This classic hotel key hook, inspired by old hotel boards adorned with brass keys, is easy to make and blends well with rustic or industrial home decor.
There were two things I was most excited about when we were building our home – our first mailbox and key hook. It’s weird, I know, but those are the two things that always make a house feel like a home. Or, more importantly, instill a feeling of ownership.
After our move, we installed this super cute, albeit small, key hook by the back door. We quickly realized the problems we would have with “cute”.
My husband works on cars professionally and as a hobby. This means there are ALWAYS extra keys on our hook and it became increasingly difficult to find our own keys once they were buried.
I found this amazing reclaimed wood hotel-inspired key hook, but it was nearly $50 and it only held about 5 sets of keys. I knew I could make one that was cheaper with the scrap wood I had in my shop.
You do NOT need a lot of skill to recreate this hotel key hook. It was easy and, in fact, was made using scrap pieces of wood from my shop and a few tools. YOU can do this!
How To Make A Hotel-Inspired Key Hook
This is the final product! It’s cute and holds a LOT of keys. I still may add a frame around it for a more finished look, but I finished this project in just a few hours.
First, I found a piece of 1/4″ plywood that we used for another project. I straightened the edges and squared it up using my table saw. If you don’t have a table saw, you can find a small board at Home Depot and they will cut it to size for you (usually – they won’t rip thin boards, but they will cross cut for you). If you don’t have a table saw, use a circular saw to cut your boards.
TIP: Cross Cut vs Rip: With a rip cut, you cut along the grain; a cross cut means you cut across the grain. Cutting along the grain is a very easy cut.
I cut my base board to 23″ x 14 1/4″ – honestly, these measurement were arbitrary. I just made a measurement that was closest to the piece I had once I squared it up. I also had to make sure it fit my space.
Once you have the base piece cut, you’ll need to cut the panels. These can be cut using a miter saw or table saw.
Each of the panels – 6 in total – I cut to 4 1/2″ x 11″. That way, 6 of them fit the base board evenly with slight spacing in between. These panels are made from the same wood as the base.
Before gluing to the baseboard, I sanded the baseboard and edges, as well as each of the panels and the edges, with my Ryobi sander. I rounded the edges with my sander to give it a more finished look.
This is not a great photo, but it shows how I laid out the boards on the base once all the boards have been sanded.
Once they’re all sanded, I glued them using a good wood glue. Then, I weighted them with books and let it dry for about 2 hours.
Once all the glue was dry, I sanded the top once more. You want to make sure there’s no glue residue on the front or you’ll get a splotchy stain finish.
I then stained the whole board with Varathane Briarsmoke because it’s my favorite color. It very much remind me of old barn siding.
If you want a richer color, one that might have been used on wood in an old hotel, I think their Cognac color would be amazing!
Then, I measured to find the center of each board. I attached these label holder frames and cup holder hooks from Amazon. I loved the look of both of these because they were like aged bronze. A perfect touch!
Once it’s all attached, hang your board (make sure to screw it into the studs so it hangs sturdy) and you’re done!
I love this project because it’s useful and so easy to make!