How to Decorate Keys
Having a large set of keys with no way to tell them apart is a recipe for disaster, especially if you find yourself rushing about lots. There are many easy, creative, and inexpensive ways to decorate your keys so that you can tell them apart, and find the right one with ease every time. Painting your keys with nail polish, covering them with washi tape, or wrapping them in embroidery thread are all great options for having not only a practical set of keys, but a stylish set too.
Painting Keys with Nail Polish
Choose a different color for each key.Picking a different color for each key will make finding the right key easy when you are in a rush. Try to pick a color that you will easily remember for each door.
- You don’t have to stick to just one color! You could get creative and do a base color with polka dots, or paint a key half and half two different colors.
- Cheaper and thinner nail polish works best for painting keys. While thicker nail polish is better for painting nails, this can get clumpy when it is applied to the keys.
Paint one side of the key head with the nail polish.Use smooth and even strokes to cover one side of the key head. Try to avoid getting nail polish into the grooves or any holes in the key, otherwise it might be tricky to use afterward.
- Unless you are using an old surface to paint your keys on, put down a paper towel or some old newspaper first to protect your table.
Dry the first coat using a hairdryer.Hold the key away from the hairdryer while you dry each coat. It should only take around 30 seconds for each coat to dry.
- You can test if the coat is dry by lightly touching it with your finger.
- Remember that metal can get hot very fast, so be careful when you are drying the keys. You can use cool air from the hairdryer to cool the key down after you have dried it.
Apply more coats of nail polish to the key head until it’s covered.Continue using smooth, even strokes to cover both sides of the key head. It may take 2-3 coats until you are happy with the result.
- Remember to dry the previous coat before placing the key on the surface to paint the other side, or before applying a second coat.
Using Washi Tape
Cut a piece of washi tape slightly longer than the key head.Keys differ in sizes, but for most standard house keys, a piece of washi tape that is around 0.8 in (2 cm) in length works well. It’s better to cut the washi tape slightly too long than to cut it too short.
Stick the washi tape onto one side of the key head.Start at the base of the key head, and carefully push down the washi tape onto the key. Try to avoid making any wrinkles on the key.
- If you accidentally wrinkle the washi tape, you can always pull it off and start with a new piece.
Cut away the excess washi tape around the key.Use scissors to outline and clip away the washi tape that is beyond the edges of the key. This will give the key a clean cut finish.
- You could also use a craft knife as an alternative to scissors.
Repeat this process over the whole key until it is covered.Continue cutting pieces of washi tape, and sticking them onto the key head. Make sure that you avoid sticking the tape below the base of the key head.
- For the small holes in the key head, stick the washi tape down and cut through these with a small craft knife.
Apply a coat of clear nail polish over the completed washi tape.This helps to maintain the washi tape, and to stop it from getting damaged. Wait until one side has dried before applying nail polish to the other side.
- The nail polish should only take a few minutes to air dry.
Making Wrapped Thread Key Covers
Add a thin layer of glue to both sides of the key head base.A slim line going from one edge to the other will do. It’s better to apply the glue slowly, as adding too much at once means that it will dry too fast.
- The glue layer should be as wide as two strands of embroidery thread lying next to each other.
- The glue works to hold the yarn in place, so that it doesn’t move about or slip off while you use the key.
Place the centre of 5 feet (152 cm) of embroidery thread onto the glue.The centre will be halfway between each end of the embroidery thread, at 2.5 feet (76 cm). Press this firmly onto one side of the thin layer of glue.
Wrap the embroidery thread around the key head using alternate strands.Use one side of the thread to wrap over the thin layer of glue. Then use the other strand to wrap above the other, also sticking to the thin layer of glue.
- Continue adding thin strips of glue and wrapping the thread over it as you work your way up the key head.
Wrap the embroidery thread through the holes in the key individually.Start with the hole that the thread reaches first, add a thin layer of glue, and use one strand of the thread to wrap around it. Use the other thread strand for the next hole which it is closest to.
- Continue to work your way through each of the holes, until the key head is fully covered in thread.
Glue down the first strand end once the key is fully covered.This will secure the thread to the rest of covering, making it neat and less likely to fall apart. If there is some excess thread left over after gluing it, simply cut this off with scissors.
Secure the remaining strand over where the first strand has been glued.Wrap the remaining strand a few times over where the first strand has been secured. Add a thin line of glue, and stick the remaining strand onto the rest of the thread.
- Cut off any excess thread from the strand once it has been secured.
Video: DIY Key Decorating! ♡
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