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Shadow Box Skeleton Key Project



One of the more pleasant surprises we found when we purchased our character home was a whole drawer full of skeleton keys.  When I saw them I just knew I had to display them somehow, so here’s what I did. . .

I wanted to be able to still use the keys if an emergency arose, so I decided to sew them on instead of gluing.  If you want to tackle a similar project, you will need:

  • 2-9 skeleton keys (groups of odd numbers are best)
  • Shadow boxes (I purchased mine at Michael’s.)
  • Black thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors


I chose to stick with the black background my shadow box came with, but you could sew your keys onto something more colourful.  In hindsight, this might have been easier as the black background was glued on pretty tight, so it was pretty difficult to sew the middle key on.

The first round I sewed both the bottoms and tops, and the second round I sewed just the tops and let gravity do the rest of the work.  After seeing the finished product, sewing both the tops and bottoms looks nicer.

If you know you will never need the keys again, it might be easier still just to glue them with hot glue.  I, however, foresee a certain preschooler locking himself in a room at some point and not being able to get out.

So after a little sewing, you should end up with something like this:


Now to just hang it on the wall once I redo the entry way!

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!