This was one of the first utilitarian projects we came up with. I was getting tired of keys not being in one place. You are getting ready to leave and cannot get out of the door because either you can’t remember where you put your keys or they are not where you left them. We tried having a bowl or basket on a table but that didn’t well with me. It just took up valuable space.
I’ve made a simple key rack before. It was ok but nothing I was really happy with. As I started to think about it, little things like a key rack are statement of the personality of your home. It is one of the first things you and your guests see when you enter and leave your home. So why not put a little effort in it.
The hardest part of this project was finding keys with handles small enough for key rings to fit. Next time you’re strolling through a flea market, keep that in mind. The keyhole plates were easily found on eBay. Now building it was a lot easier than you might think.
Measure the area you want to install the key rack and cut the wood to size (TIP: Cut a piece of cardboard to size and thumb tack it to the wall just to be sure you are happy with the size).
I didn’t have any older wood at the time so I used bead board and a thin molding I liked. After I cut the wood to size I attached the molding to the board with glue and finishing nails. I set the nail into the details to hide them. I sanded the edges of the board to soften the appearance.
You need to dry fit the hardware. This is easier than you may think. It just requires a little division. In my case I used 4 keys. So I measured the length of my board (lets just say it was 10”) and divided by 5. Then I made a pencil mark every 2”. KAPOW!! All the keys will be evenly spaced.
Find a drill bit just slightly bigger that the tip of the key. Drill a hole about half way through the board. Now this part you really have to be careful not to damage the key. I gently hammered the key into the drilled holes just enough for the key teeth to make an indentation. At this point you have a decision to make. If you are confident in the strength of the key you can hammer it in, if not I would use a chisel to remove the indented wood. We want the key teeth least 1/4” into the wood. The keys are going to permanently mounted with epoxy, so once you are happy with the key depth remove them and set aside.
It is time to paint, stain, decoupage or whatever makes you happy. I used green craft paint. After that dried I added a second coat of white craft paint. Once that was dry I sanded off some of the white to get a weathered look.
I screwed in the keyhole plates with screws that complimented the plates, and then filled the drilled holes about halfway with epoxy glue. Lastly I firmly put the keys back into place and aloud the epoxy to fully cure in accordance to the product’s label.
For hanging the key rack I chose to screw it into the wall. I drilled out holes deep enough to insert screw hole plugs afterwards. (TIP: Measure the thickness of the wood and only drill half way through). Once hung and the plugs were inserted, I used the same craft paint and some artist brushes to make the plugs match the finish.