How to Make a Wooden Key Rack

A simple wooden key rack is the best first project for the novice wood worker. Requiring no special tools, the project can be completed in a very short period of time. A key rack can be embellished in countless ways. Start with a very simple plan, and allow your creativity to shine! Also a great craft fair idea, this wooden key rack can be produced in quantity and personalized to order. Personalize the project with a wood burning tool, place a name, or a meaningful date on the face of the rack. Additionally, this is a fantastic project to use up all those scrap pieces of wood.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • 1 by 6 inches lumber of length desired
  • Sand Paper (60-grit and 120-grit)
  • Drill and bit
  • Kitchen hooks
  • Wood conditioner (optional)
  • Stain (optional)
  • Polyurethane
  • Rags
  • Paint brush
  • Palm sander (optional)
  • Wood file (optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Straight edge
  • Square
  • Large saw tooth picture hanger
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • 4 finishing nails

Step 1 - Prepare Wood

Start by choosing which side will be the front of the wooden key rack. The side with the least imperfections should be the front, although some imperfections can add an artistic flair to the finished project. If the wood is seriously flawed, you may opt to file the wood until the grain is clear. Always file with the grain. If you have decided to file the board, you will need to smooth it out with a palm sander, using first 60-grit sandpaper, followed by 120-grit sandpaper. With a square, check that wood is square.

Step 2 - Mark Hook Placement and Drill Pilot Holes

Using a tape measure, decide placement of kitchen hooks. You may choose to start with 1 hook in the center and work out from that. Continue marking hook locations. With drill and bit appropriate to make a pilot hole for the kitchen hooks chosen, drill pilot holes as measured.

Step 3 - Finish Wood

On the backside of the wood, hammer a finishing nail in each corner to keep board from sticking to surface while stain dries. If you are using a soft wood such as pine, it is recommended that you first apply a conditioner to the surface to keep stain from soaking in. Apply conditioner with a foam brush, wait 5 minutes to apply stain. Do not allow conditioner to sit more than 10 minutes, or you will need to re-apply. With a clean rag, apply stain. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes, wipe excess stain off with clean rag. Let dry 24 hours. With natural bristle paintbrush, apply a thin coat of polyurethane. Allow polyurethane to dry 24 hours. Lightly sand with 120-grit sandpaper, and apply another thin coat to the wooden key rack. Let dry 24 hours. Repeat until desired finish is attained.

Step 4 - Kitchen Hooks

Install kitchen hooks using your hands into pilot holes from Step 2. On the back of wooden key rack, install a saw tooth picture hanger using screws provided with hanger. Alternatively you can secure a rope hanger to the top edge of the key rack by knotting both ends of a 12 inches piece of rope and attaching with large screws (always drill pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood of the wooden key rack.