Key Necklace Tutorial

Years ago I bought a cigar box of old keys. For some reason I was really drawn to them but had no idea or any real purpose for them. So for years I have been shuffling around this box of keys in my studio, each time thinking that I should really make something with them.

Recently, I was inspired to make a “key chain” pendant. I dumped all the keys in the box and played around with them thinking that a trio of keys would make a nice shape. Plus, each key I picked had a nice old/rusted patina too. Now I had the idea, but how do I attach them? I tried several glues and some wire but got no where. After a few margarita’s with my girlfriend and jewelry designer Jill Popowich I had my very simple answer, jump ring them together! How could I have overlooked the most obvious technique? Thank goodness I have crafty friends because I would still be trying to glue those damn keys.

Anyway, if you are like me and have a collection of old keys hanging around this would be a great steam punk inspired craft for a rainy day.


3 – repurposed keys, make sure to use the ones with three openings at the top
4 – 6 to 8mm jump rings (may need larger or smaller depending on chain
3 – large jump rings (you will have to determine the size depending on your keys)*
Jewelry pliers
Flush wire cutters
15″ to 20″ of chain (this can be longer or shorter according to taste)
1 – lobster clasp
2 – beads
2 – eye head pins or 18 gauge wire

*If you can not find jump rings large enough for your keys you can make them! For instructions on how to make jump rings visit

  1. Take two of the keys and attach a large ring through the end hoops.
  2. Repeat step 1 with the other key to create a chain.
  3. Please note: I did not have eye head pins for this next step so I used wire. However, it would be easier to use eye pins.
    Make an “eye” loop on the end of the wire then slip on a bead. Trim wire accordingly and “eye loop” the other end. Repeat this step with the second bead and more wire.
  4. Measure two 7.5″ to 8″ lengths of chain. If you want your necklace longer or shorter cut the chain accordingly, just make sure that the two pieces are equal in length. Using the smaller jump rings, attach the lobster clasp to one and a ring to the other.
  5. Using jump rings, attach the bead to the key, then attach the other end to the chain. Repeat with other side. Your necklace is ready to go!

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