I made these frequently as a young boy, they are easy to make, parts are very cheap (if not free) and you can spend hours tweaking it!
What you need :
- About 1M (3′) Thin gauge enamel copper wire – thick enough that about three inches could support the weight of a pencil.
- Small magnet – many fridge magnets will do.
- 1xAA Battery (1.5v)
- Push pins or small finishing nails.
- Small square block of softwood (about 12 cm wide will do).
- 3cm (1.5″) diameter cylindrical object (large magic marker or C cell battery is about the right diameter.)