From Cutlery box to Key rack

The need: For PNLIT at Puttenahalli Lake – A wall-mounted lockable box to hang about 20 keys in a systematic way, making them easy to store and find.

The ready-made solution: Key racks / key hanging boards sold by PAN and other vendors. Rs 2250-odd.

An alternative solution: A wooden cutlery box (minus the spoons, forks and knives!), fitted with a simple hinged latch. And keys on properly labeled key chains.

For several years we had this maroon wooden box, with a padded lid and concealed hinges. Slim line (about 2 inches thick when closed), the box lay at the base of one of the cupboards, empty and waiting to be reused! The inside looked rather majestic, lined in rich red velvet, and with elastic loops fastened within, to hold the spoons, forks and knives that were now stored in the kitchen draws instead. There were two neat latches to close the box firmly (but not lockable). This was a doctor’s gift given to my father-in-law from Glaxo, many many years ago, so the front of the box carried the names of a few Glaxo drugs.

Cutlery box

It looked perfect to be used as a key rack, except that it needed hooks inside, to hang the key chains, or key chains that could be clasped to the loops that were already firmly fixed inside. The one thing missing was a latch that would make the box lockable.

My boys Gautam and Siddharth, fitted the box with a latch (Rs 25) – I marked the spots and they helped with drilling the holes and fixing the screws. A small padlock with three keys (Rs 30) now made the box lockable. To hide the Glaxo names on the front, we printed PNLIT and the logo and pasted these on.

Now for the key chains. I got 20 key chains with claw clasps (Rs 200). For the labels I used a variety of things – all recycled, that could be written on, to actually label the keys:
–  Pieces of packing tape used at airports and other firm flexible plastic. They’re strong, waterproof, can be written on using an OHP marker, and fastened to the key chain using a plastic fastener.
–  Cloth strips stitched onto the key chains.
–  And a special one (the PNLIT logo) made with a bottle cap (CapsToKeep)!

PNLIT key chain (reused bottle cap) from CapsToKeep

The box has been directly screwed on to the wall – with one screw on top and two at the bottom.

PNLIT key rack, with labelled key chains

A bit of thought and time. Rs 2000 saved. And the satisfaction of reusing!

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