Making knockoffs is a great way to save money while still adding decor you love to your home. Follow this tutorial to make key shadow boxes. This Restoration Hardware knock off project is simple and will save tons of money over buying them.
I have been infatuated with skeleton keys for some time. I really wanted to frame some to hang up in my home, so I started looking around for some shadow boxes that would work well.
After quite a bit of searching, I finally settled on the key shadow boxes from Restoration Hardware. But, at $99 each, they were not in the budget. So I came up with a way to get what I wanted for a LOT less money.
Let me show you how to knock off a pair of these for less than $10, so you can have your own key shadow boxes.
Note: If you love knock-off home decor and want more inspiration, try some of our popular projects, including: Ballard Knock-Off Oars, Painted Garden Stool Ballard Knock Off, and Quick and Easy Woven Mirror Knock Off!
Restoration Hardware Knock Off Shadow Boxes
First, let’s go back a bit to how I settled on the Restoration Hardware version. I started by stalking Pinterest for framed skeleton keys and came back with a variety of results.
The Restoration Hardware version won my heart y’all. So how could I make them on a budget? Break out your craft supplies, ladies, and learn how to make your own knockoff.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, since I first published this post, Restoration Hardware doesn’t seem to sell these key shadow boxes anymore. I guess it helps to be a DIYer so we can create our own (on a budget!)!
How To Make Restoration Hardware Knock Off Key Shadow Boxes
This project is super simple, and I love how it turned out! Here’s everything you need to know.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these knock off shadow boxes.
- Skeleton keys – you can use either real or reproduction skeleton keys
- Shadow boxes or frames – I got my frames from the thrift store
- Folk Art wood stain – in the color of your choice
- Paper towels
- Black craft paint
- Spray adhesive
- E6000 adhesive
Restoration Hardware Knock Off Instructions
Believe it or not, it won’t be hard or take very long to make these cute shadow boxes. In full disclosure, I’m calling them shadow boxes, but I’m really using hanging frames without the glass to showcase my keys.
I started with a couple of prints from the thrift store for around $1 each, plus some reproduction skeleton keys from the flea market for $5. So I spent $7 total for my key shadow boxes.
First, remove all of the contents from the frames. We are only going to use the frame and backing – not the glass or the pictures.
Next, I needed to age the frames to give them that vintage, rustic vibe. I decided to use wood stain.
I picked an oak stain from Folk Art. Put some of the wood stain on a paper towel.
Apply the wood stain to your frame, wait about 30 seconds, and wipe it off.
The frame on the left below has had stain applied while the frame on the right is just as it was from the thrift store.
Now, mix equal parts black craft paint and water. Paint this mixture on your entire frame and wait about 30 seconds.
Again use a paper towel to wipe away. You can repeat this process until you get the look you want. The frame on the left below is complete, while the frame on the right just has the stain applied. Much better.
Allow your frames to dry.
While you’re waiting for your frames to dry, it’s time to prepare the materials for the inside of your Restoration Hardware knock off pieces. Cut some canvas material to the size of the backs of your frame.
Then use spray adhesive to apply the canvas to the frame backs.
Once everything is dry, assemble the frame and use E6000 to attach your keys to the center. Wait at least 24 hours for the E6000 to dry. Then your Restoration Hardware knock off key shadow box home decor pieces are done!
Hang your new Restoration Hardware knock offs around your home and take pride in knowing you made these awesome-looking pieces.
I actually hung mine up in the bedroom next to my knock-off decorative mirror. Knock offs gotta stick together right?
Plus, I can smile at these each night before I go to bed. Win-win!
I know people have a lot of questions about making knock offs. Here are some that I see over and over about this project.
What was the final cost of this project?
I had most of my supplies on hand and only purchased the reproduction skeleton keys and the frames. Even if you need to buy a few more crafting supplies, I definitely think you can make a pair of these for less than $10 by stalking your local thrift stores and flea markets.
Note: You may not be able to find the supplies you need on your first try. It may take some time to find just the right supplies. But if you want to make these for the absolute lowest amount of money, patience will be your best friend.
Can I use hot glue to hold the keys in place?
It’s a strong enough adhesive, so you COULD use hot glue for this Restoration Hardware knock off project if you’re VERY careful about making sure that there isn’t any glue peeking through the sides.
However, honestly, because skeleton keys are so thin and have lots of holes, that’s going to be way more work than using E6000, which is clear, doesn’t clump, and has great hold.
More Knock Off Home Decor Inspiration
If you love this idea and want more DIY home decor ideas, try the links below!
- Skeleton keys
- Shadowboxes or picture frames
- Folk Art wood stain in the color of your choice
- Paper towels
- Craft paint black
- Spray adhesive
- E6000 glue
- Remove all of the contents from the frames. Discard the glass and picture.
- Next, put some wood stain on a paper towel.
- Apply the wood stain to your frame, wait about 30 seconds, and wipe it off.
- Mix equal parts black craft paint and water. Use a paper towel to paint this mixture on your entire frame and wait about 30 seconds.
- Use another paper towel to wipe it off. You can repeat this process as many times as you want until you get the look you want. Allow the frames to dry completely.
- Cut some canvas material to fit the inside of your frame.Use spray adhesive to apply the canvas to the frame backs.
- Assemble the frame and use E6000 to attach your keys to the center. Wait at least 24 hours for the E6000 to dry completely.
I have tons of old keys that my hubbie has collected. Finally because of YOU I am going to get them up and displayed. THANKS!
It’s crazy what people pay for things. I like your version better!!
I love the keys and the mirror! I shared your project on my blog today: http://www.everafterblueprint.com/?p=7251
Great idea! How would you cover a mirror with canvas and attach keys to it. what type of glue would I have to use to attach the canvas to the mirror?
Sure you can! I would buy a good quality spray adhesive for putting the canvas on the mirror.