Keys to the Castle

Awhile ago, I saw this picture on hgtv.com and something about it really inspired me. 

A lot of the keys pictured are vintage, which is way cool! But unfortunately, we don’t have any inherited antique keys lying around.  And we definitely don’t have near as many keys as what’s framed above.  I kept looking at the word “inherited” in the caption of this photo, and ideas started to brew!  I thought about different options: calling our parents to ask if they had any antique keys, getting a copy of (and framing) the keys of our parents’ homes, because after all these were the homes we grew up in until we moved away.  Then John had an even better idea~ why not frame the keys to the homes WE have had together? Perfecto! 

So I started digging through my closet of “old stuff I will probably use for something” and found this little shadow box.

Gross, right?! I’m not even sure if ugly sums this thing up.  Anyway, I picked it up several months ago at a thrift store for $1.99, knowing it would come in handy for something. 

And luckily I still had the key to our first apartment together, so I made a copy of our current key (our first house together) to pair with it. Then we grabbed our supplies (Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, twine, and tacky glue) and headed outside.  We also used white spray paint but it’s not pictured here.

We quickly painted the frame white and the keys Oil Rubbed Bronze.  We considered leaving the keys their natural colors, which probably would’ve looked good too, but one was silver and one was gold. So we went for a matching look.  After about 2 hours (and only one coat of paint) everything was dry and time to put together! 

Check out the cute little couple hanging in our hallway:

and a fun close-up 

This project was super easy; anyone can do it! It’s a little crazy to think that something that started out so ugly could become so sweet.  It’s got so much meaning, and that’s the best part ;)

And here’s the costs (or savings, rather) of this little project:

  • White Spray Paint: already owned (but you can pick them up for about $4)
  • Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint: already owned (but I think this one runs about $7)
  • Twine: $3.00
  • Copy of key: $1 and some change
  • Shadow Box: $2
  • Tacky Glue: already owned (but they’re about $3 a bottle)
  • GRAND TOTAL: About $6.oo

I’d be curious to know what a craft store would charge if you were two ask them to frame some keys similar to what we created.  My guess is waaayy more than $6.oo!  And the bonus news is that we hardly used any of our supplies, so we’ve still got plenty of paint, twine, and glue to go around!

We would love to see other key projects, so bring ‘em on!

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4 responses to Keys to the Castle


  1. Pingback: Crummy Pictures No More! | Drab to Fab Design

  2. Andrea Brothers

    I LOVE THIS!!!! It is so meaningful to you guys. Great idea. And I love the twine you used.

  3. Becky

    Super cute Whit! All your projects are great… wanna make-over my house?! :)