Introduction: Make a Typewriter Keyboard Wall With Paper + Resin!

About: My love of making things started young, with a mom who was always coming up with projects and a dad whose tool collection still gives me envy. I got my love of bright colors from mom and my love of working wi…

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. It started with (really bad) poetry when I was young, morphed into short fiction in college, and now I spend my days writing at work, in addition to the few blogs I try to keep up with.

My love of writing led me to create the "ultimate writing room" for my home office (which has become a little more important in these social distancing days). The room was inspired by the old typewriters my dad always used when I was growing up (one of which is proudly displayed in this room!).

With that, I set out to create a typewriter wall…using paint can lids, paper ,vinyl letters and resin. It’s actually really easy to do!


(affiliate links)

Half gallon paint can lids, unlined

Black scrapbook paper (or thick cardstock):

3” Self Stick vinyl letters:

2” Self Stick vinyl letters:

1” Self Stick vinyl letters:

Circle cutter:

Self healing cutting mat:

Spray sealant:

Spray adhesive:

Pro Marine Resin:

Command picture hanging strips:


Bernzomatic Torch: +

Mixing Cups:

Mixing Sticks:


Plastic drop cloths:

Spare cardboard (for measuring guide)

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Step 1: ​Cut Circles Out of Black Paper

Decide which typewriter keyboard you want to mimic. Not all old typewriters have the same keys, so find one that works best for you! The keyboard we went with has 46 keys.

Gather the following materials: black scrapbook paper, circle cutter, cutting mat, sharpie, paint can lid (so you can test sizing).

Follow these steps:

1. Measure the diameter of the inner ring of your paint can lid.

2. Adjust your circle cutter to the right size.

3. Test, test, test until you get the exact fit.

Note: You’ll want the paper to sit flush on the bottom; otherwise, resin may seep under it.

4. Cut enough circles for all the keys you need (we had 46)

5. If the edges of your circles are white, carefully use a sharpie to color them black.

Step 2: ​Adhere Vinyl Letters, Numbers and Symbols to Circles

For our keyboard, we needed three sizes of vinyl letters. You’ll want to be as precise as possible on placement for these.

Gather the following materials: Vinyl letters, black circles you just cut, scissors, Exacto knife

Follow these steps:

1. Find a way to easily judge the center of the circle, whether through a guide or the lines on your cutting mat.

2. Carefully place each letter into the center of the circle. Don’t press them down until you’re sure that they're in the right place.

- Use 3” letters for the main letters on the keyboard and punctuation.

- Use 2” letters for the numbers and symbols.

- Use 1” letters for the Shift Key and Shift Lock keys.

- Use a variety of 1", 2" and 3" symbols, depending on the keyboard you chose to recreate. You may need to make some, which can easily be done with the outside edges and leftover sticky vinyl inside the larger letters.

Tip: The M and W may be too wide. We cut ours in the middle very carefully and increased the overlap. Some minor adjustments with an Exacto knife helped ensure clean lines.

Step 3: ​Seal Paper Circles

Since you’ll be pouring a liquid (resin) over the keys in a few steps, you’ll want to be sure that the paper is properly sealed first. I highly recommend doing this at this stage, as you don’t want to get sealant all over the paint can lids.

Gather the following materials: drop cloth, sealant, circles with letter adhered.

Follow these steps:

1. Find a well ventilated area, preferably as free from dust as possible.

2. Lay down a drop cloth. This part gets messy!

3. Lay out your keys.

4. Follow the instructions on your preferred sealant for how many layers and time between layers.

5. Let dry.

Step 4: ​Adhere Circles to Paint Can Lids

Before you do this step, be sure to grab a fresh drop cloth. You will be flipping the keys over and don’t want them to get the over-sprayed sealant dust on them.

Gather the following materials: fresh drop cloth, spray adhesive, paint can lids.

Follow these steps:

1. Find a well ventilated area, preferably as free from dust as possible.

2. Lay down a drop cloth.

3. Place your keyboard keys face down on the drop cloth.

4. Spray a few keys with adhesive and adhere to paint can lids.

Tip: Work in small sections, being mindful of covering the pieces you’re not working with so you don’t get adhesive on them before you’re ready.

5. Ensure that all edges, in particular, are adhered (so the resin doesn't soak underneath them).

Step 5: ​Pour Thin Layer of Resin on Top

Once the adhesive is dry, it’s time for resin! Resin can be finicky, so we recommend doing a small test if you haven’t worked with it before.

Gather the following materials: drop cloth, keyboard keys, resin, mixing cups and stirring sticks, Bernzomatic torch.

Follow these steps:

1. Make sure you’re working on a level surface in a temperature controlled area (most resin is VERY temperature sensitive).

2. Spread keyboard keys out on table.

3. Mix resin according to the instructions on the bottles.

4. Pour a thin layer of resin on top of the keys.

5. Ensure resin gets in all crevices (our paint can lids had an inner ring that we were sure to pour the resin over).

6. Use Bernzomatic torch to pop bubbles.

7. Continue to monitor for bubbles for the first 30-45 minutes, as new ones will appear when air escapes from under the black circles.

8. Let cure for the amount of time indicated on your resin bottles.

Step 6: ​Adhere to Wall

Now it’s time to install the keyboard! The “key” to a great installation is measuring and leveling.

Gather the following materials: Command adhesive, level ruler or other guide for spacing.

Follow these steps:

1. Create a spacing guide out of cardboard. This will make installation much easier.

Tip: You will want the guide to be able to go across the tops of two keys and have a spacer for the middle.

2. Put command adhesive strip on back of paint can lid.

3. Adhere first key to wall, ensuring that the key is positioned appropriately.

Tip: We like to use the Command strips that act like velcro, as these make it easy to reposition if you’re off by a little bit).

4. Adhere the second key to wall using the measuring guide with a level on top to ensure that your keyboard wall is installed correctly.

5. Repeat the steps above until all keys are on the wall.

Step 7: ​Enjoy!

Now you have an AMAZING typewriter keyboard wall!

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