A good stud finder is an excellent addition to any toolbox, but if you don't have one, this tip from a general contractor over at Houzz is a money-saver. Get the strongest magnet you can find and wrap it in painter's tape, leaving enough loose that you can use as a handle. Then drag the magnet across the wall where you want to find a stud.If it's strong enough, the magnet will be attracted to the nails, screws and junctions in the stud as it passes over one.
This method is clearly not perfect, and it's not going to land you right in the middle of a stud by any means. However, if you just want a method to hang some art or anchor a bookshelf, this is a good way to go, especially if you don't already own a stud finder and don't really want to go buy one for a single job.
In fact, the contractor who uses this method notes at Houzz that he doesn't bother with anything else — the key is in the strength of your magnet, and the commenters there seem to agree.
What do you think? Too inaccurate to be useful, or a great hack for around-the-house projects? Share your thoughts — and your alternatives — in the comments below.