I absolutely LOVE home made ANYTHING! Unfortunately I was not gifted with any kind of art-related gene! I’m sure there will be a Thursday where my attempt to be thrifty and artsy ends in some kind of disaster! But that won’t be today :) My wonderful, amazing girlfriend Jess is going to take over and be my first guest blogger! She is currently in school pursuing her PHD in Sociology and Mental Illness … she’s obsessed with all things zombie, bike and craft beer related and on top of all this she is also quite crafty! (yep - I know, I got a good one!) Today she is going to share with you how she made a home made key rack! :) Enjoy!
Since I moved into my current apartment (5 years ago this month!), I had been on a quest for the perfect key rack. On the most basic level, I needed something that would keep me from frantically searching for my keys on the way out the door. But I also didn’t want some run-of-the-mill key rack. I wanted something unique, something that preferably wasn’t mass produced, and something that fit my personality. I was also looking for something on the smaller side - I didn’t need a key rack to house 15 sets of keys or some gigantic monstrosity that also organized my mail, told me the weather, and offered me a scone on the way out the door.
For a while, I had thought about repurposing some obscure object as a key rack. I had seen some posts on using the head of an antique rake for this purpose, and I thought, hey, I’ll keep an eye out for something fun like that! But alas, nothing ever caught my eye on my trips to the thrift store.
Then, I started coming across racks on etsy, where people had basically screwed some hooks on a painted piece of wood, and then added something unique, like a wood carving, a mason jar, or a small shelf for knick-knacks. And I figured, hell, I could do that! I can customize it exactly how I want it, and it will cost me MUCH less than what they’re charging online. Plus, as an avid canner, I was excited about creating a design that incorporated a mason jar.
So that’s what I did. And it’s a deceptively easy project. Instructions for the build are after the jump. And keep in mind that part of the fun in this project is that you can make a key rack that fits your personality. So you can opt for 4 single hooks, a 12 oz tall mason jar, different graphics, or any other configuration that works for you :).
- Two (or more) hooks (from a home improvement store, usually in the same section as all the cabinet knobs)
- Scrap of wood (choose a size that works for you, but keep in mind the size and spacing of your hooks and mason jar)
- Worm clamp (that thing around the mason jar, typically in the plumbing/hose section of home improvement stores)
- Mason jar (you can get single jars at most craft chains)
- Screw driver
- Screws (the hooks should come with some, but you’ll need one for the hose clamp too)
- 2 Sawtooth picture hooks (from a local craft store)
First, find some scrap wood. I went to the cutting station in Home Depot, and sifted around in their scrap wood bin. I found a nice piece, and asked the lady up front if I could buy it. She charged me a dollar, but I’m sure some people will just tell you that you can have it for free (it is, after all, basically garbage).
Next, plot out your layout for the hooks and mason jar. Make sure your worm clamp is positioned on your mason jar the way you want, so you can mark off where to attach it. Mark your screw holes and worm clamp height with a pencil.
From there, I painted the block of wood. I had some extra eggshell paint laying around from when I refinished some book shelves, so I used the same color.
After everything dried, I attached the hooks and clamp to the board. But depending on the design you want to do, you may be better off adding your design first, and then adding the hooks and clamp. In my case, I wanted the stamp centered on the hooks, so I figured it would be easiest to add the hooks first.
A word of warning - attaching the worm clamp is a little tricky. You want to insert the screw in one of the slots (being sure you still have easy access to the mechanism used to tighten the clamp). But it takes a little muscle to get the screw to slide through the slot and into the wood. Keep at it, and it will go in eventually.
After all the hardware was attached, I prepped my stamp. In my case, I was using a stamp I designed and carved out of linoleum (hooray high school print-making class!! I knew that would come in handy!). But feel free to use a stencil, paint something freehand, or purchase a stamp or stamps of your own choosing. And if you’re thinking of buying stamps, big stamps can be pricey, so check out local thrift stores. Mine are full of barely used stamps that cost about a dollar a piece, compared to new stamps that can cost upwards of $20 (or more!).
I brushed acrylic paint onto the stamp, making sure there wasn’t too much paint globbed on there. I have acrylic paint around the house typically, but you can pick up small tubes of artist’s acrylic paint at a local craft store for relatively cheap. You can also use a contrasting color of wall paint, if you have some extra lying around.
I then positioned the stamp, and pressed it on, being careful to lift it straight off the board when I was done.
From there, I inserted the mason jar, tightened up my worm clamp, added two sawtooth picture frame hooks on the back, and mounted it in my kitchen. I absolutely love it.
And feel free to get creative with your mason jar too. I use mine for various flowers (both fresh and fake) throughout the year, but you can also throw in some sunglasses, a roll of doggie poop bags, or anything else that isn’t particularly heavy.
I absolutely LOVE this key rack!! I seriously never lose my keys anymore AND it’s so freakin’ adorable!! Plus we also hang up our dogs’ leashes on the hooks too so this can really be used for multiple reasons! :)