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Recently I was working on DIY bottle opener. During that project, I found a wood scrap that was too small for an opener. I was having fun, though, so I marked it up and drilled the holes. When I was looking at it later, I thought, “I could make this one into a DIY keychain hanger instead.”
When I stained the board, I had not yet figured out that some brands make a slightly larger bottle cap. I had originally imagined a different color scheme for my DIY keychain hanger, but because it was already stained, I just went with it. Although I could have expanded the holes and touched up the stain, it seemed like a lot of unnecessary work just to make specific colors work.
Also, after I finished, I found I actually liked the new colors even better than my initial plan 🙂 I find it happens that way quite a bit when I’m crafting; I start with one idea in my head, but by the time it’s made, it’s morphed into something else. Most of the time it’s a good thing, but I’ve had my share of disasters as well. Lol. I’m glad this was one of the good times because the end product was perfect as a gift.
If you can see this as a perfect gift (for yourself or someone else), I have great news! Keep reading and I’ll walk you step-by-step on how to craft this DIY keychain hanger with bottle caps.
We do sell finished keychain holders. To see what we have available in stock, or to request a custom order, check out our home decor product listings.
Step 1 of DIY Keychain Hanger
Gather Your Supplies
1 Piece of Wood. Try to stick to the 1″ family. One shown here was a 1″ x 4″ x 12″ and one was a 1″ x 4″ x 10 1/2″.
Bottle Caps. The number will be determined by your layout. Try to choose ones without damage.
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks. Figure about 1″ of glue stick (standard – not mini) per bottle cap.
3/8″ Drill Bit – Any Style. I used a standard (twist) bit because that is what I had available.
1/8″, 3/16″, or 5/32″ Drill Bit – Any Style. I used a standard (twist) bit.
Drill Press or Handheld Drill. If available, a drill press is the best option. I use my Dad’s old Delta that I’m sure you could only find used somewhere, but here’s what I found on Amazon when I did a quick search (please note I have not tried out, nor can I recommend, any of these specific drill presses – it’s just to show what kind of tool I am referencing). When I buy one, I’m going to try either the WEN 4212 or WEN 4214.
Sandpaper – Medium (100) and Fine (320) Grit. Dallas makes these sanding blocks by using spray adhesive on a 1″x4″, then sticking the sandpaper to the wood. He buys contractor packs of sandpaper, so the Amazon products are merely for convenience. I have not used, not can I recommend these specific brands.
Lacquer/Polyurethane. I used Watco Crystal Clear Lacquer in Gloss.
Stain – Optional. Some people like their wood natural, but I prefer the depth a good stain gives a finished piece. I used Minwax in Provincial on the Red, White, & Blue, and Cabot in Walnut on the Blue & Orange.
Cup Hooks. I used 7/8″.
Step 2 of DIY Keychain Hanger
Design Layout and Mark Board
The design and layout can be completely up to your own imagination. I would recommend you determine your layout before drilling. Then you need to measure each brand of your bottle caps so you can ensure you use the right bit (hole size) in each location. Another best practice is to test-drill a few holes on a scrap piece of wood. With those holes, you can test your cap fit and dial in your depth.
I have printable template files for these two layouts in my Member’s Area. To download, you’ll need to sign up for free membership at SeeMelissaCraft.com to receive the member’s area password. You can sign up using the form at the bottom of this page.
Step 3 of DIY Keychain Hanger
Drill Bottle Cap Holes
Using the properly-sized spade bit for each hole, drill on the front to a depth that makes the bottle cap flush with the board when inserted. You’ll want to use a spare board to test drill and dial in the correct depth before drilling your project board.
Step 4 of DIY Keychain Hanger
Drill Hanging Screw Holes and Slots
Determine which two or three bottle cap hole locations would allow for the most secure hanging. I like to use the farthest right and left holes on the top row. Using a 3/8″ bit, drill from the back of the board at those locations. You’ll want the top of the hole to be at the top of where the spade bit came out the back. This is where you’ll insert the hanging screw when mounting on your wall.
Use the 5/32″ bit to drill a hole about 3/8″ from the screw hole toward the top of your opener. Then drill another hole right below that, and another below again until you have created a slot. This creates space for the screw to slide when securing your keychain hanger to the wall.
Step 5 of DIY Keychain Holder
Use medium-grit (about 100) sandpaper to smooth out your wood, especially around the holes. In case you are new to sanding, always sand in the direction of the wood grain. If you sand cross-grain, you will get horrible scratch marks that jump out at you like Freddie when you stain. I chose to slightly round the edges of my DIY keychain hanger, but that’s up to your discretion. Then use a fine-grit (around 320) sandpaper to sand your board again.
After sanding, remove the dust that’s left behind. You can either use an air hose to blow it off or wipe down with a wet rag.
Step 6 of DIY Keychain Hanger (Optional)
Some people like the natural color of the wood and may just want to use lacquer, and that’s perfectly fine. However, I love experimenting with stains. I love how they can introduce a richness to a project. Follow the label instructions and make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
Stain the entire piece – front, back, sides, top, and bottom. Do not worry about staining the bottom of the cap holes. You will, however, want to make sure you stain the side of the holes since the top portion of the hole will be visible.
Step 7 of DIY Keychain Hanger
Insert the Bottle Caps
Once your stain has cured, use your hot glue gun to squeeze out a circle of hot glue along the edges of the bottle cap holes. Be generous. This creates a dam so your polyurethane cannot seep too far down the cap edges or under the caps.
Step 8 of DIY Keychain Hanger
In a well-ventilated area, follow your label instruction to apply polyurethane. Make sure that you get plenty of lacquer around the rounded bottle cap tops. I really concentrated on those areas. My label said that three or more coats were recommended. I chose to go with four because I tend to be a little light-handed with each coat of lacquer. I find it easier to ensure an even application that way.
Step 9 of DIY Keychain Hanger
As I said, I used five 7/8″ key hooks for my DIY keychain hanger. I tried to center each one underneath a bottle cap, but the final look is up to each individual. You can pre-drill a small hole, but I chose to simply screw them in by hand. It takes a little effort, but it’s not too bad.
Step 10 – Enjoy Your New DIY Keychain Hanger
If you like this project, check out my tutorial for DIY Bottle Openers with magnetic cap catcher.
To see what keychain hangers we have available, or to request a custom order, check out our home decor product listings.
SeeMelissaCraft.com members: Click here to get free printable templates for these two bottle cap keychain hangers.