A free stamping resource!

Holiday Blizzard – Melanie Smith’s Key Holder

Set Your Sails...Key Holder
By Melanie Smith, Artistic Guide

This gift is based on an idea from my very wonderful friend Denice in Brisbane, Australia.  She came up with this idea while running a Mother's Day craft group which fundraises for the school.

This gift can be themed toward anyone and can be as simple or elaborate, as you like.  It uses a piece of scrap decking timber, a couple of hooks and eye screws and some bleached shells. It would be equally good with any scrapbook type embellishments that you have.

I have made this one for my Brother - who is ALWAYS losing keys.  ALWAYS!

Measurements for this project are not crucial, as long as they give a well balanced finished piece.

"Let your dreams..." (Rubbadubbadoo)
A scrap of white card for stamped image large enough to allow ripping around the edge.
Archival ink - Black (Ranger)
Red Re-inker - (I used a no name brand from the cheap shop)
Alcohol inks - Caramel, Stonewashed, Raisin (Ranger)
Alcohol inks Mixative - Gold (Ranger)
Other Supplies:
Piece of decking timber 3.5" x 10" (or any other suitable scrap wood (untreated!)
Aztec gold Pearl-Ex (Jacquard)
Acrylic paints that you may have lying around.  I used Black, Creamy Beige, Bright Pink and Blue
Paintbrush - Medium tip - for use with alcohol inks.
Paintbrush - Chunky bristle - for painting with Acrylics
Foam tape
Hair spray
Spray bottle (mini mister)
Two eyelet hooks and four square hooks
Drill and bit to make "pilot holes" for the hooks


  1. Sand any rough edges of the timber.
  2. Paint with the Gesso (this stops the colour being absorbed by the wood).
  3. Add layers of colour - there is no need to let dry between colours - let them blend and mix on the board to give depth and interest to the colour.  Have fun with this.
  4. Allow to dry overnight.
  5. Paint a border as shown with the Blue paint (or your choice of darker colour).
  6. Paint the outside edges with Black.

Preparing the Image:

  1. Stamp saying onto centre of white card.
  2. Rip around the edge.
  3. Lightly edge the stamped image with the Black paint.
  4. In your spray bottle, mix a couple of drops of Red re-inker, a "smidgen" of Pearl Ex - I would estimate maybe an eighth of a teaspoon or less.
  5. Shake and spray over the image until completely covered (I did this outside).
  6. Allow to dry then spray with fixative (I used hairspray).


  1. Put a couple of drops of Caramel alcohol ink onto a plastic lid and paint onto the Shell as a base colour.
  2. Add other colours until you are happy with the result.
  3. Then, add a tiny drop of Gold Mixative to the lid and paint onto the shells as shown in the photo.
  4. Allow a minute to dry.


  1. Mark the places for the hooks to go - 1.75" in from edge and half way up (1.75") and along the top edge in the corresponding place for the eyehooks.
  2. Drill holes at the marked places.
  3. Insert the hooks.
  4. Mount the image with foam tape.
  5. Mount the shells with hot glue or tacky glue.
  6. Tape two extra hooks to the back of the keyholder with tape for the recipient to attach to a wall.

I have attached string to the eye hooks to photograph but you could use wire or the two hooks attached to the wall as I intend to (This ensures it doesn't tip when only one set of keys is on the holder.)

Now, go see what else is lying around that you can use to decorate another keyholder.

(Just last Saturday night I had to go out and take a spare key to my brother as he locked both the car and house keys in the house. Sigh!  So I may even put this up for him, right beside the front door - then it's just a matter of him forming a good habit!)

Tagged as: , , , ,

3 Responses »

  1. Thank you Shelly - We are making a few here decorated by the children for parents presents.

  2. I can see that I am going to have to make several of these as gifts.
    Your is just beautiful.


  1. StampersQuest Christmas Blizzard. « Melanie’s arty stuff