Even though it is a fairly straightforward thing, to make a pendant out of a vintage key, there are several tips I want to share with you.
First and most important is the shape of the key – the easiest ones to work with are those that have a round bow, or a quatrefoil bow, that is because the key will stay vertical when it’s hanging from a chain. Otherwise, if the bow is oval, the gravity will make it slide in the jump ring and the key will fall in an diagonal position.
If you use an oval bow key like most are, you can use this design instead:
this will only work if the necklace is a short one as the bow of the key will have two distant supporting jump rings right and left. If the key would be on a long chain, the jump rings would be too close to each other, one slightly left and the other slightly right, and then the key might still tend to fall on one side.
Another approach would be to allow the oval bow key to slide on one side and fall diagonally and add some other little bits and pieces, beads or whatever to the necklace for a more hippie free-form gypsy look.
A thing to mention would be the thickness of the circular metal band from which the bow of the key is made, if it’s too thick, you’d have to use a large jump ring and that may not look too pretty if you’re aiming to make a delicate necklace. If, on the other hand, your key is a larger more industrial type of key, you can use large elements like a larger jump ring and a thicker bolder chain.
The last thing to mention would be protecting the keys from rust/oxydizing (after cleaning them beforehand).
There are a lot of solutions out there to protect metal from rust, basically any varnish, but the more specialized, the better.
I use a metal sealer from Ranger which I like, as it has a satin finish, this doesn’t alter the look of the keys, doesn’t make them too shiny or too matte.
As for the chain, I prefer sturdy chains, ’cause I am a power user 🙂 the ones with soldered links are very solid, even though they look delicate.
The rest is up to you – I love to use gunpowder black chains or antiqued silver ones if I have an iron key, or brass if I have a brass key.
As each vintage key has its own personality, they will guide you to a certain type of necklace. Have fun and if you felt inspired to make something, show me your experiments!
A LIL’ BIT ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ANCA
Anca is an artistic soul, with lots of ideas. She wants to try this and that, buys all the possible craft supplies that no one ever heard of, “for future projects” (she says)… She is a social media inamorata and ensures a quality customer service. She is our calligrapher and she plays the piano. a lot.