DIY "Picture Frame" Key-holder

4 Materials
For months now since having moved into our apartment, whenever we walk in the door, the keys either stay in the lock (once by accident on the wrong side of the door!) or get thrown on the table or some other surface around the house. This has caused some trouble with finding our respective set of keys and twice I have accidentally taken my husbands set, including his car keys (for which he doesn't have a spare  ). Needless to say we were overdue for a dedicated place for key hanging. I've been really inspired by Hometalk posts in the past, so after browsing around I decided on a mix of a number of different key holder ideas that would soon become our key-holder!

This bare area next to the door was perfect for location. The idea would be a bunch of hooks for hanging keys and a cork board for tacking up messages or notes. I had seen a bunch of cute picture frames turned into key holder, but after unsuccessfully looking around for a good wooden one that was the right size, I thought why not make one myself!

When we bought our closets that needed to be assembled, the packaging came with these wooden slats in between the boards to protect them. I saved them thinking that they could come in handy some time and they sure have! They would be cut down to size to make a "picture frame."

My local hardware store sold these hooks that could be screwed into the wood with a little (or a lot!) elbow-grease. I bought 4.

At first i took one hook and screwed it into the wood to make sure that 1) I could actually screw it in and it wouldn't split the wood and 2) that I could have a starting point to figure out the rest of my spacing. I placed one slat of wood by the corner of the other so that I could mark up my cutting and gluing points. I evenly spaced out the rest of the hooks along the slat so that I could see where to cut the first piece and get an idea of how big my frame would be. I continued to mark up the wood so that I would have 4 pieces all together.

This was a perfect opportunity to pull out our jigsaw! Some awesome Hometalker friends chipped in to get us some tools as a wedding present and this was my first attempt using the jigsaw. As a complete newbie, it was important to read through all the safety precautions and instructions. I then got a brief tutorial from a knowledgeable friend and we were off to cutting!! Its not as scary as it seems and is actually pretty empowering using a power tool!

Once my pieces were cut to size, I took the slat where I had originally screwed in one of the hooks, marked up the place to put the other hooks and began screwing them in. I wanted to pre-make the holes before gluing the frame and painting so that I wouldn't put extra strain or damage the frame once it was in place. I then removed the hooks for late so they wouldn't get in the way with the rest of the assembly.

I pulled out some handy wood glue, laid out some newspaper and got to gluing. I simply aligned the pieces, applied the glue, held in place for couple of minutes for the initial set and let it dry.

For the cork board portion, I wanted to continue with the theme of using what I had already int he house. My husband's home office had an old cork board that actually fell out of its broken frame. We've since bought a new one, and this one was just lying around. I didn't need the whole thing so I measured the width of the frame I had made against the board and using a box-cutter, I easily cute the board to size.

With the intention of painting the frame, I thought it would be nice to create a "frame" around the cork board so that it would match up nicely. I didn't have any fancy painter's tape so I just used some scotch tape. I measured the same width of the slats of wood on the board and lay the tape for clean lines.

When the company I work for was moving offices recently, they were getting rid of a whole bunch of stuff from storage and I got to pick up this can of magnetic chalk paint! I didn't know what I was going to use it for at the time but it was perfect for this project! I loved the color and magnetic and chalk aspects would add a touch of fun and practicality for message writing and notice-hanging. Even though it initially looked like one coat would be enough, once it dried it became apparent that the suggested 3 coats would be necessary.

I laid it out to dry on our little porch in between coats which really sped up the process.

Once the paint was dried, I realigned the cork board and the frame, added some more wood glue and set it for drying. To add some color, I painted a little floral design on the cork board corners with puffy paint giving a more whimsical feel (and hopefully distracting from where the color bled on the cork underneath the tape I had placed  )

And here it is! The final project! All dry, hung up and functional! I was able to use some nails to attach the cork board to the wall and the glue was strong enough to hold the frame in place so that I didn't have to drill. Now we have a designated place for our keys and a really cool project that gives me a lot of pleasure to look at and use knowing that I made it out of around-the-house-objects instead of simply buying something new.

Suggested materials:

  • wooden slats   (around the house)
  • metal hooks   (local hardware store)
  • wood glue   (local craft store)
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