A Few Nifty Key Holders & Racks To Make {Plus Tips}

Here are a few different ideas to keep your keys organized and stylish at the same time, many needing only basic supplies and simple diy skills:

Decoupaged: Made with 4″ wide pine board, a bit of acrylic paint and decoupaged with pretty paper.

Wooden Hotel Version: Frame assembled planks, add a bit of stain, metal label frames, a few cup hooks and voila! you have a lovely piece that is sure to be admired.

Scrabble Style: This is a simple project that will take, at the most, a couple of hours to accomplish.

Crafty Bird House Hooks: A sweet little project made with wooden craft birdhouses, paint, picture hooks, Japanese washi tape, PVA glue and more.

Simple Frame: Nice! Cover a piece of Homasote fiberboard to fit inside a picture frame, cover with fabric, add hooks & labels.

With Paper Flower: Made with a piece of cardboard, wire coat hanger and layers of book paper cut in flower shapes.



Dish(Originally published September 9, 2008) Your day will start with a hectic pace if you find yourself running from room to room digging in pockets or emptying purses and totes in a panic trying to find your keys.

Try using a keeper so you always know just where they are right when you need them. The system is so simple to implement that if you don’t already have one in place, you’ll wonder why you resisted against setting this up for your household!

If you do have a system in place but aren’t having much success using it consistently, I have a few tips below that may help:

  • Never put them in your pocket or bag or set them down just anywhere when you enter your home, hold them in your hand until you put them in your chosen keeper. By doing this, you’ll get into the habit of going directly to the place they are kept without thinking twice about it.
  • Have it as close to the most used entrance as possible. Some like to have a little table at the entrance to set a dish on, others may choose to hang a cabinet on the wall. You want the location to be as convenient as possible so an excuse for resistance is removed. **Remember burglars can be wily, store keys out of reach (by hand or gadget) of any opening to the outside (pet doors, mail slots, etc.).
  • Don’t allow the spot you choose to become a clutter “hot spot”. It’s a hassle pushing piles of receipts or papers around trying to find the dish, this just makes it easier “not to bother”.
  • Choose the most simplest device possible to store them. We use a cabinet with hooks to hang spares and those that aren’t needed on a day-to-day basis, but we also have a dish right by to toss them into. No hanging on hooks, no cabinet doors to open and close. This works because you’ll have moments when you’ll be tempted to skip the effort of hanging the ring by putting them in your pocket or setting them down somewhere (examples: you’re rushing in with your hands full or the phone’s ringing just as you walk in the door). With an open dish, it’s easy to toss them into it while running.
  • Set it high enough out of reach so little hands can’t get at them. Trust me, this one’s a biggy!
  • There are so many different containers you can use: recycle a margarine tub, rescue an old piece of tupperware or choose a pretty piece of porcelain or even a vintage refrigerator dish. Choose something that has a large opening and not too deep so you can put your hand in easily to grab the ring.

Once you’ve developed the habit of using a keeper ALWAYS, you’ll never again be in a panic looking for keys–they’ll be exactly where they should be.


(Originally published December 8, 2006) You need a thin, sturdy piece of metal with teeth or a hook of some kind to do this.

Tool Suggestions:

Samplejigsaw blade
piece of coping saw blade
scroll saw blade
hacksaw blade
dental pick
Any piece of thin metal with a ‘hook’ on the end that can grab the broken piece

Step One:

  • First give a quick spray of wd40 into keyway so it’s as easy as possible for broken piece to slide out.

Step Two:

  • Insert the blade of your tool into keyway. Make sure the teeth of the tool are facing out and towards you.

Step Three:

  • Try grabbing the broken piece with your blade–work with the grooved edge of the key, not the smooth edge. Once your tool grabs it, try sliding the piece out.
  • If it won’t slide out, try a quick tug with your tool–you may get lucky and pop it out.

If you can fiddle and move the piece out far enough, try grabbing it with needle nose pliers, tweezers, nail clippers, anything that will grab the edge allowing you to pull out the rest of the piece.

Potential problem: if piece just won’t budge, look closely and check that the lock cylinder is in neutral position and not turned slightly. If so, adjust and retry.

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    • amanda

    Keeping your keys near your front or back door is NOT a good idea. We have had a spate of burglaries in our town (including my own house) where the burglars have ‘fished’ for the keys through the letterbox or catflap. The advice of police here in the UK is to take the keys upstairs to bed with you.

    • TipNut

    Great tip amanda, thanks so much for pointing that out! I’ll update the info so it’s clear not to literally keep the keys within reach of an opening (if you have one).

    • Joan Griffith

    The best place to drop your keys is in the bathroom, likely the first place you go in morning and evening!
    You can put a key hook or something similar on the wall behind the door.

    It works for my keys AND my glasses.

      • Cheryl

      If you have very much company and only one bathroom, I wouldn’t think the bathroom would be a good idea, but if you have a separate, private bathroom that guests don’t use, then that would be ok.

    • Linda

    I use a carabiner to always clip y keys to the strap of my purse, which I usually hang on the back of a dining room chair (not near windows or doors.) I even do this when I am out and after locking the car I clip the keys onto the purse and drop them inside, still attached to the handle by the carabiner. I never have to search for keys, whether at home or out.

    • Mirtyanne

    I keep my keys in my purse and my husband keeps them in his pants pocket. If you have to vacate your premises in an emergency all you have to do is grab your pants and or your purse and you have transportation because you have your keys.

    • Virginia

    Advising people to put the key keeper near the most used exit is just asking for someone to steal from you. My daughter and son-in-law had their keys hung up on a key keeper and a visitor stole the keys and later that night, stole their car…ltheif was his brother. Key keepers can be put in your bedroom on a closet wall, out of sight and much safer from friends and relatives or service persons who may not be as trustworthy as you think. I have never had a problem with keeping my keys in my purse,and the purse in my be3droom closet, but one visitor empties his wallet onto the coffee table till he is ready to go home so got him his own box that sits on the shelf in the coat closet so no one with sticky fingers will get to them and we remind him if he is heading out without his stuff.

    • craig

    I considered and tried some of the above suggestions. I ended up taking the problem to a locksmith. It cost $10 and was fixed in ten minutes. They told me that it was really good that I didn’t try super glue.

    • Joy2b

    While it’s reasonable to keep keys out of reach of the kids, pets and entrances, that’s a reasonable trade off between security and convenience. For most people, that’s quite enough. If you are going to allow people into your home, you are extending them trust.

    It is certainly possible to have a front room that functions like a front porch, mildly hospitable but clear of valuables and personal items. This may be appropriate for people with a home business, lots of guests, or trust issues in the family. However, most families do a lot of living in the front room, store a lot there, and need good ways to keep it tidy and organized.

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