Over the past few years there has been a growing number of bead artist making beads on old skeleton keys to use as necklace pendants.  I have been watching this trend for a while and I finally decided to take the plunge and get some old skeleton keys and give it a try.

The first hurdle I had to deal with was finding some old skeleton keys.  Some people live in places that have antique stores close by where they can find old skeleton keys for sale, but this was not the case for me.  I looked and looked, but came up empty handed.  Then I thought to myself, “I wonder if I can find them on Ebay”?   This is where I found the mother-load of old skeleton keys up for auction.  If you shop smart on Ebay, you can find old keys for as little as a buck a piece.

Assorted Old Skeleton Keys

A group of old skeleton keys that were bought through an Ebay auction.

When I was researching other people’s skeleton key projects, I discovered that there are two ways to put a bead on a skeleton key.  First way is to put bead release on the middle section of the key, let is dry and then make the bead on the key.  This technique produces a bead that will slide up and down on the key body once the bead release has been picked off the key and bead core.  The second way is to make the bead right on the metal of the key.  The glass will stick to the metal and produce a bead that doesn’t slide up and down.

I prefer the second method of making the bead right on the metal of the key.  I find that sometimes my beads done this way will crack, but I like the look so much better that I am willing to loss a few beads.  If you have a bead that cracks on a key, you only loss the bead because you can break off what is left of the cracked bead and reuse the skeleton key until you are successful.

Dichroic bead on old skeleton key

Dichroic bead made on old skeleton key attacted right on to the metal key.

If you want to see some skeleton keys with beads on them, you can go to the website called Lampworketc.com and look through the gallery section listed there or click on this link: thread on skeleton keys.

I have seen some really nice necklaces made using skeleton keys and I think they are a really interesting design component and you might also, so check it out and find out for yourself.