So my mom loves old-looking keys. She loves them so much that she uses them throughout her business in her marketing tools, business cards, even jewelry (she's a real estate agent, so it fits nicely). At the gun show a few weekends ago I found a guy selling all kinds of old prison collectibles like shackles, balls and chains, padlocks, and yes, old iron keys! They look great and I happened to have a frame lying around, so I gave this a shot. Haggled him down to ten bucks too!
Step 1: Supplies
The only thing not pictured is super glue, which I'll get to in a few steps. Pretty straight forward: you need some keys, some different types of glue, and a frame with something to put as the background (pink construction paper in my case). Also, you should be watching Blackhawks hockey.
Step 2: Prep the Back
First things first; get the background all set up so it dries. As you can see I took great care to spread the white glue perfectly in order to minimize bubbles and wrinkles in the paper background. Then I dropped on the paper and used some useless pile of paper to weigh it down. It's pretty important to secure the background to the back side of the frame, because these babies are a little heavy.
Step 3: Lay It Out
Then, using the empty frame and the floor, I laid out the keys to get a feel for what I wanted it to look like.
Step 4: Tricky Sticky
So I laid them on the dry background and marked underneath the keys on two spots (for the hot glue). Then, I plopped on a tiny bit of hot glue (so it doesn't stick out too much) and quickly pressed the keys onto it. Of course, after drying, the keys barely stayed on, so I gently removed them (GENTLY!!! Don't tear the paper!) and dropped a little super glue on the top of the hot glue and re-attached the keys. TRICKY BIT! The super glue tends to dry and spread a white residue. It's easy to handle with a gentle bit of steel wool, OR, the protip here, if you use electrical tape on the visible part of the key before gluing it prevents the spread.
Step 5: Trim It Up!
Looking good! Just use a hobby knife to trim any extra hot glue and it's done!