Restoration Hardware Knock-Off: Shadowboxed Vintage Keys

21 Jul

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Oh, Restoration Hardware. How I love your “Stinking Rich Hamptonite” aesthetic, and dream about being able to move into one of your showrooms. But, there is no way, short of winning the lottery tomorrow, that I can afford to even shop in your store. Look at these awesome little shadow boxes holding vintage skeleton keys. I love them, but they run $99 a piece, so with a collection of five, you’re looking at about $500 for this teensy little collection.


Now, looking at these, they’re pretty simple. Skeleton keys mounted on “flax-hued linen” in a dark wood frame under glass. Since I don’t even know where to find “flax-hued linen,” and definitely don’t want to pay for glass lidded shadow boxes, this is definitely going to have to be “inspired by” instead of replicated exactly.


Plus, I had a nice little nook that desperately needed something to fill it up.


I found some metal keys in the dollar bins at Michael’s, some dark wood frames that were the right color and shape at the dollar store, and used some textured paper I had on hand from scrapbooking. As for the keys, you can find them online at Ebay for about a buck a piece, or if you keep an eye out at flea markets or thrift stores, you might find them there as well. One little problem – two keys didn’t match, they were painted white and silver. But that was nothing a quick coat of spray paint couldn’t fix.


I had some leftover hammered bronze spray from when I refreshed some hardware that worked great.


Two quick coats and they looked antiqued, and more importantly – they matched the other three keys.


Ready to go.


I disassembled the frames, cut the paper to size and glued each to the back of the frame with craft glue. My frames weren’t deep enough to keep the glass in, so I left it off.


The paper added a little bit of texture that mimics the linen of the original.


I applied a bit of hot glue to the back of each key and pressed them securely to the front of the frame.


After doing this for each of the five keys, I laid them out how I wanted them to go up on the wall.


From there, I used my tried and true technique to hang a collage. Cutting out pieces of paper the size of the frame and marking where the frame will hang on the nail. Here, the paper on hand was comic section from today’s paper.


Next, I taped them on the wall where I wanted them and hammered a little nail where I had marked each of the pieces of paper.


I pulled off the paper and hung up the frames, and Voila!

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I think it captures the spirit of the original and is certainly much more budget friendly. Especially for me, who will probably have something else ready to fill that wall in a few months.

Restoration Hardware Shadowboxed Vintage Keys


– Five dark wood frames ($1 each)

– Vintage skeleton keys ($1 each)

– Textured paper (on hand)

– craft glue, hot glue (on hand)


Restoration Hardware cost: $99 each or $495 for the collection

Total cost for me? $10



3 Responses to “Restoration Hardware Knock-Off: Shadowboxed Vintage Keys”

  1. Marie Elaina Massey August 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Genius! Love it!

  2. carson September 27, 2018 at 10:46 am #

    How long were the keys you found at Michaels? I’ve been wanting to do something very similar to this with decent sized keys but I’ve found it impossible to find large real keys for a decent price or fake replica keys that were long enough. Thanks!


  1. A Vintage Window Picture Frame (or two) The Flying C - March 22, 2014

    […] Restoration Hardware Knock-Off: Shadowboxed Vintage Keys […]

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