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Make Your Own Magnetic Lanyard

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Make Your Own Magnetic Lanyard

Stop stooping for that lock – make a magnetic lanyard.

If you don’t wear a lanyard for work then I guess you won’t understand the need for this hack; if you do then I think it’s going to make a lot of sense. This magnetic lanyard is detachable and very easy to make. It makes a huge difference to how quickly you can remove your pass or key.

Time needed: 30 minutes.

How to make a break away magnetic lanyard

  1. You will need

    You’re going to need some Sugru, two small but strong magnets and a couple of metal keyrings. The magnets I used 10mm diameter x 2.5mm thick neodymium magnets, I bought them from First4Magnets for a good price. They are rated up to 1.4kg, which may seem overkill but once you put a bit of distance between them with the Sugru that pulling force drops off quickly.

  2. Divide up your Sugru

    First, split your Sugru in half, then slice off about 25% of each half into a separate little piece. So you overall pieces look something like the picture. It’s not critical these are exactly right but you want them to at least be symmetrical. Notice that I’ve put clingfilm (plastic food wrap) on the table to avoid any staining. I’ve also discovered that Sugru really doesn’t stick to it so it’s a good surface to work on.

  3. Roll the pieces into balls

    If your Sugru feels a little dry then work it around to smooth it out before you do this. I forgot to do it for the leftmost piece and you can clearly see the difference. Make each piece into a perfect little sphere.

  4. Squash the smaller ball with a magnet

    Aim to get the magnet nice and central as you push it down into the ball. Be careful not to push it in too far, you’re looking to get a good border of Sugru around the edges and leave the majority of it between the magnet and the surface you’re working on.

  5. Position the ring

    Place the metal ring on magnet, make sure it’s central and standing up straight.

  6. Add the rest of the Sugru

    Place the larger ball inside the ring at the bottom and smooth it down over the magnet and onto the first piece. You’ll need to make sure the two pieces are smoothed together enough that they make a good bond. Do this by very lightly greasing your finger with oil (vegetable oil works well) and then smoothing around the edges. Keep working on the shape until you have something you’re happy with and then repeat all steps for the other ring.

  7. Loosen the ring (optional)

    This is optional but if you still want to be able to get things on and off the rings then it’s necessary. After a couple of hours the Sugru will have gone mostly hard but isn’t completely cured. Give the rings a little twist and wiggle, just enough that they can move freely.

  8. Wait 48 hours

    You need to let the Sugru go off completely, usually this is only 24 hours. With this project, I found that once you put the two halves together, the force of the magnets means the Sugru start to stick to itself. Maybe the pressure forces out some of the adhesive chemicals? I don’t know, but it’s what happens. So leave it for 48 hours just to be safe.

Geek Points

There’s a high chance you’ll get beaten up for wearing this. But, hey, at least you don’t have to do that weird stoop every time you need to use your keys. If you do get beaten up, please can I draw your attention to the disclaimer page? Thanks, happy making.



A lifelong fan of making and breaking things. If you can do it yourself, why wouldn't you?

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