“The key is here somewhere…”

The Dig: Day 2
Artifact: A keyring with assorted old keys
Dated: Circa 2001-2002 (acquisition)

My birth father gave me this batch of keys he had collected from numerous old homes, correctly surmising I’d love them (even if I still haven’t done anything with them).

Any suggestions out there on cool things to do with old keys?

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6 Responses to “The key is here somewhere…”

  1. Joe says:

    Cathy will take them 😛 she has a smaller key ring of keys I think.

  2. Shannon says:

    What an amazing gift! Why are Dads so cool? Here are some ideas:
    http://www.designsponge.com/2011/02/treasure-hunting-keys.html

    I like the basic “wall of keys” look. Reminds me of something out of “Hugo.” In fact, this whole post reminds me of “Hugo.” Nice!

  3. Joan says:

    Get yourself a shadow box from the craft store, and then go to the scrapbooking department of the same craft store and pick up some little adhesive foam blocks and a very interesting piece of paper to line the back of the box. You can guess the rest. I also have a ring of old keys, and I am saving them for the right project. I thought of using them as pendants in some steamtheme jewelry, but that was just an idea, not a spark. And old keys need a spark.

  4. Helen says:

    I have 2 ideas: one somewhat simple and crafty, and the other more complicated and art-y.

    1. Cut a piece of foam-core board to fit a large picture frame, cover the board with canvas and paint it a solid color, then lay individual keys on the board in an aesthetically-pleasing way. Then, trace their outlines onto the covered board, paint the traced key shapes with a contrasting paint to create silhouettes and add hooks or pegs to hang each key over its respective shape (see Julia Child’s Kitchen pegboard at the Smithsonian). Finally, mount the foam-core in the frame and hang on a wall.

    2. Buy more keys. Then, either mount them on a repurposed antique chandelier in place of the original prisms or create an original light fixture where the keys hang down in tiers.

  5. I can’t tell how large they are, but you could possibly bend some into a cuff, leaving plenty of room for a wrist to slip through, but not enough room for it to come flying off. (Don’t I make it sound so easy?)

    Keys are great as pieces of other collages; in my first apartment I had a Hitchcock ‘display’ including a key, a piece of rope, a light bulb, etc., along with some posters and such.

    • Elliston says:

      You know, I’m not sure how “bendy” the keys are. They range in size from a little over an inch to 3 inches or so.

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