or fridge.

I hope you enjoyed making this!If you did please consider voting for me in the magnets challenge :)

Magnets Challenge

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Magnets Challenge