This is a fun and easy project that uses an old flat key and beads. I love the look of the flower and leaf beads, but you can use any beads or charms you would like to achieve the look you want.
Materials and Tools:
- Old Key (I think the keys I like best for this are old house keys. They are flat. I haven’t tried to make a brooch with a skeleton key, but it’s probably possible. Let me know if you try it out it works out!)
- Beads (I used 1 side-drilled flower key and 1 side-drilled leaf bead. You can use seed beads or any other kind of beads as well.)
- Wire (22 or 24 gauge about 3 1/2 feet) round, half-hard
- Pin finding
- Wire cutters
- Chain nose pliers
A note about design: Whatever beads you choose to use are going to need to be side-drilled, or they will be on their side. Most regular beads or seed beads will work out just fine, but if your bead has a shape (such as my flower and leaf beads) you will need to do a little planning and give some thought as to the beads.
Pick out a key. Really, any key will work as long as it is flat (so that the pin will lay flat against it (see subsequent steps.)
Look at both sides of the key and decide what will be the top and the bottom of the brooch.
Cut off about 3 1/2 feet of wire (about 42 inches). I used 22 gauge silver plated copper for this project. 24 gauge would be fine, too.
Start wrapping around the bottom of the key. With the shorter end, wrap around the key.
After going around once, use your pliers to put the wire tightly and make sure it’s secure.
Then take the longer end and “catch the shorter end. Make sure the short side ends up in the front in about the middle of the key. Do not cut off the longer end.
NOTE: I didn’t use my pliers for any of the wrapping in this project, with the exception of pulling the wire tight at the beginning and pulling it tight and tucking in the wire at the end of the project. If you feel more comfortable using pliers, do whatever feels most comfortable to you.
Open the pin finding. Position the pin finding on the back of the key. At the end of the pin finding, it bends up a bit. Position that part over where you just wire wrapped.
Holding the pin finding tightly to the key, start wrapping the pin onto the key.
Continue, keeping the wraps as close as possible, as straight as possible and as tight as possible. (This is difficult when going around the teeth of the key! Just do your best.)
Once you’ve wrapped most of the way up the key, slide a bead onto the wire. If you are using the flower and leaf beads like mine, slide on the leaf.
Continue wrapping, pulling the bead flat against the key. Wrap a few more times around. The wraps should go under the bead or next to it. (not on top of the bead.)
Wrap around a few times to secure the bead.
Add another bead to the wire. I added my flower bead.
Follow steps #9 and #10 again, wrapping around a few times between the beads and beside the bead. If this is your last bead, wrap a few extra times and make sure you have the pin finding completely wrapped onto the key.
Cut off the excess wire, leaving enough to wrap around to about the middle of the front of the key and tuck in.
Using your pliers, tuck in the end between the beads, making sure it’s secure.
Enjoy your new key brooch!
For tips and ideas on how to customize your Wire Wrapped Key Brooch, see my Customize Your Wire Wrapped Key Brooch post.
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