Homemade Magnetic Latch

We love our kitties, but they are such troublemakers! They are always climbing up on tables or bookshelves where they aren’t supposed to be, they eat paper and cardboard, and they always manage to start huge howling, knock-down, drag-out brawls with each other as soon as I am on a conference call for work!

Last week we woke up one morning to find that my cat had climbed up on our counters, opened the upper cabinet doors, pulled out a bag of egg noodles, and eaten them! *sigh* (The silly animal is alive and fine, don’t worry!) So I decided to protect our pantry from these mischievous kitties by installing a homemade magnetic latch to keep our doors shut!

Homemade Magnetic Latch

I know you can buy a magnetic latch that attaches to your cabinet doors, but I already had magnets, so I figured I’d just DIY it. And it works great!

All you need are magnets, glue, and something for the magnets to stick to. I chose neodymium magnets because they’re very strong, and I was worried our cats could still open the doors if we just used regular refrigerator magnets. 🙂 You can get neodymium magnets at most hardware or craft stores.

The magnets will stick to anything metal, so you can get creative with the other half of your magnetic latch. I used some binder clips because they can be strongly attached to the cabinet doors, but can still be removed later if we change our minds. Other ideas we threw out there but ultimately discarded were paperclips, a strip of tin (like we used for the magnetic spice rack), floral wire, or another magnet. Any of these would have worked, but the binder clips were easiest to install.

As for glue, I wasn’t sure about this part, so I called my dad! He said that clear silicone adhesive is the best, and luckily, I still had some leftover from using it to attach candle holders to a wreath last fall. You can probably use superglue for this project, but clear silicone adhesive is better, and it’s actually super useful to keep on hand. It might be worth it to invest in some if you don’t already have it because it sticks to pretty much everything, including glass, is waterproof, dries flexible, and is inexpensive.

Homemade Magnetic Latch - Clear silicone adhesive

Anywho, clip a binder clip to the edge of your cabinet opening. If it bothers you that the silver handle parts show, just pull them out; they remove easily.

Homemade Magnetic Latch

Mark where the door hits the binder clip, put a dollop of silicone adhesive on the back of a magnet, and press it onto your cabinet door. Dad says you should use enough glue so that it smushes out a bit around the edges when you press the magnet onto the door. This way the glue encases the magnet and holds it on better, but don’t use too much or it will get messy!

Homemade Magnetic Latch

The doors aren’t incredibly hard to open, but I doubt a cat could pull them open at this point unless they were REALLY trying! And had opposable thumbs. 🙂 I guess time will tell, but I feel better now about the safety of the noodles in our pantry!

(By the way, I would not recommend this as a substitute for a plastic child safety lock. If you need to protect your doors and drawers from kids, go with something much more sturdy!)

How do you keep your cabinet doors closed? Or do you not have mischievous pets like we do? 🙂

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Joe says

    5 years ago

    Doesn’t the glue pull away?

  2. Jocie@OPC The Better Half says

    11 years ago

    awesome! i need to do this for my crat cabinet that doesn’t close all the way! thanks for sharing!

  3. Rachel says

    11 years ago

    One of our cats always gets into stuff and I will definitely do a twist on this to keep her out of a few specific closets that don’t have door handles on the doors. 🙂

  4. Barbara says

    11 years ago

    Binder clips- genius!

  5. Janet says

    11 years ago

    Good fix for cats in cupboards. We, however have 3 standard poodles!! Wouldn’t work for the’ll be pm. If you’re curious, I’ll be posting a pic later. They’re about 50 lbs. apiece to give you an ides. :-).

  6. Sara says

    11 years ago

    Omg! Bad kitties!! Our cats used to eat things we left out on the counter (oatmeal, crackers… They chew right through the package) but yours are ultra crafty!! Luckily you are craftier 😉 Great idea!

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