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Magnets are best known for keeping kid's drawings and recipes up on our refrigerators. But beyond being fastened to your fridge, they've got quite a lot of unusual uses. Let's take a look at 10 clever ways you can use magnets around your home.

magnetic place settingE is for Eating! Photo: Real Simple

1. Magnetic wall. Turn any wall into a giant magnet with magnetic paint, which can be applied to lots of surface materials, including drywall, plaster, wood, and metal. Then hang posters, clippings from magazines, artwork, photos -- just about anything really -- using smaller magnets. This is a great alternative for people who cringe whenever they need make a new hole in the wall.

2. Monogram place settings. Real Simple cleverly creates personalized place settings using those alphabet magnets from the fridge. It sticks to flatware made of nickel-free stainless steel (labeled 18/0).

3. Magnetic spice rack. Place magnets on the bottom of your spices and attach them to a sheet of steel next to your oven or a stainless steel backsplash.

4. Under-cabinet storage.
Move things off your countertop by placing a magnetic strip underneath your cabinets. Then suspend jars with metal lids, or other metal items. (Also, take note of the wall-mounted magnetic knife strip in photo at left.)
5. Screw saver. Take a magnet or magnetic paint and apply to a small piece of plywood. When you're putting together that tricky assembly-required furniture, place your screws, nuts and bolts on the magnetic surface to be sure you don't lose any. If you drop some nails on the floor, you can also use a magnet to pick them up with ease.

6. Stubborn battery remover. Have you ever tried to pry a tiny battery out with no luck? Try using a magnet to grab a hold of it, and you'll never have to use your fingernails again.

7. Medicine cabinet space saver. Have you ever opened your medicine cabinet and had your beauty tools spill out into your sink? Happens to me all the time. Place a magnetic board in the back of your medicine cabinet to hold your tweezers, scissors and other tools in place.

magnetic bag closureUse magnets to keep your chips crispy. Photo: L. Marie, Flickr

8. Keep snacks fresh. After you've had a snack, add two magnets to either side of a bag of potato chips, fold them over and let the magnets keep your chips fresh longer.

9. Make a compass.
This cool kids' project provides direction on how to make a compass with a basic magnet. Hey, if a kid can DIY it, so can you.

10. Locate studs. If you're trying to hang a picture or a shelf on the wall and need to locate a metal studs, sliding a magnet across the wall is the old-fashioned way to do it. When you feel the magnet pull, or it sticks to the wall, odds are there's a stud right there.

Bonus tip: Fellow DIY Life writer Mrs. FIXIT offers one more idea for employing a magnet to keep your nails handy while you're using a hammer!


  • Harry Hurt

    A magnet is also good for erasing the data in the magnetic strip on the back of an expired credit card. I also cut the number into several pieces, then discard them in various places, such as my trash, a dumpster, and a public trash can.

    Reply
  • walruscow1

    A strong electro-magnet is fun to use on co-workers hard drives for a quick tidying up of data...

    Reply
  • KatieCouric'sNemesis

    That's funny...but I am glad I don't work in the cubicle next to you.


  • chuck

    I don't like the idea of using so many small magnets in the kitchen. If a child, or anyone else, swallows two or more of them, they could attach to one-another from different parts of the intestine killing the tissue between them and requiring surgical removal.

    Reply
  • MrData98

    Dopiest bunch of "advice" I have read in a long time. Man, they are really stretching for things to write about these days.

    Reply
  • diana

    the only one knowing they were dopey ideas is a dope himself. if your so intelligent you should be rich dude


  • MaryBeth

    I always thought stainless steel is non magnetic ?

    Reply
  • hmthrco

    Some cheaper grades of stainless are magnetic.


  • kaye

    We all get all those unwanted advertising magnets. I've printed off photos of my children, their kids, and a great grandson and glued the photo to these many magnets that I have and I now have a display of my family on my refrigerator. When they come over, they love seeing themselves and the new magnets are better when needing to put a reminder on the frig, than that A/C ad, or whatever!

    Reply
  • jlw

    After using straight pins when sewing, I run a magnet across the carpet to pick up any that may have dropped - much less painful than stepping on them.

    Reply
  • Bryan Merritt

    Dont ever put a powerful magnet near your TV screen it will permanitly distort the picture. I did this once and ruiend a good TV..

    Reply
  • Chris

    Now why did you have to go and say that. Cause I know one idiot will try that at home befor the day is out. I know about this because I've seen the TV repairman do it at the house when I was younger. I think that only works on the older TV's with the tubes and not plasma or LCD, I'm not sure


  • Ann

    If you get a magnet too near a TV screen, there is a fix. Plug in a soldering iron and hold it about 8 to 12 inches from the TV screen. Wave it around the screen and it will put the picture back to normal. Of course DO NOT TOUCH THE SOLDERING IRON TO THE SCREEN.

    I saw this done when a friend's little boy decided to see if a magnet would stick to their TV screen.

    Reply
  • serenethirteen

    I make my own magnetic word/poetry games. Using the advertisement magnets that come in the mail and whatnot, I print an area of words on sticker paper (although you can just glue it too) stick it on the big flat magnet, then cut out each word.

    Reply
  • a man

    You forgot one----a medical magnet. Mine keeps me from having seizures.

    Reply
  • 15 Comments / 1 Pages
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