Introduction: Barrel Wood Key Holder

I am constantly misplacing my keys. We already have a key holder in the house, but since it is too full one of the counters has taken over the job. It's just easier putting your car keys on the counter than looking for a space to hang them. For those who don't know, THAT is how you lose things. For those who do know, this instructable is just for you.

So as you know, the main problem is that I need a place to put my keys, the second problem is that I want more plants in my house and that's how the idea was born...

This instructable is very useful in your everyday life, it can serve as wall art or it can keep you busy on a rainy day (as I did) or serve as something to do while on vacation.

Step 1: Let's Get Started

We have quite a lot of this barrel wood lying around at home, so I just picked three that was in a good condition and had the thickness that I was looking for (thin, thin, thick)

I quickly sanded down the middle parts of the wood because I was going to cut off the sides and this was mainly to check if the wood was good enough. Some of the planks have started to split, so I was careful not to take one of them.

Step 2: Sawing

I started with the plank that has the hole in it. I didn't have a precise size in mind, so I just lined up the piece of hardboard you see on the second picture with the sides of the hole and drew a line on the opposite side of the hardboard. This helped me to place the hole in the centre of the plank and it also ensured that the plank is evenly curved to the centre (since a barrel is not evenly curved, but is symmetrically curved). I used a band saw to cut the wood, but any hand saw or jigsaw will do the job.

I then used this plank to get sizes for the other two. The top plank is the same length as the bottom, but I made the middle plank slightly longer and I also turned it around to create the dark, light, dark contrast. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of this, but I placed the first plank side by side to the others before drawing the cutting lines to cut out a part of the wood where the curvature is similar.

For those who do not know, the light colour is the true colour of the wood, the darker purple colour is because of the wine that was kept in the barrel.

Step 3: Semi-final Touches

Before fixing the planks to each other, I drilled a hole on each end of the longer plank. These holes will be for rope to hang the holder up with. I also sanded the planks some more and filed down the edges to soften it a bit.

Step 4: Fixing the Planks

In the pictures above, you are looking at the back of the holder, that's why you will see a light-dark-light arrangement. I used the paper with the blocks to help with the alignment of the planks.

Next I used a small drop of wood glue on each end before fixing the planks with clamps. I only used a little bit of glue, because it was just to help me keep everything stable while working with the group.

I had already cut the smaller pieces of wood earlier, but if I do this again I will leave it until now to give the glue time to dry. I roughly checked the length of the small pieces and cut it to size. I then filed it down a bit and drilled holes for screws to attach it to the main body.

I first placed the small pieces in their position and used a nail to mark the position of the holes on the main body. I then used a hand drill to carefully make holes for the screws to go in easily.

Before placing the small pieces on the main body, screw the screws into the small pieces like you can see in the picture. This way it is easy to align it with the other holes. I first fastened the small pieces to the short planks.

Step 5: Some More Screws

Because of the way the wood curves, there is a space between the middle plank and the small piece of wood. Now that the small piece is fixed in place, i drilled a hole into the middle plank. A trick I have used throughout the project was to use a piece of tape on the drill bit to measure how deep I have to drill. This way you won't accidentally drill right through the wood an leave ugly holes.

Now that all the screws are in place it is safe to remove the clamps.

Step 6: The Can

I cleaned two cans, but decided to use the smaller tuna can for this project. I roughly found the center of the light plank and drilled holes into the can and matching holes in the plank. I then fixed the can to the plank. You can use only one screw, but I used two because I felt it would be sturdier.

Since I am planting a plant in the can, I used silicone to seal the screws. this way nothing will leak from the holes. Just squeeze some silicone onto the screws, vigorously wet your finger with spit and even it out. The spit will prevent the silicone from sticking to your finger.

Step 7: The Rope

I actually used a thin piece of leather. Just push the rope/leather through the holes and tie a knot at the bottom.

Step 8: The Hooks

I used a piece of paper to measure the holes for the hooks. I spaced the hooks 5 cm from each other. After marking the wood, I drilled holes and screwed in the hooks.

Step 9: The Plant

I used a succulent plant from our garden. I just filled up the can with soil from where I found it in the garden (we have very fertile soil) and planted the plant. I added some small stones for more aesthetic value.

Step 10: The Finished Project

Here are some pictures of the finished project.

I also want to give a shout out to all the dads out there! I had the privilege to work on this project and receive some advice from my dad on Fathers' Day in South Africa.

Thanks for viewing and feel free to drop a comment!

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Bio: Hi, my name is Ulrich Retief. I am currently a third year medical student at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Although I am ... More »
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