Anyone can put magnets in the back of a flat board and call it a key hanger. But can just anyone put magnets, a faux antique finish and an epoxy filled heart in said key hanger? They sure can. Just follow the directions below or watch the attached video!
*The tools listed below are the type I used on this build and the exact models I use in my shop.
- Miter Saw (RIDGID 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw)
- Table Saw optional (RIDGID 10" Table Saw)
- Scroll Saw (Shop Fox 16" Scroll Saw)
- Drill/Driver (Ryobi One+ 18v Drill/Impact Driver Kit)
- Random Orbit Sander (Ryobi One+ 18v Random Orbit Sander)
- Router (Makita Compact Router w/ Plunge Base)
Step 1: Step 1 - Cut Your Board to Length
Because my fancy poplar was a 12" x 24" that I purchased for another project in mind, I ripped it down to a 5" x 15". Make sure your board is flat and your edges are square.
Step 2: Step 2 - Cut Your Heart Out
You don't have to use a heart shape, but I did for Valentine's Day purposes. Find the center of your board and trace the shape you want to fill with epoxy later. Using a wide drill bit, cut a pilot hole in the middle of your traced shape that can be used to feed the scroll saw blade into. Once you have your scroll saw in place, cut out your desired shape. You'll notice in the video that I used an oscillating spindle sander to sand the edges, but that's because I had a new toy and I really wanted to try it out. You can easily hand sand your edges with sandpaper. Just make sure you don't have any jagged edges.
Step 3: Step 3 - Round Is the New Flat
To jazz up this piece I used a round over bit to in my router table to give the edges a little added detail. You can use a normal router for the same effect or even use your palm sander to soften the edges. Again... if you have toys... use them.
Step 4: Step 4 - Epoxy Filled Heart
Before you do anything though, tape up the back side of your shape with painter's tape. I used a few layers in case it leaked. It didn't.
Take two bottles of included liquid from the Easy Cast Epoxy kit. Take two separate cups. Pour equal amounts of said liquids into separate plastic cups. Keep in mind, these cups will be tossed when you're done. So don't use your favorite mug. There's no saving them. Pour the contents of cup 1 into cup 2. I also used a plastic spoon to scoop any excess out. Then stir for 2 minutes. After stirring for 2 minutes, pour the contents from cup 2 back into cup 1 and add your dye. It said add one or two drops, but I"m a rebel and I did like 10. Stir and stir and stir some more. For 2 minutes again. Then pour the contents into your mold.
Let it sit at room temperature undisturbed overnight. It needs at least 8-10 hours of sleep.
Step 5: Step 5 - Admire Your Awesomeness
After it's fully dried, it's time to go back and clean up some of those whoopsies. You can see on mine I had a little bit of overflow that soaked in, but now that it's hardened, I can just sand the entire surface with my Random Orbit sander and clean it up to a smooth finish. Same goes for the edges as well. No one likes to get splinters from their decor pieces.
Step 6: Step 6 - Cut Holes, But Not Big Holes
On the back of your project, using a forstner bit, drill holes that will house your magnets. Okay, something very obvious needs to be said here. DO NOT BORE HOLES THROUGH THE OTHER SIDE! I used my drill press but you can just as easily mark your depth with a drill by adding a piece of tape on your bit to see when to stop. You want to go deep enough that the magnets work, but not so deep that you'll puncture through. It's a test as you go thing. Take a little, check with your magnets, go a little more, etc. With the magnets I purchased from Home Depot listed above, I had to stack 3 on top to get the desired strength.
If you're one with a critical eye (I feel sorry for your significant other!) you'll notice I had a little overflow on the back of my epoxy filled heart. This is what happens when you remove the tape at hour 6, think it's solid and then come back a few hours later. Luckily it didn't cause any problems
Step 7: Step 7 - the Key to My Heart
Using a Key Hole bit in my router, I cut two tracks for mounting this piece to the wall. It's extremely important that the cuts are even on both sides or your heart will hang on the wall all wonky. And nobody wants a wonky decor heart.
If you don't have a router or don't feel like going the key hole cut out route (tool joke!) then you can easily add standard picture hangers, but we fancy at Lazy Guy DIY.
Step 8: Step 8 - Paint It Black, or Red, or White or Whatever
As I mentioned in the materials, I painted my board a country white. Sort of a buttery white. Don't get attached. It's not sticking around very long. Also, don't get any on your epoxy heart. That's just man glitter (saw dust) you see there.
After you paint has dried, with your palm sander, sand off the paint around your edges and randomly around the surface of your piece. The idea is to have the spots where the paint is taken off to be highlighted by stain. Make sure you don't scuff your epoxy though.
Step 9: Step 9 - Stain It
For this project I had MinWax Special Walnut already in the shop, so I wiped on a healthy coat, then wiped off the excess. Once again, make sure you don't get any on the epoxy. Wipe it off immediately if you do, then let the stain dry for a few hours.
Step 10: Step 10 - Add Magnets
It's finally time. Time to attach your rare earth magnets. I should state, rare earth magnets are super strong compared to normal craft magnets, but if they are so rare why do they have them in every Home Depot? In family packs! You can use any strong adhesive like super glue, I used DAP Rapid Fuse and stacked 3 magnets in each hole. A few drops and these suckers will stick like... well magnets.
Step 11: Step 11 - Hang Your Keys and Stay a While
That's it. You're done. Hang your heart on the wall, don't wear it on your sleeve and slap your keys up there and hope they stay. If they fall off then clearly this is a sign about your love life from the epoxy heart god. Luckily you can always stack another magnet on your pile for a little extra pull.