Magnetic Collar Stays

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Button-down shirts are great and versatile.  However, if you are not wearing a tie and there are no buttons on the collars, you can often look like you are going to fly away with airplane wings around your neck. 

This is a simple, inexpensive and quick way to use magnets to create collar stays that will keep the collars on your shirt from looking like you are "cleared for take-off". 

There are some folks selling magnetic collar stays for a small fortune ( http://www.wurkinstiffs.com/power-stays/6-2-5-power-stays.html ).  You can achieve the same objective with stuff lying around the house for free.  I did. 

Step 1: The Supplies

Begin with a pair of metal snips, a piece of feromagnetic metal, two small disc magnets, your original plastic collar stays and a marker.  If you don't own metal snips, you can probably use good scissors.  A rotary tool like a Dremel with a cut-off wheel, or even a saw would likely work too.

I did not buy anything.  I took two disc magnets from the back of some old refrigerator magnets.  The piece of metal was in a box of junk in the garage.  Thin steel or other feromagnetic sheet metal is widely salvageable from old toasters and other items that are commonly thrown away.  You can also buy a small metal sheet at hardware stores, craft stores or on ebay.  At Home Depot, just walk down the galvanized vent aisle.  You will find something cheap that will likely be large enough for collar stays for the whole neighborhood.  If you do not have neodymium magnets lying around, these are cheap and widely available at hardware stores, ebay and other sites.  You only need two.  I quickly found a set of 20, 8mm disc magnets for $3.49 on http://accstation.com/mothremgnt01.html 




Step 2: Trace Your Collar Stays on the Metal


Take your original plastic collar stays and trace them on the metal.

Step 3: Cut Out the Metal Stays

I used tin snips to cut out the traced collar stays.  You probably could use a Dremel, saw or maybe even some industrial scissors depending on how thick your metal is.  The metal I used was easily bendable by hand. 

Step 4: Sand Down Rough Edges and You Are Finished


I used a belt sander to quickly sand down the rough edges on the collar stays.  You could use a metal file or sandpaper just as well.  This step is optional.  It does not matter what the stays or the disc magnets look like.  They will not be visable. 

Step 5: Apply the Collar Stays and Magnets


Put the newly cut out metal collar stays in the shirt.  Place the small disc magnets on the inside of the shirt by the tips of the collar.  The magnets will easily stay attached to the shirt.  I have not had any come off from normal activity yet.  You are finished.  No more airplane wings.  Just remember to remove the magnets and the stays prior to washing the shirt.  If feromagnetic metal is in prolonged contact with water, a rusty mess would likely be left on your shirt.

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    20 Discussions

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    wshirai

    3 years ago

    Thanks so much. My husband loves metal stays and our anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. I plan to stamp our initials on them to make it a bit more romantic. And he loses them a lot so I'll make him a few sets. Not sure if I'll add the magnet part. Might be a cool add on.

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    paul.axton

    3 years ago

    In my opinion, magnects accessories are outdated! I prefere Flux quantum charged accessories ,they are like magnets on steroids. Few labels are producing such though. To name few Collar-links by collaterals, links of London, David Yurman, they jumped in the new technology.

    You can buy a bunch of metal ones on amazon for under 3 bucks, and they won't be all jagged :)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A7L8ZKE/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    You can buy a bunch of metal ones on amazon for under 3 bucks, and they won't be all jagged :)

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    cwallwork

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, there is clearly some misunderstanding here.

    You should always remove collar stays before washing a shirt, whether they are metal or plastic.

    Magnetic stays are a great idea. They give the unbuttoned dress shirt look that you see on people like George Clooney. A button down collar is not the same thing, it is much less formal. There are shirts with hidden collar buttons, but they are hard to find.

    For the people who suggest adding buttons: Make sure you are proficient enough to sew good looking button holes through stiff collar material. I know I am not, so I will be assembling myself some of these.

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    AwajiMan

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I think that this is a fantastic 'ible just on the merits of making your own metal collar stays. The addition of magnets is just brilliant!

    I'm curious to see if the bottom of steel beverage cans could yield a pair or two.

    2 replies
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    AwajiManVengence

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Usually asian and european drinks come in steel aluminum alloy cans - things like canned coffee, soy milk, coconut water, etc. Usually these have flat, rather than concave bottoms since the steel is stronger.

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    tommagic1

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder what would happen if you made the tabs out of one of those "plasticized" refrigerator magnets...you know, the ones you might get a calander or some advertising? You could probably make the 2nd magnet from the same material. I don't believe this material rusts....

    1 reply
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    banker

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made a pair of these after seeing the guy on Shark Tank with his.
    You don't have to buy a small metal sheet at hardware stores, craft stores or on ebay. I cut up a soup can for my stays, and I ordered the neodymium magnets from ebay.
    These are really great. Go make some.

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    paulo500

    7 years ago on Introduction

    All my golf shirt collars curl up!! What a pain in the $%#. I wonder if i can utilize this method somehow.

    1 reply
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    Lorddrake

    7 years ago on Introduction

    why not use clear coat to protect the metal from rusting and ruining your shirt?