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Skeleton Key Shadow Box Craft

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There was a time recently that I had a little obsession with skeleton keys. Rob got me a really pretty necklace a couple years ago through Etsy and I started collecting them from vintage shops and flea markets. So I had a collection of keys. Now what. I wanted to display them, show them off, admire their tarnished and rusty appearance.  So this Skeleton Key Shadow Box was made.Skeleton Key Shadow Box #craft #upcycle

I bought the shadow box frame for a few dollars from Ikea I believe. Everything there is so cheap it definitely wasn’t a wallet buster. The keys were bought over many shopping trips but I would estimate I spent $15 on the all of the keys. The scrapbook paper came as part of a gift from ACMoore so that was free.

I spent more time arranging the keys in than anything else. The shadowbox came together quickly.


Shadow Box or Frame without glass

Scrapbook paper, old map or music paper

Skeleton keys

Adhesive ( I used E-6000)


Start playing with the placement of your keys.  I had way to many to fit in the shadowbox but was able to fit a good amount in the small space. Play with sizes and direction to get something that is pleasing to the eye.  Then play with different backgrounds. Arranging your keys on the glass and sliding different papers underneath makes this step super simple.

I went with a 6X6 map with a vintage feel. It fit the area that I planned on hanging this and to me felt like the best fit. Wedding music or a favorite poem would be great choices too.

Skeleton Key Shadow Box #craft #upcycle

Skeleton Key Shadow Box #craft #upcycleTake a picture of your arrangement then using a quick drying glue start placing your keys in their spot on the paper. Let the keys set for 1 hour then put your frame back together and hang.

I love old thing but I have to find ways to incorporate them into my cookie cutter home. This shadow box can be done with anything you’re collecting.

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  1. Wow, I haven’t seen one of these keys in years. The old building I used to live in when I was a child had bedroom door with keys like these. That’s a great way to showcase them so they are not buried away.

  2. For not a lot of money, you made something with a big impact. I have a key from every home we’ve lived in. They aren’t as interesting looking, but maybe I could paint them fun colors.

  3. This is pretty neat. I like shadowboxes but never can think of what to put in them. I may try something similar and have something beside it about how each child has a key to my heart.

  4. I love those keys, too! That’s a great shadow box! If I made it, I’d put the keys on red paper, I think, to match my decor.

  5. This is amazing! I’m going to try to make one myself.

  6. Stephanie says

    You did such a great job!! I think that will be a great gift.

  7. What a great idea! I love the idea of using a map as the background. It’d be neat to use something like a wedding location or a favorite vacation spot.

  8. This is actually very much my style. I’d make one for myself or appreciate one made for me.


  9. I like keys and how they can be such an addition to home decor. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  10. I love skeleton keys. They are so full of history and stories. Wonderful craft idea!

  11. That is so creative! I love the idea of skeleton keys as a decoration.

  12. What a neat idea!

  13. That’s so pretty! Love skeleton keys and the mysteries they hold.

  14. Oh my, I love skeleton keys too and this is so cute!

  15. What a great way to display a collection!

  16. Oh I LOVE that! I have always been obsessed with keys so that is just perfect. Thanks for the great craft idea!

  17. Congratulations! This post is featured over at Diana Rambles today and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

  18. Julie Wood says

    This is such a awesome craft idea and I would love to make this and hang on the wall at my house. It really looks great and unique!

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