Piano Key Holders

HELLO!! I know it’s been WAY too long since I’ve written a blog post. I realized I took on too many projects and got burnt out. I wasn’t doing them for fun, I was doing them just to add another task to my list. (Recently I found out that this might mean I’m a workaholic- I’m working on that). Anywho, business has been slow since the holidays and I’ve had more time to actually jump into longer projects that make me happy.

Last month, my handyman boyfriend suggested that maybe we could fix up and repurpose old furniture. I didn’t point out that I had suggested this months ago; I was just too excited to dive in. For our first projects, we got an old kid’s desk we are upcycling to a small bar and a broken piano we are turning into multiple projects. Some of the projects we decided on are large and require him to use his power tools, but some are smaller and can be done in my craft room. One of the smaller, less time-consuming projects is repurposing the piano keys so I thought I’d share those with you!

At the beginning of January, we got a free broken piano off Facebook Marketplace. I think they just wanted it hauled out of their house and we happen to have a truck! Once we got the VERY heavy piano unloaded at home, I started carefully taking it apart. There are so many parts to a piano that we will be able to use in projects, but I was most excited for the keys. They pulled up very easily so I piled them in a bin and took them in the craft room. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to keep them in order… but while I was laying them out I realized they were numbered which made my job much easier.

Once I got them in order, I split them up based on the black keys. I have sets of 2 black keys and 3 white keys and  sets of 3 black and 5 white. I thought those would be good stopping points because it’s where the white keys abut each other and create a flat edge I thought would work best for a wall hanging. To start off, I grabbed my first set and wiped down any obviously dirty spots and pulled the felt out of the holes that held the keys onto the piano. Then I took 220 grit sandpaper to each key. I carefully smoothed out all the raw edges of the wood and then lightly sanded over each of the white keys. The black keys seemed to be in very good shape (though I did touch up the ink on the wood with some black paint) but the white ones are slightly discolored and cracked so I painted over them carefully with “antique white” acrylic paint.

Once that was dry and I had my smooth keys, I filled in the holes with wood filler. I taped the bottom of the hole and used the handle of a paintbrush to push the wood filler in and then gently wiped some excess on the top. It took a few hours to dry before I could take a couple more swipes of sandpaper to it and smooth it out. The wood filler is lighter than my key, so I painted black over it and let it dry. Next, I used wood glue to glue the piano keys together and masking tape to make sure the keys stayed where I wanted them to be. I let them dry overnight and took the masking tape off in the morning.

Jarod cut me some thin 1/8th inch thick pieces to attach to the back of my ring holder so I sanded them down and glued them on as well. After that was dry, I drilled a small hole into the top back and screwed in a picture hanging hook. To “finish” the look, I carefully used a clean rag to wipe Tung Oil over the entire key ring holder and let it sit for a few hours. I hung it up and tested it out! Each one can hold a good bit of keys, but a friend pointed out that it could be used for necklaces or bracelets too.

I thought this would be the perfect project to bring me back to blogging and be our first posting on Etsy. If you like the key ring holder and don’t want to go through tearing apart a piano, check out our Etsy page here:


😊 As always, if you take any fun pictures or videos, tag me on Instagram @SmileMakePeopleWonder and use the hashtag #DandelionSmiles. Don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss out on the next exciting idea.

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