How to make a DIY magnetic light switch cover

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to make a DIY magnetic light switch cover


Light switches are found in convenient locations to store stuff like keys and pens and other things that gather in pockets or that we want to have handy when we leave the house. Often we put hooks next to them. In this episode of the House of Hacks, Harley shows how to make a magnetic light switch cover to store things on and replace those hooks. While this can function as a magnetic key holder so you never lose your keys again, it can hold any lightweight ferrous object.

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Magnetic light switch cover
Epoxy glue
Neodymium magnets

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For a written transcript, go to How to make a DIY magnetic light switch cover

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at


Today at the House of Hacks we're going to make a magical key chain holder.

[Intro music]

Hi! Harley here.

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In the opening segment, I indicated we're going to make a magical light switch cover. I think it was Arthur C. Clarke that said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." We know in this case it's not really magic, it's just magnets.

This project was inspired by a video I saw somewhere, I don't know where the original video was or I would give credit, but I did find these magnetic light switch covers available on Amazon. So if you don't have the parts or take the time to make your own, you can go check out the link down below and help support the channel by buying things off Amazon. They are, they're not terribly expensive. They're $7.50 or something like that. So they're not super expensive, but they're a whole lot more expensive than a light switch cover and some surplus magnets that I scavenged out of an old hard drive. I'll have a video up at some point talking about scavenging magnets out of hard drives. And then just a little bit of epoxy to hold the magnets in and we'll save a whole bunch of money. Let's get started.

OK, the first thing we need to do is take the light switch cover off the light switch.

And now down here in the workshop, I have my workbench covered up with a little bit of cardboard to keep the epoxy off. Anything that overflows, I don't want it to get on the workbench top. So it's real simple. I've already got some segments right in here that are just molded into the plastic. I didn't have to do anything. That those magnets fit in real nicely. I was thinking I might have to get the Dremel out and kind of cut out an area, but it looks like everything is going to be good to go. So, all I'm going to do here is open up the epoxy and squirt just a tiny, don't need a whole lot, put a little bit in here... that was a whole lot more than I wanted but we'll have to make do. I think the epoxy was a little bit old and got kind of junked up inside the container there. But we'll spread that... we'll use that for both sides. I was going to put a little bit in this side and a little bit in this side, but, you know, things change and I'll just mix it all up on this side. Right here I've got a Popsicle stick that I use for mixing epoxy. And I'll mix this up real good here and then we'll put some of it in the other side. I want to make it so it'll work either on the top or the bottom without regards to how... orientation. So, just kind of mix this up real good. This is 5 minute, fast setting epoxy. So we'll just put some of that stuff that's been mixed up real well over here. And just kind of try to get maybe equal amounts if I can kind of eyeball this. And we'll spread that out there and we'll spread this stuff out here. I don't know if I have it exactly even but it's close enough. It'll be fine. Now we'll just put the magnet... You have to be careful. You have to be careful when working with these magnets because they will attract to each other and they will cause blood blisters if they snap together when you're holding them. So, I'm going to put one right there. And I'm going to put the other one... try to make it symmetrical... put it right there. I'm going to just push that down into the epoxy like so. And like so. Let it get really... I'll just cover up the edges here to smooth it out a little bit. I've got a little bit more epoxy than I need but it will, should be sufficient. It should work. I'm going to just push that guy down in there and it's going to set up here pretty quick like. I kind of like the idea of covering the whole magnet. I don't think I have quiet... I think I have more epoxy on one side than the other. So I'll just kind of cover up those edges. And smooth that down. I'm kind of liking the idea of putting a coat of epoxy all the way across the top to kind of act as a little bit of an insulator. There shouldn't ever be a problem inside the light switch with arcing or electronics or anything, but just to be on the safe side, covering that up will kind of alleviate any potential problems with that. And now we just have to play the waiting game to wait until that epoxy sets up. It should be about 5 minutes or so.

OK, it's been about 20 minutes and that's what it looks like. It's still a little wee bit tacky but it'll harden up over the next 24 hours or so. I think it's going to be just fine. It's not going to be a problem.

Let's go install it.


Well, that was a quick, fun, easy project. I hope you liked it.

Until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required. Fun is!


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magnet.

From magnet.

From magic.