Wooden relief key holders

Crafting wooden relief key holders

Keys grow, don’t you agree? We have keys for the house, car, work, gym, club, garage and so on! We are going to craft a wooden relief key holder to keep all the important keys in one place. This crafting project is for hanging on a wall or screwed to a wall. Wooden relief key holders is a very personal gift that you can craft for your friends and family.

Let’s graft the wooden relief key holders

Buying wood for your crafting project

You need to shop around! It’s not about the price when you are buying wood, don’t get me wrong, the price is important, but it is about getting the service and advice. Today almost all wood suppliers will cut wood to the size you want! You must remember that they are a business so you will most likely have to buy one full length of the wood (Expect to invest between $ 10 to $30). One plank will give you 4 to 6 key holder bases. You must go and select the piece of wood from their stock, look at the colours, the length, width and surface smoothness. Ask if they will plane the wood for you before cutting. You want to minimise the amount of work you need to do! There is nothing wrong with that! Be passionate and build the relationship, it will help in the long-run!

Preparing your base

If you are a beginner, find out who has a handheld router and let them help you with rounding the corners and cutting the inlay area. It is a good way of learning and acquiring the skill before your buy a router. There are many makes and brands of routers, and you should not buy one without working with this equipment! If you don’t have a router or someone that can help, just stick the relief on the wood. Remember to flatten the sides of the wooden relief. The two photos show the inlay area and the wooden relief.

Inly of a cherry wood wolf relief into walnut 2Inly of a cherry wood wolf relief into walnut

We made this wooden relief of a wolf too explain a basic error to avoid in working with wood. You will see that the relief is carved so that when it is standing as a wolf should, the inlay is across the grain of the base. Inlaying across the grain is wrong; you will have problems when sanding, always ensure that your inlay wood and base wood grain is in the same direction! It is important not to cut the inlay area to deep, you want the relief to stick out about 0.5 mm. This little bit of wood you then sand away before glueing the relief. This creates a smooth transition between the wooden relief and the base wood.

Select a relief for your wooden relief key holders

We are currently focusing on increasing our range of wooden reliefs to cover more ocean and African animals. The photos below show some of the ocean animals that can be used in the wooden relief key holders. You can select many themes when crafting your wooden relief key holder, each one you make will be unique!

Wooden relief key holders with ocean reliefs and sailship

The larger reliefs in these photos are made from Walnut, and the center ones are made from French oak, The base wood for the wooden relief key holder is American poplar.

Wooden relief key holders with swordfish

Completing the wooden relief key holders

The octopus, swordfish and two ocean fish were selected for our wooden relief key holders. After rounding the edges of the base and sanding the relief, the reliefs were glued and clamped in place for 24 hours. The wooden relief key holders were then sanded using a sanding block. The total project was sealed using a gloss wood sealer. The normal practice is to apply three layers of wood sealer with sanding in between the first two layers of sealant.

Wooden relief key holders made from ocean animal single reliefs or carvings

Wooden key holders


Have fun creating your own wooden relief key holders. Back to Wooden reliefs for crafting or Articles

Crafting skill, material and equipment required to craft wooden relief key holders

Crafting level:

This is a project for beginners and journeymen in working with wood and requires limited skill and equipment. This will teach you about:

  • Inlay of wooden reliefs using a router,
  • Rounding corners of a piece of wood using a router,
  • Sanding wooden reliefs,
  • Using wood sealer or varnish and
  • installing fittings on wood.

Equipment and materials required:

You will need the following tools and material:

  • Handheld router,
  • Clamps,
  • Sanding paper or sanding sponge,
  • Wood glue,
  • Wooden reliefs,
  • A piece of wood and
  • Fittings.






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