Sunday, 10 March 2013

Using Antique Piano Keys



antique piano keys decor

A couple of years ago, I took apart my beloved and battered antique piano.  It was a bit of a white elephant, and with a cracked soundboard it never stayed in tune for more than a month or two at the most.  It was falling to pieces.  So one day I decided to take it apart.  I wanted to save the cherry-wood veneer to use for building furniture one day, and I wanted to do something with the keys, to memorialize this formerly-lovely old piano.  But I couldn't decide what.  So the keys sat in a dusty box in the basement.

antique piano keys clock display

I finally pulled them out and did something with them.  I wanted to make something that I could give to my siblings, most of whom loved this piano as much as I did.  This is how I did it.

  • Step 1: Acquire an antique piano.
  • Step 2: Take apart said antique piano, narrowly avoiding being squished numerous times when large heavy pieces of the piano decide to fall over.
  • Step 3: Reassemble keyboard on a large flat surface, and decide how many keys you'll use for each wall-hanging. 
  • Step 4: Cut off the long wooden piece from each key, leaving just the ivory/ebony section (for the black keys you'll have to leave about 1 cm more, to make them the same length as the white ones).  It helps to number each key at this step to keep them in the correct order, since the gold-stamped number of each key is on the part you're cutting off.  Sand the cut end.  I forgot to do that step.
  • Step 5: Dig through your stash of crafty junk to find just the right backing.  I used 1/4-inch thick cork tiles (from Walmart). I had three left from another project, and they happen to be exactly the right size, when cut in half.  I should have just enough for the rest of the piano keys.
  • Step 6: Starting from the middle and working outward, glue on each piece.  I did all the white keys first, then fit in the black pieces.  Make sure you glue the sides that will be touching other keys as well as the back.  I used white glue.  Use something that can be easily cleaned up if it oozes out.
  • Step 7: Let it dry.
  • Step 8: Figure out how to hang it.  I haven't done this step yet.  Any suggestions?  For now I have it propped on my mantle, but I was thinking of hanging it in a gallery wall sometime in the future.
  • Step 9: Make four more (the other four will be narrower...sorry siblings).

antique piano keys vintage books

antique piano keys

antique piano keys cork diy tutorial



5 comments:

  1. I don't know how heavy your piano key art is, but you could try those sticky 3M squares that are supposed to come off without ripping off any paint/drywall. Or you could buy a picture/mirror hanging kit (screws, wire, etc.) from Walmart - I think it's around $3 - if you don't mind drilling holes into the piano keys. Very cute!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Christine! It's not too heavy, so I'm sure the 3M squares would be strong enough. As long as they stick to the cork, anyway. I do have some other things that might work too, I just haven't tried them yet.

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  2. You are so crafty Joanna! One man's junk really is another man's (woman's) treasusre.

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