Make a Copy of the Key From a Photo




About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

In this Instructable, I tried to copy a key by taking a photo of it.

Before you say anything, I am aware that there are apps to scan keys and on-line services & kiosks where you can print them out.


Step 1: Take a Photo

I put the key on my gym's old membership card.

Reason for that - it's the same size as the credit card.

Then I took a few photos of the key.

Step 2: Edit the Photo

I found a credit card's template for the photoshop.

I cropped the photo and dragged it on top of the template.

Then, I copied the photo to a new a4 size document and made a few copies.

Now I had a perfect size key, ready to be printed on a label paper.

Step 3: Stick the Label on a Blank Key

I cut out the label and stuck it on a blank key.

Step 4: Paint the Exposed Metal

I used black nail polish to paint exposed parts of the key.

Before nail polish was completely dry, I removed the label.

Step 5: Grind the Marked Part of the Key

I put the key in a vice and used different files to grind the marked metal.

Key did not work with the first time. I had to make little adjustments. I made those adjustment without the vice, just by holding the key and grinding it with a file.

After a few tries, I was able to unlock the padlock with a key that was copied from a photo.

Never post a photo of your keys in social media sites.



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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Cool and instructive. If I had any kind of social media account, I would now know not to post my keys on there :)

    5 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Deluges, this could be considered social media, because we talk about things. Projects.


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Coulé! Actually I would say that it's not really a social media in that I don't use my real Identity and I meet people here that I didn't know in real life as opposed to social media in which you choose the people you're friends with or follow. Either because you were friends in real life or because you are a fan. If that makes sense


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm, I get your point. But I also do those things here. So does that qualify? :)


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Just a note: This won't work on proper locks as those will be very, very picky about having the exact same debth and high parts. I've used a key copying machine hundreds of times and sometimes the key just didn't work so we had to do it again, which almost always worked. There were no visual differences whatsoever. Some shops won't even do the copying of your key if it's a little worn because the failure rate is too high.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Good instructables. Easy to follow instructions.

    Good advice to not post a photo of one's keys on a social media site.

    1 reply