Thursday, February 4

DIY Wall Art: Framed Keys

You've probably seen some cool art made from old keys. Retailers such as Restoration Hardware carry some beautiful examples. And Melissa and Kate did their own DIY versions.

I've had key envy. I just love the look of antique keys, but I don't have any. And I don't have a handy flea market to comb for old keys. So I've remained keyless and clueless.

Until I got a Pottery Barn gift certificate and found that they sell a set of seven "vintage inspired" gate keys for $19.00. Catalog/internet only, free shipping.

I used part of my gift card and ordered my keys. I am keyless no more.

These "gate keys" are pretty big--they range in size from four to seven inches. They're designed just to be hung on the wall. But after seeing the wonderful examples of framed keys, I knew that was the look I wanted. So I took this old frame

painted it black, and distressed it a bit. I wasn't crazy about the greenish "antique" finish on the keys, so I gave them a quick coat of Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint. Then I covered a piece of foam board in burlap and hot-glued three of my keys to the burlap. Since they're pretty heavy, I also secured them with straight pins. The pins stuck out the back of the board, so I bent the tips down, then I dotted the heads of the pins with black magic marker so that they just disappear from the front.

Here's the finished product:

I really like it! And I still have four keys to play with. Maybe I'll string them on ribbon and use them as tassels. Or take Pottery Barn's suggestion and use them as paperweights. Or maybe you have a better idea--please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.


  1. Very cute. I like them framed. I've seen their keys and that's not a bad price for the set considering they're from PB!


  2. i love your keys, richella! and i thought the same thing as i scrolled down- four more to play with! i love the looks of those old keys (and new from pb!)

  3. Yippee! I have a set of keys on a ring hanging on the wall. I am copying your idea. I always see ladies using burlap for projects--but where do I buy it?

  4. I love how your project turned out! Nice work!

    I'm hosting my first giveaway on my blog. Please feel free to stop by and enter to win free print(s):

  5. I had forgotten about that set of keys at PB...I actually thought of ordering them when I saw them in the catalog! I still early b'day gift for myself, huh? ;D
    Love how you did them!


  6. I love it!! I am actually really surprised that they didn't cost more than that. Seems like a pretty good price for PB. Love what you did! :)

  7. Oh I love those keys! I especially love the way you've framed them. I'd say that's a good price, too! I'm off to check them out on the site! = )

  8. Well, you know I love the tassel idea! : )

    I do love what you did with that frame! I've been wanting some keys, too. to scrounge up a gift certificate to PB...

    : )

  9. I saw this post when you wrote it and ordered the keys that day. Used f in the similar style you did yours and the other two have been lying around in a tray since then. I found two shadow box frames in the clearance section at Michaels last week, white and scratched up, bought both for $5 painted them black, put white linen behind the now painted ORB keys and am using them in my hallway after painting is finished. Thanks again for the great tip about the keys and the idea for how to use them. Should say five keys, oops! Couldn't correct it though, the program wouldn't let me.......?? Thanks again!!


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