Key Holders

Since we moved into our house nearly a year ago I have been meaning to make one key holder for the hall and another for the kitchen. Because much as the one we were left is useful, the quaint chicken farmyard scene doesn’t really fit with the rest of our decor!

To make these I used a leftover piece of skirting board, which has been earmarked for this project all along. I measured and marked up the wood to give two sections about 8 inches long, and fetched my saw. When we bought our saw last year we went for a nice one that cuts going forward and backwards which makes life so much easier. It made cutting through the soft pine pretty easy.

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To get rid of the rough bits I sanded down the edges using the roughest sandpaper I have. That way we aren’t in danger of splinters each time we fetch our keys!


This is the point where I started treating the two key holders differently. The one for the kitchen is just plain and practical, whereas the one for the hall is more of a statement piece! So I’ll start with the fancy one:

I decided to decorate it in a way my husband would like, as I know I say no to his … erm … ‘design ideas’? … quite a lot! He’s into comics and graphic novels and in our ‘yellow walls with red things’ hall, I thought that a decoupage using the bold colours of classic comics would look good. So as I got painting the wood red, using poster paint, I set him the task of choosing the pictures he wanted included in the decoupage. Luckily he didn’t choose any I didn’t like!

Once they were all shrunk down to size and printed out, I carefully cut out each picture and roughly laid them out to check we had enough to completely cover the surface. As it turns out we needed about twice as many as we had so it was just as well I checked!

To stop the colour running between all the pictures when I started sticking them down I first had to seal them. I did this by applying a thin layer of PVA glue to the whole front side of each picture and leaving it to dry. I needed a glue spreader to do this, but not having one I had to improvise: I used one of the side tabs from a cereal box and it actually worked extremely well!

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Once all the pictures were sealed and dry it was time to stick! I started with the edges of the wood, using the same method of applying the glue as I used when sealing. I had a rough plan for which pictures should be at the surface and which could be partially covered, but otherwise I just laid the pictures where I thought they looked right. Whilst trying to silence my inner crazy person who likes everything to line up and be perfectly straight!

Once all the pictures were used and all the gaps were filled, I left the glue to thoroughly dry. To finish off the surface I sealed it by applying 2 thin layers of glue using my diy spreader, again letting each dry thoroughly before continuing.


Now I know I’m bound to be biased but I think it looks pretty good! And luckily hubby does too!

Then all it needed was the cup hooks to hold the keys. I started by measuring the width of the wood, which was 8 inches, and as I was using 4 hooks I marked spaces evenly at inches 1,3,5 and 7. To make screwing in the hooks easier I made pilot holes using a nail which I hammered in a few mm then removed. Keeping the hooks straight was a little challenging due to their shape, so I just went slowly and kept checking from different angles to make sure they weren’t squint. The second reason I went slowly was to make sure the paper didn’t get chewed up by the screws.

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I attached a hanging loop to the back and the key holder was ready. Ta-da!


The second one for the kitchen was much simpler. I painted it purple using the leftover paint from when we decorated the kitchen. The paint is specifically designed for kitchens and bathrooms, so using it on the wood should help to seal it and stop any moisture damage. I gave the front and sides two coats, for an even finish, and just did one on the back to seal it. I left plenty of time between the layers to allow the paint to completely dry.

I put in the cup hooks using the same method as before, and now all it needs now is a hanging hook (which I’ve yet to buy…) and it can go up on the wall. Easy!



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