Introduction: DIY - How to Make a Spare Key From Soda Bottle

The tension wrench provided by this is my first prototype of plastic spare key, it works. From a soda bottle to the Ultimate product, please go to


ErikaS37 (author)2016-05-05

i lost a key to a commercial washer coin box.,help

Raveonatabu (author)2014-06-28

awesome , thnks

overlordspeedy (author)2010-01-05

So let me see if I got this straight...


Australia:  $10
Canada:   $4
Walmart:  $0.10
K.S.A.:       $1.30
fortunare's hometown:  $0.79

What I learned from all this: Get your real keys made at Walmart or fortunare's. Don't buy keys in Australia. Zaphod Beeblebrox likes pudding (or just likes saying the word "pudding"). Xacto knives are like 5 bucks for a set of 3 (blades included). And when reading the comments section for any site, no matter what the post is on, you'll always, ALWAYS find somebody who has a problem with it.
I like the satisfaction of acquiring know-how, even if it's for something impractical or just for fun. At the very least, somebody could incorporate this into a cool spy movie!!

Sabata (author)overlordspeedy2010-01-09

"And when reading the comments section for any site, no matter what the post is on, you'll always, ALWAYS find somebody who has a problem with it."

Ain't that the truth!

Back to the topic at hand, you might need to anneal street sweeper bristles before bending then into a tension wrench or they may break. Hold the bristle with pliers and heat the section to be bent with a flame (only takes a second or two with a propane torch), let it cool then do your bending. If the bristles are used they will be really cruddy, so clean/scrape/scrub/sand them thoroughly before sticking 'em into any lock you care about.

selvol (author)Sabata2013-12-11

Also Most Windshield wiper blades contain a nice piece of steel that can be ground down to make a nice turning wrench.

jeffxie1 (author)overlordspeedy2010-01-06

in Canada, it costs $1.5 for the knife((3blades included) which is similar with the Xacto knife in dollar store.

mikeltv1 (author)2011-11-30

Will this process work with aluminum/sheet metal?

selvol (author)mikeltv12013-12-11

Yes, thin soda can like Aluminum.
If too thick the key will not fit in the Key way.

Dana LaBerge (author)2013-09-20

In theory would you be able to make a new key for a lock that you have a similar key for, like my grandfathers luggage, in this way? I would love to be able to have a key for it.

potatoluver5 (author)2009-12-31

thats just gunna get stuck in the lock, its a lot easier to just pay 10 cents for a spare at walmart

sharkilepsy (author)potatoluver52010-01-03

 i'd really like to see a receipt for this alleged $.10 key copy. they are at least a dollar most places these days, usually more.

Macka (author)sharkilepsy2010-01-03

Yeah, in Aus, a (bad) blank key for $1 is a good price, then expect to pay ~$10 for the actual cutting, if not more.

drumstyx (author)Macka2010-01-04

 Wow, that's insanely expensive, it's maybe 3-4 bucks including cutting in Canada.

cyrax037 (author)drumstyx2012-11-03

WOW, here in the USA, last time I went to go make copies of the bathroom keys at my work, I got 3 keys made, and it was only like, $2.50.

Macka (author)drumstyx2010-01-04

most things are.

Video games that sell in the US for $40 sell for $110 in Aus.

Programmable chips (MCUs) sell for $2.60 - $4 in the US and $15 in Aus.

uk_060 (author)Macka2010-01-05

 I K.S.A i pay $1.3 a key cutting any key except those need programing.
And I purchase XBOX 360 Games for $4.05 anyone including recent releases

Zetheros (author)sharkilepsy2010-01-10

Yes, I was also wondering how a key copy could ever cost $.10. Even a nickel doesn't have as much metal than in a key copy, in addition to the energy used to manufacture a copy.

DavidYenor (author)2012-09-03

Sweet! How long does it last? My dad always looses his keys, this could help him out a great deal. Thanks for posting this.

wario235 (author)2012-05-01

Just happened across your instructable, and I find this ridiculously useful. My coworkers are constantly losing the keys to the forklifts at work, making me unable to do my job about half the time.

1 plastic bottle later and I have my own spare key. Illegal? Probably. But increases productivity!

Lowriderpr (author)2012-03-12

Great Job!

mtg1001 (author)2010-11-14

your mom goes to collage

kryptofacist (author)mtg10012010-12-14

collage. n.
1.a. An artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface, often with unifying lines and color.
b. A work, such as a literary piece, composed of both borrowed and original material.
2. The art of creating such compositions.
3. An assemblage of diverse elements: a collage of conflicting memories.

How can anybody go there?


CUclimbing (author)kryptofacist2011-08-12

Haha, nice

fortunare (author)2010-01-03

Why waste time to save 79 cents which makes a strong key.  I always scarry a spare metal car key in my wallet.  They once sold breakable plastic keys for $5 to keep in your wallet.  Use you time better.   

hikari (author)fortunare2010-01-06

I could see it being very useful for college students living in dorms. Dorm  keys commonly say "Do Not Copy" on them.

chadcad (author)hikari2010-01-06

As if the pimply faced high school kid running the key cutting machine pays any attention to the "DO NOT DUPLICATE" message on a key.  On the off chance he does you can usually slip them a dollar to disregard it.

brupbacher (author)chadcad2010-06-03

On many different occaisions I have tried to have "do not copy" inscribed keys copied.  I have always been turned away.  I have been turned away in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Biloxi and Denver.
I would not assume that you can just slip someone a dollar.

dll932 (author)brupbacher2011-07-17

Depends on the store and the clerk; IF they have the blank and IF the clerk doesn't care and IF the blank isn't registered/restricted. Some blanks can only be obtained by franchisees-who won't endanger their investment by cutting unauthorized keys. The "do not copy" stamp means nothing by itself.

chadcad (author)brupbacher2010-06-06

All I'm saying is I've done it in numerous times all over Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas. The hardware stores seem to be a little stricter than a big box wannabe department store (Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target etc.)

dll932 (author)chadcad2011-06-19

Well, if it's truly a restricted blank, the only way you're gonna copy it is if you're skilled with a milling machine!

camilaustral (author)fortunare2010-01-03

and why knitting a sweater if you can buy one waaay cheaper...
or why making any of the stuff on this site if you can buy them.....

i think it's great to have a key without leaving home :P

Kye37 (author)camilaustral2010-01-04

"and why knitting a sweater if you can buy one waaay cheaper..."

Because you will not get the same satisfaction and sense of achievement from actually creating the sweater your self.

"or why making any of the stuff on this site if you can buy them....."

I think I can speak for most of the people that visit this site on a regular basis, when you actually create something from nothing you learn how things are made and even improve on the creation, you then can then help others to create, I know when I create something I get so much more out of the experience then if I actually bought it from a store, I see the creation in a whole new light because I MADE IT MY SELF, I KNOW HOW IT WORKS!, naturally gratitude comes with the whole process. Try creating something that you can buy from a store something complex and see if you don't have more of an attachment to the one you created.

camilaustral (author)Kye372010-01-05

i know, i'm a knitter!!!
i totally disagreed with tbm13!!! handmade stuff is allways 100 times better
i wouldn't be subscribed to this site if i don't like to make stuff.

i was tring to respnd to him in a sarcastic (or wathever) way. (sorry for the confussion i could have created!!!)

i guess my english is not as good as i thought :(

rengisedeht (author)camilaustral2010-02-03

Your English was spot on.  ;)

Cartman says "WHATEVA!  I do what I want" 

Kye37 (author)camilaustral2010-01-05

Oh OK that's great, I too am sorry about the confusion.

Win7Maniac (author)Kye372010-01-07

Really, people, use your brains! DIY's aren't for you to save money or time, they're for your fun and enjoyment, and for you to gain a little knowledge on how things work. If you really hate DIY's that bad, people, maybe you shouldn't be reading them or even be on instructables. Kye37's got some sense here. . .

camilaustral (author)Win7Maniac2010-01-08

did you read my response?
i don't want to be hated here :(

Win7Maniac (author)camilaustral2010-01-08

yeah, but i was sort of responding to Kye37's comment, not necessarily yours. This is for all the noobs that think they're to cool to make something themselves, not 4 u. Sorry about that

Foozer (author)fortunare2010-01-09

ummmm isn't this a DIY and that's why we read these things ... cuz we have time on our hands to do other things.   t  What the hell, nice job, keymaker.  It may come in handy sometime.  Who the hecks knows?  Richard Dean Anderson may a small bit of pocket change doing some of these 79 cent things and people actually kept coming back.  ;)

Calis (author)fortunare2010-01-07

You are all forgetting the obvious nefarious applications...not that anyone here would need that information.  Information is always good though.

victtor (author)fortunare2010-01-03

'Cause... some keys say do not duplicate...

iggyrlk (author)victtor2010-01-06

yeah, exactly some organizational keys say do not duplicate.  this would probably also work for a PO box.   I don't think I have the same sense of security with a PO box anymore,  but I guess that would wear out fairly quickly be a good loaner for a friend to check your mail.

ClaudiaRN (author)victtor2010-01-06

 good point. I used to live in apartment with swimming pool keys...5 bucks for a replacement!

silvery (author)fortunare2010-01-05

I'd love to get such cheap keys -  I recently needed a new key for my mailbox and paid $15 (!).

spenfisher12 (author)fortunare2010-01-03

with a soda bottol you can make like 15 keys fore difrent things

Spritegeezer (author)fortunare2010-01-03

It's not always about saving time or money.  I appreciate an alternative view of the situation.  A different angle can sometimes be all you need to solve a different problem.  A little more kindness and a little less snark would be in order.

dll932 (author)fortunare2010-01-03

As a locksmith, I can tell you plastic blanks are old hat-we used to sell them but getting them to work is iffy at best.

tbm13 (author)fortunare2010-01-03

 he didnt make this for a go 2 walmart and make a key. this shows you how to make a key yourself. ofcourse its not going to be a perm key..

nak (author)fortunare2010-01-03

^ Confident smart person ^

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