The Bits Bug




Introduction: The Bits Bug

About: I like to tinker. I'm a co-founder and active participant of my local hackerspace: Hack42 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. You can also find me on under the name Moem.

This is a cute little buggy buddy for any maker or crafty person. His magnetic back will helpfully hold screws, nails, paperclips, needles or safety pins while you tinker. Inside, you can store that incredibly small but also incredibly important part that would otherwise get lost in the process.

He's made almost entirely from reused materials, and can be used as a small but thoughtful gift for your maker friends.

Step 1: What You'll Need

  • a small box that sugar-free mints come in
  • some thick insulated copper wire
  • some thinner wire, can be copper or otherwise
  • two harddisk magnets. If you don't know how to get them out of and old harddisk, look here and here.
  • two of something, anything, that's round, shiny and metallic and will work as eyes
  • contact glue
  • hot glue
  • pliers for stripping, cutting and bending wire
  • a hammer
  • a nail
  • paint stripper and an old brush to apply it
  • a hot glue gun
  • a heat gun
Please wear gloves when using paint stripper. This stuff is nasty.

Step 2: Remove the Paint

Apply a generous coat of paint stripper to soften the paint, then remove it with, for example, a pot scrubber or similar.
Wear gloves for this step, and be sure to wash the tin very well afterwards. We don't want any remaining paint stripper.

Step 3: Make Some Holes and Add Eyes

Use a hammer and a nail to make eight holes: two in the lid for antennas, six in the bottom for legs.
As you can see mine are not very well placed, and rather asymmetrical, but that's fine, it won't show.

Glue the eyes on, using contact glue.

Step 4: Add Antennas and Legs

Now thread the thinner wire through the holes in the lid so the ends are on the outside. Cut the ends to an equal length. Use your pliers to curl them into antennas. Your bug is now starting to look cute!

Strip the insulation off of the copper wire. Make the legs in a similar way as you made the antennas. Then secure antennas and legs with some glue (can be contact or hot) from the inside of the box.

Step 5: The Most Important Step

Also the easiest.
Stick your harddisk magnets to the inside of the lid, and secure them with glue all around them.

Step 6: More Hot Glue Is Always Good (except When It's Not)

Now, if you want, you can improve the way the inside of the tin looks by sealing the bottom with hot glue. If the glue won't flow evenly, use a heat gun to heat it up.
You can do the same with the inside of the lid, and seal the magnets in nicely, but beware: any glue that happens to get on the inner edges of the lid will make the lid hard, or impossible, to close. So leave the edges completely glue-free.

(Yes, I made that mistake. My BitsBug lost his eyes in the process of removing the excess glue. But he got them back and gained some cute eyelashes, so in the end, it all worked out.)

Step 7: Close the Box

There you go, your Bits Bug is done and ready to assist with any project you may need it for.

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    9 Discussions


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you very much!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Glad you like it, and thank you.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is very cute, I would make one of these. I am voting.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Aww, that is sweet.... thank you so much!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, it is cute and helpful, I like it!