Hubs is always misplacing his car keys, which often makes us late, so it was time to consider a key organizer. We waste so much time looking for keys when we should be out the door!
My transportation-themed key holder features a VW bug cut from a vinyl record album! I found some inspiring ideas on what to do with scratched record albums on Pinterest. Search vinyl record art and you’ll see loads of ideas! Given Hubs’ love of all things Volkswagen, I thought it would be a fun challenge to try out a VW Beetle with its curvy iconic shape.
If you don’t have a scratched album – or still love to listen to yours – check out a local second hand store. The Juice Newton record I used was found at my local Value Village for only $1. Once all the elements were cut away, you can still see ‘Juice’ on the album. Fitting because one of Hub’s friends from his beer brewing days nicknamed him ‘Juice’!
Shown below are the items to create the key holder (missing is the double face tape!).
The most important thing is the Walnut Hollow Versa Tool with the hot knife blade. You can learn more about what the Versa Tool can do in a feature we wrote on Tool Talk Tuesday!
I used Google images to find some clipart of a Volkswagen Beetle that I thought would work. I intended to create an older version of the VW for Hubs, like this one:
But the clipart I ended up using was so stylized that I knew it would be perfect for a test run. I didn’t really expect it to come as good on my first try, so I never ended up doing the second one as I originally intended! C’est la vie!
Since the record album is 12″ wide, I scaled the clipart to that size in Powerpoint and set it to print on legal sized paper. As you’ll see in the final reveal, I used a mirror image of the clipart shown below.
Marking and Cutting the Record
I cut out all the white areas of my VW Beetle paper pattern with an X-acto knife, positioned the pattern over the record album and used a chalk sewing pencil to transfer the design onto the vinyl. After Googling how to cut vinyl records, I settled on using the hot knife blade that comes with this Walnut Hollow wood burning set. The YouTube video below helped me immensely in the how-to aspects of cutting vinyl records:
Notice in particular at .47 seconds where she shows how she cuts the vinyl. She keeps her knife steady in one hand and then rotates the work with her other hand.
I set up a fan to blow away the fumes, but it would probably be best to also use a respirator. Or do it outdoors if possible, to avoid inhaling the fumes.
I placed a piece of plywood underneath the album so I wouldn’t burn my work table. Once the knife was heated up, I lowered the point into the vinyl on one of the lines. Then used my left hand to rotate the album as I kept the knife steady in one spot and pulled the work toward me. I worked slowly and steadily to slice through the vinyl with the hot knife, taking care not to stay in any one spot too long and over melt the vinyl. When necessary, I turned the work so I could cut into any corners.
I also repurposed an extra key fob and copper stoplight originally made for this stained glass clock – a gift I made for Hubs before we were married.
This stoplight inspired the copper accent that follows.
Emboss Copper Foil
I marked the stoplight pattern and used tin snips to cut it out of a copper sheet. Then I put the piece over a rubber pad and used various embossing tools to score the lines and emboss the detail.
Some elements I embossed on the front of the copper and others I did on the back. For instance, the centre where the ‘lights’ are is embossed into the rubber pad from the front so the detail looks concave. The ‘wings’ of the piece are embossed on the back so that they stand proud and give the piece dimension.
You can shine the copper up if you prefer it that way, but I love the look of patina. I used double side tape to attach the vinyl record and the copper stop light to the board.
To finish off the stoplight I cut circles out of adhesive backed black, red, yellow and green vinyl. Those were adhered onto the copper. I could have used gem stones, or even glass globs, but the stickers were lighter and I had them on-hand in my stash.
Accessorize and Assemble
At this point, I gathered all my components and started to visualize how they should all come together so I could plan the layout for the backer board. I found a few war amp key tags in my father’s junk drawer; I thought they’d make a great backer for the cup hooks to hang the keys!
For the backer board, I cut a piece of MDF in the shape of a house then painted it with white paint. Here are the dimensions:
To hang the board on a wall, I glued and screwed a keyhole hanger to the back of the board to make it secure. Make sure to put it on as shown below with the wide end of the keyhole pointing down or it could fall off the wall when you hang it up. Centre it on the board (you can see my pencil marks below). It should also run perfectly straight up and down to help keep it level once hung.
I also added 3 felt pads on the back of the board to buffer the wall:
In between the two key hooks, I added a ‘fake’ keychain made from fused glass, ball chain and a key blank. We only need two hooks for Hubs and I so I this purely decorative piece adds some interest.
This is the spare piece that I initially made for Hub’s glass clock, then remade because I didn’t like the air bubbles that got trapped between the layers. I’m embracing the bubbles for this project 😊.
It’s may be a bit hard to make out in this picture, but there is a VW logo fused between the layers of glass. Hub’s favourite year of beetle is 1966. To finish off the car, I put a popsicle stick behind the space I cut away from the vinyl record for the ‘license plate’. I traced the shape of the license plate onto the stick. Then I burned around the outline. With a woodturning tool and a narrow tip, I added 66 VW in the centre. I cut around the outside of the burned edge with an utility knife and sanded the edges smooth.
It was such a tight fit that I didn’t have to glue it into the space I left for the license. Friction allowed it to stay put on its own. However, you could add hot glue around the edges on back of the album to keep it from popping out.Position the war amp key tags where you want them (in my case, on either end of the board underneath the VW bug) and screw the cup hook in tightly so they end up pointing upwards.
The last thing to attach is the glass key chain with velcro.
Reporting for Duty But Sent Home
The key holder was ready to go into active duty. However, I never could convince Hubs to use it. It’s been languishing in a box for quite some time. I’ll likely drag it out again when Hubs has finished my craft studio and repurpose it yet again. Let me know if you have any suggestions 😉.There’s another surprising way to use the Walnut Hollow Woodburner Versa Tool, so check out our felt applique project too!
Pin Key Organizer
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At Birdz of a Feather, we’re feathering the nest… one room (and project) at a time. Now that the weather is beautiful, it’s time for outdoor pursuits and gardening! If you plan on attending any flea markets or yard sales this summer, keep calm and carry the kit.
What a great idea! I live the way it turned out. And I loved me some Juice Newton!
Thanks Christina! It’s a bit kitch, but I had so much fun learning a new skill 🙂