Magnetic Tea Towels




Introduction: Magnetic Tea Towels

About: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!

Frustrated with fumbling with feeding a towel through a fridge handle? No more!
Start tossing your towels like tossing salad, and have your towels stick to your appliances. These tea towels are magnetic, allowing them to quickly be attached easily to your fridge or stove. Now I can quickly toss my tea towels at the fridge and have them stay in place.

Sure, they sell them; but why buy when you can make!

Making your own is easy. A small neodymium magnet is coated in PlastiDip (a flexible, rubberized coating) to protect them while being washed, and then sewn into a corner of the tea towel.

These magnetic  tea towels were super easy to make, and throwing them at the fridge to be hung up is super fun!
Here's how I did it!

Step 1: Dip

PlastiDip is a liquid rubberized coating that is designed to be flexible and durable. It's designed to coat the handles of tool, but anything that fits inside the can is able to be coated. Is weird and fun stuff.

I dipped my magnets to seal them from any water damage they may come into during their use, both from mopping up kitchen spills and for the inevitable washing they will need. With a protective coating these magnets will last many washes and abuse.

Since paperclips are magnetic, they made the perfect tool to help me dip and coat my magnets. I opened a paperclip, making a hook on one end and straight edge on the other. The PlastiDip can is metal, so it's advised to pour the dip into a disposable. non-ferrious container (I used a paper cup). Placing the magnet on the straight end the magnet was slowly dunked into the PlastiDip, going slowly helps give an even coating. After dipping the paperclip was hung by the hook end to allow the magnet to dry.

After about 20 minutes the magnet was mostly dry. The magnet was removed from the paperclip, revealing a small section where the dip wasn't applied. I was able to dab on a little extra dip in this location, then let the dipped magnets dry for a few hours. After, my magnets were completely coated with rubbery protection.

Step 2: Sew Magnets Into Cloth Corner

After the plastic protective coating has dried the magnets can be installed into the tea towels. Fold over about an inch (25mm) of one corner of the tea towel, there should be enough fabric to completly cover the magnet and have enough fabric offset to sew.

Without the magnet inside, start by sewing one side of the folded corner of the tea towel. Push the magnet into the pocket created by the sewn edge, then sew the pocket closed. If you are using a sewing machine to sew the enclosure be careful as the magnet will be drawn to the ferrous sewing deck and the sewing machine foot; you may have to push the magnet along while sewing.

Remember to back up over your stitches at the beginning and end of your sewing to secure the ends and prevent your sewing from coming undone. 

Step 3: Toss Those Towels

All that's left is to start tossing towels all over the kitchen. These magnetic threads will hang on your fridge or stove, within easy reach, and will probably dry faster as they won't be bunched up after use.

I'm also pretty sure that the more you throw things around in the kitchen the more it looks like you know what you're doing. So stop draping your tea towels and start tossing them!

Have you made your own magnetic tea towel? I want to see it!
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38 Discussions

Have I missed something or are those faux stainless steel doors? It's long been my understanding and experience that magnets are not attracted to stainless steel. Therefore, assuming those doors _are_ stainless steel, shouldn't those towels just fall to the floor?

1 reply

Hi Nelson. You are correct. The older Stainless Steel models were not magnetic. People missed that and complained, so now the newer Stainless Steel Refrigerators can attract magnets. I don't know what they did to make it so -- but I can attest to the fact, as my family pics on our new fridge, that it works great.

You have to love how these magnetic towels grip to the 'stainless steel' appliances!

Velcro could be used instead of sewing them in....easy open for removal for washing. And for those that don't sew use fabric glue to glue the velcro on.

Thanks for the inspiration and the great ´Ible :)

Our washing machine drum is magnetic so I wanted removeable magnets. I also didn´t want alteration to any of the materials to have the opportunity to use them for other projects.

So here is what I came up with:

1 reply

That's a clever adaptation, I like it!

Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the 3-month Pro and digital patch.

brilliant, and too much fun!!! thanks a million mike - our kitchen towel just found a new home on the oven door =)

3 replies

What a great idea! I love it and want to make some! I don't have the coating but I'm thinking hot glue might work too! Thanks for the inspiration!

Genius! Cannot wait to try this. Can you get the "Plasti-dip" mentioned at Home Depot or Lowes, or did you order it online?

to all my fronts in the kitchen no magnets sticks. I know there are some screws in stainlss steel that are magnetic.

Useful idea! Finally my wife will stop complaining that she kept on 'picking up those towels almost everywhere in the house' and 'one day she would force me to eat one'.

Got to find big steel plates to install in the kitchen!

Do you know the name of a similar product (Plasticoat) available in the U.K.or is it the same name.