Framed Keys for Personal Art

Today’s post features the best of both worlds. Some good information & a personalized DIY project (framed keys) <—gotta love when you can tackle 2 topics in 1 blog post.

Changing Locks in your House

First, the not as fun stuff. You guys know we recently moved into a new place, and one of the first things on my to-do list was to change the locks. It may not be the most glamorous home project, but it’s certainly a necessary one. I have no idea who had keys to our new home…the old homeowners, contractors who’ve done work there, old family & friends…it’s safe to say that there might be many keys to our home floating around the Chicagoland area. I’m not a paranoid person, but I’m a realistic one. And the thought of someone being able to get into our new home with a key was enough to make me shell over a couple hundred bucks to get the locks switched.


We closed in mid-August and then had contractors & painters in the new space for our first 2 weeks as homeowners. I gave everyone keys so they could come & go throughout the workday, knowing that I would change the locks once we officially moved in.

New Locks on Augusta Door

The day after our move-in, a locksmith came and swapped out the handles & deadbolts on both of our interior doors.  We had the option to just re-key them, but he said our current locks were the worst on the market and he convinced us that changing them out entirely was the safest way to go. Yes, it was another check I had to write at a time when I feel like all I’m doing is spending money like I’m Beyonce. But a few hundred dollars is well worth being able to sleep at night.

So moral of the story. If you’re moving into a new place….get the locks re-keyed!

Now onto the fun stuff…framed keys for instant (and FREE) art!

Framed Keys as Home Art


These are the keys from our 4 homes together.

  1. Our first apartment in Wausau, Wisconsin
  2. Our city loft in St. Louis, Missouri
  3. Our Chicago apartment which we lived in for the past 2 years
  4. Our first real home here in Chicago

I’ve held onto all of them over the years and it was finally time to do something with these sentimental items. Inspired by this post from YHL, I decided to make some easy home key art.


I grabbed this frame from Michaels. I liked that it had a thick mat so there would be enough room to put keys in without it smooshing up against the glass. I didn’t really want to get a bulky shadow box, so I’m happy I found this frame


Then I took some cardstock and hot glued the keys right to it. 

Once dry, I popped the piece of paper into the frame to take a looksie. Lookin’ fab.

My final step was to write the street name & dates underneath each key. But I don’t have the best handwriting, and I knew Bridget could do a much better job. So I let this key art stay blank for a few weeks until she could come over and be my calligrapher.


Well worth the wait for her neat handwriting.

This little frame may not be the most expensive or glamorous “art,” but it is so personal to our family. Those are the types of items I want to display in our new home. Items that bring us both joy and give guests a glimpse into our past.

I urge you to create some meaningful pieces for your own home. It’s the best way to curate a space you truly love. Plus, it doesn’t get easier than this one!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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