Mosaic Key Box

By  Mary Ayres 

size: 7-1/8"x10-5/8"


  • Wooden hinged box, 2-3/4”x7-1/8”x10-5/8”
  • Wooden square dowels, 1/4”
  • Metal latch
  • Assorted old metal keys


  • Grey sanded tile grout or premixed sanded white grout
  • Americana Acrylic Paints: Cranberry Wine; Calico Red; Antique White
  • Weathered Wood Crackling Medium
  • Adhesives: Mosaic Glue; 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
  • Disposable container to mix grout
  • Sponge
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • 1. Use saw to cut dowel to fit around top edge of box; glue in place.
  • 2. Paint inside and bottom of outside of box Cranberry Wine. While still wet, wipe off excess paint so wood grain shows through.
  • 3. Apply one coat Cranberry Wine to box sides and dowel pieces; let dry. Brush one coat crackling medium on box sides and dowel pieces; let dry. Brush one coat Calico Red over crackling medium. When dry, dry brush Antique White on surface and edges of box.
  • 4. Sand paint on inside edges of lid and box bottom to prevent lid from sticking.
  • 5. Arrange and glue keys on box lid. Let dry 24 hours. Mix three parts grout with one part water in disposable container. Use spatula or finger to spread grout over keys inside dowels on box. Let grout set up for 10 to 15 minutes. Gradually wipe off excess grout with damp sponge. Continue until all grout is removed from top of keys and edges of box. When dry, polish keys with soft cloth.
  • 6. Screw metal latch to center front of box. If ends of screws protrude inside box, cut pieces of 1/2" square dowels that are slightly longer than latch pieces. Glue dowels inside front of box over areas where latch pieces will be placed/ Let dry, then attach latch and screws.
  • Mary's Inspiration
  • 1. I love to design mosaics, using found items. I decided that I wanted to create a box using old keys. I asked my husband if he had any old keys. He went through boxes and drawers and found a bunch. He started reminiscing about where the keys came from. Apparently they had evoked a lot of memories. One key went to his first car and another went to the Volkswagen Bug he was driving when we first met. I was touched by what the keys meant to him so I decided the box would be for him. He will now be able to hold onto those memories forever.