Potato Chip Cats: DIY Key Shadow Box and Picture Frames (Craft Post!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY Key Shadow Box and Picture Frames (Craft Post!)

I don't remember when it started, but for a long time, I've had an affinity for keys. Jewelry, pendants, lockets, trunks, keys themselves: something about the intricacy of every unique key and the potential it holds has always intrigued me. Fortunately for me, other people must share this fascination, because interesting key paraphernalia is easy to find.

Naturally, I like having keys around. Here is a shadow box wall decor I whipped together using products from a craft store like Michael's and a wrought-iron key I found at an estate sale of a historic house nearby.

Shadow Box
Scrapbook Paper, cut to fit
Interesting stuff to put in it! (I used keys, locks, and bits of a chain from an old necklace to connect them)

First, cut the scrapbook paper to fit into your shadow box. Pin the corners in place. 

Next, arrange your pieces. Try moving your items around until you find a design you like, then start gluing. I used craft glue to hold the keys in place and used short, color-coordinated brads to hold the locks. The chain is just draped between each one and stays there by some crafty miracle, but I'm sure a dab of glue doesn't hurt. Let all the glue dry before you move the shadow box at all. 

If you are working on the piece outside of the box (probably easier than the way I did it), be careful when lifting it in as the weight will most likely be uneven. This whole project could also be done with a frame. Remove the glass and work with glue or tape as you would with pins in a shadow box.

I use keys in other decor to match the box. I like owls and clocks as well, and for some reason, most of the pendants below came together in two sets so I was able to mix and match to my liking. Lucky me! 

Matte (matching size)
Fabric remnants
Jewelry pendants/charms, decorative keys

First, I removed the glass from the frames and used the matte and fabric in place of a normal picture. Keep the fabric taught (you may have to attach it to the matte, as it will wrinkle under the weight of the charms). Then I simply glued on the charms with hot glue. It's a little arbitrary looking up close, but when arranged together they look pretty nice. 

If I were to do this project over, I would use a more robust fabric that will not stretch when weighed down, or use a different type of glue. I would probably look for square frames to work with, and put all the charms a little closer together. I tend to place things in a very organized fashion when possible, but mixing and messing up the charms like a collage might look fun!


  1. I've never thought of or seen something like this before but I think it's so cool.
    Stopping over from WORLD BLOGGERS COMMUNITY.

  2. so cute. i love the owl. followed back gfc! thanks for stopping by.

    mistee dawn - giveaways & glitter

  3. very cool idea. I love it.
    Stopping by to show some love from WBC commentLuv blog Hop. http://kati-saves.blogspot.com/

  4. Nice historic find! Did you get any history behind it? Visiting from WBC comment luv.


Thanks for your input!