Ok, so I went to the local craft store and got some great ideas for my key rack. First, I was going to use some sort of stencil and paint it on a plaque. Then I wandered into the sticker section.
Oh. My. God. They had garden gnome stickers!!!
So, going with that theme, I also found a plaque that had rough, unfinished edges. Perfect. A little paint, some brushes and alphabet stickers and we were nearly done. Just made a quick stop at the hardware store for some hooks and hangers and we are in business!
Step 1: Set some newspaper down so you don’t get paint all over the table. I also found a small box to put the plaque on, so I could paint the edges and not get paint everywhere. I then painted the plaque. I first did a little blue for the sky, then added some green for grass. I tried to make the grass look like little blades, but I’m not an artist. I know, I know, you were expecting art of Van Gogh-like proportions, but that’s why I went with stickers in the first place. Set the plaque to dry for about 2 hours or so (it was very humid here today).
Step 2: Paint a second coat, if needed (my sky was a little blotchy, so it needed some more paint to even it out). Let dry again. If not needed, skip to step 3.
Step 3: Flip the plaque over and screw in the small eye hooks so you can put it on the wall. I started the screws with a hammer and then just screwed them in. Next thread the wire between the hooks, twist it and trim the ends. I guess you’re supposed to use wire cutters, but I just used my kitchen scissors. This may not have been the best thing to do to the blades, but I had to improvise. I had to put the hardware on before I added the stickers, because the gnomes and owl had little springs behind their heads so they jiggled and stuck off a little. Try not to bash your fingers when using the hammer.
Step 4: Add the stickers in any design you like. I used the alphabet stickers to spell out “Rollin’ with my Gnomies!!!”, because that’s how I roll. But, obviously, you can do whatever you want.
Step 5: Using a tape measure, mark the wood with a pencil in four spots for the key hooks so that they’re even. I went about 1 and 1/2 inches from the edge and two inches from that for the middle screws. This will prevent an attack of OCD every time you hang your keys if they’re not even. Again, I found it easier to tap the screws in with a hammer and then screw them in.
Step 6: Hang on the wall. Pat yourself on the back for your handiness. And you have the coolest key rack (is that even the right word? I think Martha calls it a “key corral”) in the neighbourhood.
Verdict: Well, this wasn’t cheaper than buying one. In fact, this was a little expensive for me to make, but maybe that’s because I had NO craft supplies at all and I spent a little more on garden gnome stickers than I should have. But they were gnomes! What else could I have done? And the clerks at the craft store were much nicer than the snarky snarkertons at the little boutique downtown.