Introduction: Volkswagen (VW) Ring From Old Key

Picture of Volkswagen (VW) Ring From Old Key

When I was 16 years old I bought my first VW (1970 beetle) and have never looked back. Over the next 16 years I have own a couple more, and if anything the love for them has increased. Recently while working on a good friends camper, I was looking at and old key in my hand and thought, these would make great rings. So it was my friends birthday the other day and thought I would give it a go.

Please forgive the crudeness of this instructable, I have never attempted making rings before.

In the end I was very happy with the end result, as was my friend, and I think any VW enthusiast would love one of these (I made a couple....)


Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

So, the materials for this project are pretty straight forward.

First you will need a key or several keys. I had a bunch laying around that I had picked up over the years.

you'll also need the following:

A blowtorch (or other heat source)

a mandrel (for sizing) I did not end up using mine in the end

A pipe to rap the key around (I used some scrap that was similar in size to what I wanted, but you could also use a steel Mandrel to get a perfect fit)

A hammer (I used a regular hammer for the grunt work and a jewelers hammer for some finer touches)

A pair of vice grips

Some metal polish

A dremel with a buffing attachment

Step 2: Heat It Up

Picture of Heat It Up

Place the key under the flame of the blowtorch. Wait till it starts to a light pink, then dip it in some water (I found it to be to brittle if you tried to bend the key when it was to hot)

ATTENTION: Please make sure you use blowtorches outside or in well ventilated areas.

Step 3: Clamp and Hammer

Picture of Clamp and Hammer

I clamped the key to the end of the pipe (placed some cardboard between the vice grips and the key to prevent scratching) and slowly began to hammer the ring around the pipe. I had to heat it two more times to get the desired shape.

Step 4: Touch Up

Picture of Touch Up

Once I had the rough shape I wanted, I used the jewelers hammer to even out any inconsistencies.

Step 5: Amost There

Picture of Amost There

Here you can see the rings before being cleaned up. They look pretty rough....

Step 6: Polish Up Those Rings

Picture of Polish Up Those Rings

Use your polishing attachment on your Dremel to help with this stage. You could do this by hand, but the Dremel makes for a great finish. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Step 7: All Finished

Picture of All Finished

And that's it. Here is a photo of the 3 stages of the ring. The whole project took about an hour and the final result looks great. These old keys are a little banged up, but I think that adds to the charm.

I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable.


tnowling (author)2014-05-25

totally going to make. I even have some vintage keys. I will post my pics when complete

LaurenKayStudio (author)tnowling2017-10-19

hello, I would like to know how long it took you to put the key under the blowtorch? I have the yellow blowtorch which heats the metal faster it would mean so much to me to please let me know also what hammer did you use for bending the key? Please let me know it is much appreciated.

Thank you

scooter76 (author)tnowling2014-05-29

Cheers, look forward to seeing the pics.

hippychick67 (author)2016-03-31

I am going to do this with the original key for my 1973 1303 Beetle, as it doesn't fit any of the locks! Thank you! Peace. xx

Hello, I would like to know how long did you leave the key under the blowtorch for? I have the yellow one which heats the metal faster and I was wondering what you used and how long it took you to do it.

LaurenKayStudio (author)2017-10-18

Hello, I would like to know how long did you keep the key under the blowtorch? I have the yellow blowtorch and would like to know what kind of hammer do you use for bending the keys?

nab1231 (author)2016-03-26

Love the idea! My favorite car I owned was a VW Passat 2012

ldaniel7 (author)2014-11-03


emilyvanleemput (author)2014-05-30

Congrats on being a finalist!

Cheers Emily, all the best to you as well

nm332 (author)2014-05-29


St Andy (author)2014-05-29

very cool. I want one. How do I get a vw key like the ones you have?

scooter76 (author)St Andy2014-05-29

Cheers. I Have been collecting keys for years, get them mainly form swap meets, but you can find them on ebay sometimes.

beetleman (author)2014-05-29

Sweet, did you make an extra for me? They look rad.

scooter76 (author)beetleman2014-05-29

Don't panic, I have one for you. I'll ring it home this summer.

salliestilwedie (author)2014-05-29

sooo cool!!!


transforming vintage (author)2014-05-23

cool idea, and greatly executed

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

jsöderström (author)2014-05-22

Wow that's nice! i had a VW Golf GTI (Special) from86 many years ago.

but where do i find a key? want one myself,

scooter76 (author)jsöderström2014-05-29

I have been collecting them for over 15 years at swap meets and repairs. You can find them on ebay every once and awhile. I found blanks work best (no sharpe edges) but imagine cut keys would do just fine.

Rich_Limburger (author)2014-05-16

I love this idea, very clear instructable good execution
It's easy to find with Volkswagan in the title, is there a particular reason you chose not to use the original spelling?

scooter76 (author)Rich_Limburger2014-05-16

Richard, thank you for the positive feedback, and pointing out the spelling error, not sure how that happened, but have amended it now.

Creativeman (author)2014-05-15

Very nice, great creativity! Would it be possible to chrome plate, or even plate with silver or gold? Just a thought.

scooter76 (author)Creativeman2014-05-15

I imagine these could be plated with easy, but I lack the resources. Also I like the rustic look, goes well with the old VW theme. Thanks for the positive feedback, will look into getting the next ones plated and see how they turn out.

M3G (author)2014-05-05

Wow, these are really cool!

scooter76 (author)M3G2014-05-15


sunshiine (author)2014-05-05

Oh I like this! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing and do have a happy week.


scooter76 (author)sunshiine2014-05-15

Thanks, hope you have a great week too

About This Instructable




Bio: Jack of all trades, master of none. Father, husband, creator.
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