Introduction: DYI Riveted Magnetic Clips

About: Teacher of Engineering and Mathematics at Cedar Grove High School

I was recently asked by a colleague if I had any magnetic clips similar to THESE. She wanted to use them to hang decorations on a metal wall in her office. Not having any on hand, I used this as a perfect excuse to start tinkering.

Here is how I created DYI Riveted Magnetic Clips


I strongly believe in renewing, reusing, and recycling existing materials instead of purchasing new and adding to the strain on our natural resources. Therefore, I decided to make this project out of materials I had readily available. I included links for reference but did not use these to purchase the actual materials.

2 - 10 x 3 mm rare earth magnets

1 - medium binder clip

2 - aluminum pop rivets (1/8" diameter, 1/8" grip)

super glue

sandpaper (optional)

3D PLA 3D filament (one or two colors)

3D printer

pop riveter

Step 1: Take Measurements

To make measuring and sketching easier, I decided to trace the magnets and grip of the binder clip. I approximated the shape of the binder clip grip using an oval and a trapezoid. These are the pieces I will use when designing the model in Tinkercad.

Step 2: Design the Magnet

I love using Tinkercad to create my 3D models. The shape library is super easy to navigate and I always find a shape (or composite of shapes) that mirror my designs.

The first pieces I designed were the voids. These will hold the magnets and binder clip in place. Additionally, I added two holes for the rivets.

Once the voids were complete, I added the main body of the magnetic clip. I designed the main body using the transparent feature in Tinkercad so I could see how my previously designed voids interact with this new component.

I duplicated the body (this will be the top of the design) and added the 'DC' design feature. I try to always add a custom feature to my designs. It's an easy add-on and makes a big impact on those who receive your designs. In this particular case, my friend and I have the same initials so I'll probably print out a few extra for myself :)

DYI Custom Magnetic Clip

Step 3: 3D Print the Pieces

I 3D printed the pieces using a Lulzbot Mini2 printer and sliced the model using the CURA Lulzbot edition slicer. Both are very intuitive and I'm always pleased with the results. Before extracting the .gcode from the slicer, I decided to add another custom feature. I added a pause to the print that would allow me to change the filament before printing the DC design.

Step 4: Final Assembly

Time to assemble the Magnetic Clip. The first pieces I glued into place were the magnets. I used sandpaper to scuff up the back of each magnet to give the glue something to hold onto. I found out the hard way that the magnet voids were a little too close to each other. As I tried to put the second magnet into place, the first leapt from its spot and attached to the other magnet. To fix this, I glued one magnet, waited until it was dry, and then glued the second. Live and learn, huh?

I decided to use aluminum rivets to attach the top. Glue would have been easier, but I like the industrial look of the aluminum rivets.

And there it is. I hope you've enjoyed this Instructible. Please let me know if you've made it and what, if any, improvements you made to the design.

All the best,


Metal Contest

This is an entry in the
Metal Contest