DIY Tutorial: Cute Key Holder

27 Jul

Once upon a time, there was a princess with fibromyalgia. This princess was one of the smartest in the land, but her fibrofog made her feel dumb. Each morning, she spent at least 10 minutes searching the castle for the gate keys so she could take rides to the village market, tailor, and, well, some other places, but she’d written them down and couldn’t find the list …

So, one fine day, she had a grand idea to create a designated space for her keys and lists! She would call it a key holder, and she would simply hang it by the front door of the castle. That way, on her way to the stable, she could rest assured that the castle gate keys and to-do lists would be at but an arm’s reach. Even her prince saw it as an opportunity to leave his love letters with her to-do lists, so that she would be sure to find them each day and be reminded of their true love.

And they both lived happily ever after!

Or something like that.

You don’t have to have brain fog to appreciate being able to find your keys each morning. When I came home with a long wooden sign that said “Blondes have more fun,” Tom was skeptical. I assured him that I would be painting over the words and creating something new. Here’s what I did:


Pardon the poor lighting. I’ve dubbed our front hallway “The Green Mile,” because of its long, dimly lit, and gloomy demeanor. Anyway, the board I found was pretty long, so I decided to add clothespins along with the hook and vase to hold notes and lists. This is right by our front door, so it’s incredibly convenient, and I don’t have much trouble remembering to hang my keys on something that’s practically in my face as I walk inside. Like many of my projects, I think I’ll add to this one a bit by painting a wash of dark teal over the green to tone down the near Christmas-y theme I have going on here.

If you’d like to make your own key haven, here’s how to do it.

What you need:

Long wooden board (a stake, fence post, wooden sign … the options are limitless!)

Acrylic paints in your choice of colors (optional)

Large paintbrush

Sandpaper (optional)

Key ring-size hooks and screws to match (I found mine on sale at JoAnn Fabrics and had the screws, but any hardware store will have a variety of both; UrbanOutfitters has some awesome ones if you’re willing to spend a bit more money)


Hose clamp (found in the plumbing department of your hardware store)

Mason jar


Strong glue like E6000


2 zigzag hangers with nails (if you haven’t found a sign that has them)

How to make it:

1. Paint the board with a couple of coats of acrylic paint. My sign was black to begin with, so I painted everything but the edges, so that there’s a black border. Get as crazy as you want here. You can use metallic paints, glitter, or you can forego the paint and Mod Podge magazine images on your board. Let it dry completely. Sand edges if you’d like a worn look.

If you need to attach zigzag hangers to the back of your board, now’s the time to do it. Follow the instructions on the package, or simply be sure that the distance from the edge of the board to the outside edge of one hanger is the same distance to the other hanger on the opposite end of the board.

2. Place your hooks along the (dry) board to get an idea of placement. You can measure between them, or just eyeball the distance. Allow room for your vase and clothespins on either end.

3. Mark the where the holes of the hooks are on the wood with your pencil. Remove the hooks, and use one of your screws to create “starter” holes by screwing it in slightly at each mark and removing it. This will make it easier to attach your hooks to the board. Now place the hooks back on the board, lining up the holes on the board with the holes in the hooks, and screw them on.

4. Now that your hooks are attached, it’s time to attach the hose clamp to hold your mason jar vase. Slip the vase inside the ring and adjust it so that the glass can be removed to add water and be cleaned. Once you’ve found the right circumference, remove the jar and screw the clamp onto the board. The hose clamp already has slots to place your screw in, but you may need to widen one of them. I was able to widen mine by using the tip of a screwdriver to “drill” one of the slots into a screw-sized hole.

5. Now, it’s time to attach your clothespins.¬†Again, you can measure the exact distance between them, or just eyeball it. Be sure you leave enough room between them to ensure that the notes attached won’t overlap and cover each other. You can lightly mark their placement with a pencil. Now glue the clothespins down with your E6000 or other strong glue. Let dry completely.

6. Once the glue is dry (follow the directions on the tube of glue,) hang your key holder, fill the mason jar with water and flowers, and place it in the hose clamp vase holder. Oh, and remember to hang up your keys!

Gentle hugs,



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