Keyed Up

October 7, 2009

I almost fell over backwards when I saw this key art all over Restoration Hardware’s latest catalog spread.  How cool are these keys so beautifully framed? 


What’s not cool (at least to me) is the price.  At $199 dollars each for an 18 x 18 inch square, I had to choke a bit.  You see, a few months ago I purchased some of these same skeleton keys for $2 dollars each at my favorite local salvage warehouse.  I plan on featuring them in my ‘Home for the Holidays’ Etsy shop – coming later this month.  I always thought they’d be so beautiful framed in a collection.  So I laughed when I saw Restoration Hardware’s images. 

rh desk with keys

Images via Restoration Hardware

A few days ago, I was doing some discount DIY framing, working on a photograph for my master bedroom.  One of the other projects I finished was my own miniature version of framed skeleton key art. 

key art from side 

These were so easy to make.  The most difficult part is finding the right key.  Luckily, I had my own stash. 

First, I gathered up some discount frames, some textured wallpaper (from a treatment I’ll be doing in my family room), some keys, hot glue, some champagne colored craft paint, and some balsam wood trim (available at any craft store)

key art supplies

I purposefully purchased frames that had extra room in between the glass and the rear of the frame to allow for the depth of the keys. 

extra space frames 

I cut my textured wallpaper and adhered it to the back of my frame with some spray adhesive. 

trim wallpaper

Then I painted the balsam wood with the craft paint in the champagne color, and trimmed it with a steak knife to form a frame. 

cut with knife

I glued the frame and the keys to my textured wallpaper with hot glue.

hot glue keys

hot glue frame and keys

I stuck them all in my black frame behind the glass, and now I have my own key art.

cg key art

These smaller versions cost about $11 each.  But even if I had done this on a larger scale, with a larger frame, it would still be far cheaper than you know who. 

These keys are really interesting up close.  They’re all so unique and different.

keys up close

Don’t you just love reminders like this of our past ?  I do.

key art from side

These two are going to go somewhere in the medley of art I still have to display in my living room.  I’ve just picked up this mid-century sideboard from the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift for $50 dollars.  It was originally $100 dollars, but I was lucky to be there on 50% off furniture day. 

$50 dollars for this piece !  It’s solid wood American of Martinsville, and I have no idea what it’s worth.  I’d say more than $50 dollars.  And I am not sure what I’m going to do with it as far as the finish.  I will likely replace the hardware.  Should I stain it darker?  Maybe.  Paint it?  Probably not.  Leave it alone?  Perhaps. 

I’m going to sew a silk fabric runner for the top and then eventually get around to hanging some art above it. 

antique sideboard

The wood detail and paneling is traditional, but still fabulous.  This will certainly come in handy during the holidays when we entertain.  Plus, it’s one more project for me to think about. 

Next, I’ll show you my DIY framing in the master bedroom  and give you the grand tour.  I’ve never shown you the master bedroom.  It’s time.  Stay tuned. 

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