I needed a way to hang keys and other small objects, and I couldn't find anything that was suitable. This was designed to be quite sturdy, and will take a decent amount of weight. It was fashioned from an old particleboard bookshelf that I had lying around in a dismantled state.
You will need:
1. Particleboard (or any similar material) [abandoned furniture]
2. Brackets (x2) (mending plates preferred, but L-brackets are okay) [hardware store]
3. Wood screws (x2) [hardware store]
4. Wall Anchor (x2) (with screws) [hardware store]
4. Melamine Edging (optional, for looks) [hardware store]
5. Nails [hardware store]
1. Hammer (if you only have L-brackets)
3. Drill bits (sized for bracket mounting hole, as well as for wall anchor diameter)
4. Drill press (for opening up bracket mounting hole)
5. Clothes iron (!)
6. Trimming tool, such as X-Acto knife.
7. Table saw
Step 1: Brackets and Holes
First of all, try to get mending plates, instead of L-brackets. If you can't get mending plates, then you can take the two L-brackets and hammer them flat. I had to hammer them flat. Felt like a bozo, but that's life sometimes. Do this on a surface that you don't care about, like the trunk of your neighbor's car.
Now, cut the particle-board to a size of your preference.
Then, mark out the places where the brackets will be mounted. The mounting screw will be BELOW the mounting hole (for the wall). You have to drill a larger hole (hole A) under the mounting hole, so that the wall-anchored screw head has a place to "seat" when the key hanger is mounted. Wrap some tape around the drill bit, so that you don't drill "hole A" too deep. Remember, it's just to clear a screw head.
Here's where I found that the countersunk hole in the bracket is actually too small to fit the screw head of my wall anchored screw. So I had to enlarge the two holes (one per bracket, of course). I used a drill press for this, and I recommend it.
Use the untouched screw hole on each bracket to mount the bracket to the board. Your key hanger is now ready for wall mounting.
Step 2: Wall Anchoring and Melamine Edging
Mark off the spots in the wall where your key hanger will mount, and drill holes for the wall anchors. Then you can screw in the screws that came with the wall anchors.
My particle board had ugly looking sawdust matrix edges and I didn't like that. So I bought melamine edging from Home Depot and used my iron to iron it on. I then trimmed the edges to make them reasonably pretty.
Finally, I got some nails and hammered them into the board.
Step 3: Before and After
Making this has changed my life for the better, in a small way. I like that it's sturdy enough to hang some pretty heavy objects, that a store-bought key hanger would not be able to accomodate. Notice how the heavy bike lock is on the left side, without the board tilting towards it.