# Get a D cell battery. You can get them at most battery shops.
Find a large nail or a bolt, or other piece of steel that can be wound with copper wire. Size is not critical, but a rod about 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) in diameter, 4 to 6 inches (about 10 to 15 centimeters) long is a good size to start with. Galvanized steel will destroy the electromagnets power do not use anything galvanized.
Get 10 feet (about 3 meters) of coated wire. Magnet wire, available from some hobby or electronics shops is ideal, but regular speaker wire, some telephone wire removed from its outer jacket, or even residential electrical wire will work. For this project, a 24 gauge wire is probably the best size.
Neatly coil several feet of wire around a nail, in even, uniform wraps. The more wraps you make, the stronger the magnetic fields will be.
Strip about 2 centimeters of insulation off each end of the wire. These will be the leads you attach to your battery.
Use some vinyl electrical tape to attach the one wire to each end of your battery for a D cell. For a lantern battery connect the wires to the springs. For multiple batteries, you may need to purchase a battery holder with clips for attaching the wires.
Find something like a paper clip or straight pin that is made out of steel, and hold the electromagnet close to the object, and you should see your electromagnet pick it up.
Note your metal object should "stick" to your electromagnet as long as the battery is connected to the wires and has a charge left in it.
Remove your wires from the battery terminals when you are through experimenting with it, since the circuit will rapidly discharge the battery, potentially causing it to overheat.