Keys to Nowhere

09202015 Keys to Nowhere

Recently Danielle, who blogs as The Thought Card did a “What’s in Your Bag?” post. In her entry, titled A Bag Lady on Occasion, she detailed the contents of her bag & then asked her readers to share the weirdest thing in theirs. My bags are always filled with unexpected things, so I eagerly searched through the medium-sized crossbody that I’d worn that day to see what bizarre findings were there. To my utter shock and dismay, the contents were unusually ordinary. Wallet, lip balm, hand sanitizer… standard purse stuff. Slightly dejected at my state of normality, I commented about the strangest thing that my search revealed:

I looked through my bag and found room keys from 3 different hotels. I’ve accidentally developed quite a collection over the years. I keep saying that I’m going to make some sort of art project with them, but so far I’ve got nothing.

Pretty boring, but it did prompt me to take a look at some of my room keys and think about what I’m going to do with them. These are from the stack next to my bed:

My Room Keys
This isn’t all of them… just the ones that ended up on my nightstand.

I started searching online to see what other people have made from their old room keys, credit cards and gift cards. Fortunately, I got some great ideas! Here are a few:

A Mosaic Picture Frame or Mirror

I like the idea of making frames to house photos of some of my favorite destinations. I could model them after this mirror from Kayte Terry on Craftylish :

mosaic mirror_kayte terry_craftylish


I don’t know the first thing about making jewelry, but maybe with a little practice I could become an Etsy sensation or hit the farmer’s market & craft festival circuit. Or perhaps I’ll just make gifts for my friends and family.

Jupita Designs created the beautiful earrings and necklace at the bottom of this picture (as well as the gorgeously detailed mosaic journal cover, which is also inspiring me):

Jupita Designs_GiftJUP Collagefinal2


I’d love to find an attractive way to hang my room keys up somewhere. In a perfect world I’ll play with dimension and create something that protrudes from the wall or hangs from the ceiling… but a nice frame or shadowbox is great, too.

framed_jgross5 ig
Credit: jgross5 on Instagram

Here are some ambitious designs that I don’t intend to replicate, but felt like sharing:

Bob Weir Moasiac by Michael McGinn_Holiday Inn Pinterst

Michael McGinn created this mosaic of Bob Weir out of 1,800 room keys, which were accumulated over the 15+ years that he spent on the road as Weir’s audio engineer and producer (source). For the right price, I’ll make one of your face, too. It won’t look very good, but it will come from the heart and that’s all that matters, right?

Bryan Berg_Holiday Inn_Daily Mail
AFP/Getty Images

Holiday Inn commissioned master card stacker Bryan Berg to build a guest house out of 200,000 room keys (source). Maybe I should hold on to mine in the very likely event that I end up homeless one day.

Truthfully, I have a lot of things on my to-do list that are much more pressing than this, but when I do finally get around to making something out of my mountain of keys to nowhere, at least I’ve got some inspiration to kickstart my creativity. I’ll be sure to share whatever I come up with. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

– Lew


10 thoughts on “Keys to Nowhere

    1. You know, I was thinking about not bringing home any new cards unless they were truly unique, because I stay at a lot of chain hotels & end up with identical cards from multiple cities. But now I’m thinking that they could still come in handy depending on what I make… So, yeah, the hoarding continues!
      Thanks for the inspiration, by the way. Your blog is one of my favorites 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. See, my problem is that I hold on to EVERYTHING… I’m glad that in this case I can use what I’ve saved to make something new. I could use a good hobby, so I’m excited to see what comes out of this.


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