Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Keys to...Memories of France

A bunch of rusty keys caught my eye at the Montreuil-Bellay brocante (flea market) in the Loire Valley, France last Fall. I didn't bother to haggle...the price was 2 Euros. I didn't know what I was going to do with them. But, I had to have them. 
Rusty junk priced at 2 Euros each

The brocante is in the shadow of Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay, built almost 1000 yrs ago. Imagine the locks in those old doors!

Back home, I decided to strip off the rust and old paint, and display the keys in shadow box frames.

Use Naval Jelly to strip, and wear gloves and a mask...the jelly will burn your skin.

I liked what I had...different shapes, sizes and degree of paint left on.

I Googled the words and came up empty. Perhaps a manufacturer in Paris?

I laid all the keys out and decided to use all but 2 of the tiny ones. I might wear them on a necklace. I sprayed them with polyeurothane to retard future rusting.

Buy felt and shadowbox frames from a craft store. I found what I needed at Michael's.
Arrange the items on felt, and secure with clear craft glue.

Let the glue dry behind the keys--I waited 24 hours. Cut the felt to fit, carefully attach the felt/keys to the backer board with spray mount glue.

Et voila!! A little bit of art, with some nice memories.

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