Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Welcome to my Thrifty Thursday post. Thanks to Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for hosting this party. You can visit her and connect with all the participants at:

I love old keys. You can always count on finding me rummaging through a box of keys at a flea market or antique store. I am particularly drawn to skeleton keys (it's a nostalgia thing.....all the doors on the house I grew up in used skeleton keys) but any old key may end up in my collection.

Here's where my old keys meet Thrifty Thursday:
1) The keys themselves are a thrifty find because my rule of thumb is to not spend over $1.00 for any key (most of the keys I have collected cost between 25 cents and $1.00).
2) I use the keys not only for display but in a lot of my thrifty projects.

Here is a picture of some of my key collection. They are displayed in a $1.00 thrift store find, a beautiful divided glass and silverplated dish.
This next project cost a total of $2.00. I painted and distressed each frame (25 cents apiece), added an old book page for the background paper, then glued a flat vintage key (each key 25 cents) to the paper. I added a little wire for dimension and glued a button to the top of each key. I then glued the frames to a strip of black ribbon I had in my stash and added a skeleton key ($1.00) to the top to act as a hanger. This project was not only inexpensive but also very fast to create.
I have seen a lot of jewelry using old keys and decided to give it a try. Total cost was around $1.50. The key cost 25 cents and the beads cost me no more than $1.00. Jewelry design is not my specialty but I was happy with the outcome of the pendant.
If you have read my earlier posts you know I am creating snowman for an upcoming craft show. I have used old keys on several of the are some of them pictured.
In this last thrifty project I took a framed picture I purchased at a garage sale for $1.00 and gave it a whole new look. I painted and distressed the frame, covered the original picture with a cream colored scrapbook paper (50 cents) and then wrapped that with crochet thread (thrift store purchase for 10 cents), keeping the thread about 1/4" apart. Once the picture was completely wrapped, it was reattached to the frame. I now had a blank canvas to create any number of different looks. The string is what holds everything together so there is no need for glue, tape, etc. In the example below I slid a vintage looking piece of scrapbook paper under the thread, added a black mat and vintage family photo, an aged tag with buttons, some lace (thrift store find for 40 cents) and (I'm finally getting to the key part) $1.00 skeleton key. NOTE: Come back and visit my blog tomorrow. I am going to show more examples of how this one frame can take on any number of looks, by just sliding different elements under the thread.
Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.


  1. Girl, Have I told you what an inspiration you are? I am going to try and make those snowmen for each one of my friends. They are adorable. When I try it, I am going to give you some link love...a dorect link to your post.
    And you are like me, I too collect keys. I love skelton keys and keys from old motels, think 40-70's. I love twhen they have the old hotel tag attached.
    Great finds my friend!Thanks for linking up this week!
    Tales from Bloggeritaville

  2. What a plethora of perfect little projects! (sorry, I couldn't resist!) lol They're all great and beautiful thrifty creations! Thanks for sharing your photos. See? You're so inspirational!

  3. I love the framed keys - you have a great collection !

  4. Love how the keys were used. My dad collects keys too but tucks them away in a drawer. He needs to put them in an old Mason jar at least, don't you think?

    Awesome photos in this post!

  5. Hi Jane,
    Love what you did with the frame idea. I was wanting to do something similar, but of course I was thinking of the standard glue route. Unique concept and what fun using string!

  6. Hi Jane _
    I was so happy to see that you stopped by :) If you hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to find your beautiful blog :) I love, love your snowmen, they are absolutely adorable!!! And your key collection and the transformations you did with them . . .Fabulous! You are very talented and have some really great ideas! I hope you don't mind, but I am going to visit awhile :) Welcome to Blogland. . .you are going to meet some very wonderfully talented and inspirational women (and men) in Blogland :)

  7. The pendant is cute and I love the snowmen with little keys.

    I started a new KNOCK OFF KNOCK OUT party and I bet you have some things to put in the party-it's every Monday. I hope you come over and become a follower and subscribe and I will do the same.
    Its So Very Cheri

  8. I love the keys!! I would LOVE to find some of those!!

  9. I love what you've done with those keys! My grandparents home in Nebraska used skeleton keys, so I have a fondness for them, too. Your projects are wonderful.

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love what you did with old key so cute!!!!


  11. Jane, your thrifty finds put mine to shame! Besides if we shopped together, we would be fighting over who saw it first. :-) I have a thing for keys too. sigh!


Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy reading all of your comments!