Sunday, October 6, 2013

DIY Key wall art

Yesterday in my post about our home library, I promised a tutorial for the key wall-art-thingy I did. Since I'm quite certain that you've all been waiting on the edge of your seats and with bated breath (and any other idioms you can think of to describe "waiting impatiently,") here it is!

A few months ago, I found this awesome wood frame on clearance at Michael's for $3. (They no longer have this exact one, but they have similar ones if you want to make one of your very own. I think they're $8ish when they're not on clearance.)
I forgot to take a picture of it before I started painting. Also, there's a toy car. I have a toddler. Although actually he was napping while I was painting this, so I guess I can't explain the presence of the car in this picture.
When I bought the frame, I immediately came up with an awesome idea for it, and then didn't do anything with it for at least three months. I'm pretty good at ideas; follow-through, not so much. I knew I wanted to paint it and hang it in the library with keys hanging from it, but I couldn't decide if I should paint it white (to match all of the furniture in the library) or red (for a bright pop of color in a room that is mostly blue and white.) So since I couldn't decide, I did nothing. Obviously. Then I was talking to my friend Teri about it (the same one who pretty much picked out the chairs for our library,) and she was like, "Oo, red!" So there you go. I wanted sheer white ribbon to hang the keys from, but I couldn't find any, so I had to go with non-sheer ribbon. I'm still on the lookout for thin sheer white ribbon, so if you have some, wanna share?? (Or at least tell me where you got it?)

I spent at least ten minutes agonizing over red paint colors at Michael's, and finally settled on this one:

Americana acrylic paint in Tuscan Red
I painted it with two coats, and I thought it looked kind of fabulous. The inside of the scroll work (or whatever you call it) is darker than the rest of the wood, so you don't need to worry about getting the red paint inside all of the edges of each hole, because it doesn't really show up. That makes it a lot easier and less time-consuming.

Again with the car...
I had three old keys (and two pretending-to-be-old keys that were actually new, also from Michael's) so I went to an antique store to find two more old keys, since seven keys just seemed like the right number for the size of the frame. When I had all of the keys, I laid the frame on the table and then spent a ridiculous amount of time arranging and rearranging the keys until I liked the way they looked. Then I cut the ribbon to the right length for each key, and attached each one to the back of the frame (right now they are attached with super-classy clear duct tape, just in case I find ribbon I like better and want to re-do it. Then I'll probably use some sort of glue. Maybe super glue? I'm not a glue expert.) I started by attaching the two outermost keys first and then did the one in the middle, then filled in the other four keys so they were spaced evenly. It seemed like a better idea than going from left to right, since I probably would've spaced them poorly and ended up without enough room for the last key. Then I hung it on a lonely wall in the library!
I'm not even going to lie: I'm not currently reading that book. The picture just looked better with a book on the table. The pillow and chair are from Ikea, and the wall paint color is Glass Sapphire by Behr. Also, the white spots on the wall aren't actually there in real life. My camera was just being a jerk.
So there you go. "Art!" Feel free to copy it. You don't even have to name a room in your house after me in exchange for the idea. You're welcome.

If you liked this, please click the smiling woman below! If you didn't like it, please click the smiling lady to make me feel better about you hating my idea. Because seriously, that's hurtful.
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  1. This post made me laugh:) And it made me want to make myself some wall art... Nice work! It is beautiful!!

    1. Thank you! Good to see you (ever so briefly) yesterday!

  2. i love your craft tutorials. every time i go to michael's and see those frames, i always wonder what people do with them. now i know.

    i love this idea. especially in a library. because books are like doors into other worlds and keys open doors and i'm sure you already know all this. also, i'm glad you decides to go with red. it looks awesome.

    1. Thanks! I wondered what people did with those frames, too, but when I saw some on clearance, I decided I'd better make something up. :)

  3. Great project. Where did you get those vintage keys? Oh and I love how your color scheme. The blue and white looks so relaxing.

    1. I got most of them from a local antique store. Thank you!