Magnetic Key Holder and Elastic Sunglasses Holder

IMG_0845I have this bad habit of coming home and putting my keys, wallet, and sunglasses in a different spot every time, and I’d always spend 5 minutes looking for those things before I walked out the door again. So I needed a solution. And this is what I came up with.

On the left is a simple block of wood that has 40 rare earth magnets embeded in holes in the back. I used a 1/2″ forsner bit for 1/2″ magnets that I bought on amazon in a pack of 50.

Below is a picture of the sunglasses holder. Its a similarly simple piece of  scrap wood that I drilled two holes through, stained, and threaded a strong piece of sewing elastic through which was stapled tight to the back. Then the whole thing was screwed to the wall. I put the screws underneath the elastic to hide them a bit. The picture shows the maximum amount of sag when all the sunglasses are in the same area, but if you spread them out a bit it stays taught.


Required Parts

  •  1xsomething wood to cut to size for the blocks
  • Rare earth magnets – I used 1/4″ disk magnets, but I’d recommend going with something a little bigger to make it a stronger magnetic field.
  • Something magnetic to put on your keychain (My wife uses a carabiner and I use a washer.)
  • A few drywall anchors
  • Sewing elastic
  • Staples
  • Drill bits big enough for your magnets (I recommend forstner bits so you dont drill through the front)

How to Build

For the magnetic key holder:

  1. Cut out the size of 1″ thick wood that you would like to serve. My plate is about 3.5″x5″, which is just big enough for two side by side keychains.
  2. In the back of the wood, drill out holes with the forstner bit to JUST BEFORE you make it all the way through the wood. This part is really tricky since you need to get as close to the front as possible without going through. The thinner the wood on top of the magnet, the stronger the magnetic connection to your keychain.
  3. Stain and finish the wood front and sides as you prefer. I used a light wood stain and two coats of semigloss polyurethane.
  4. Drill a mounting hole in the middle and attach the board to a wall stud.
You can easily drill too far through the wood and if any of the holes pokes through, you will have to start over. Be careful. Use a drill press if you have one. 

For the elastic sunglasses holder:

  1. Cut out the size of 1″ thick wood that you would like. My plate is about 2″ x 10″ and it holds about 5 pairs of sunglasses well.
  2. Drill two holes 3/4″ in from the sides and slightly above vertical center (the elastic will sag some) and drill two more holes about 1″ towards the center from those holes for the wall screws.
  3. Stain and finish the wood front and sides as you prefer. I used the same stain as the magnetic key holder above.
  4. Staple 3″ of elastic to the back side of the wood and thread through the first hole, stretch across the front of the wood, and back through the second hole, and then staple 3″ on the back again. Make sure this elastic is VERY tight, because it will sag if it has much give when glasses are put on. You can see in my picture a little sagging going on even when the elastic is tight.
  5. Screw the board to the wall with drywall anchors. (They can be light duty anchors since you won’t have much weight on them, but I’d resist the urge to just screw into drywall with a regular screw. That will eventually come out and leave a nasty hole in the wall.

Parts featured in this article: 

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