The h2g2 Craft: Super Mario Key Hanger

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Tavaron shows us what we can do with some paint and plywood

When I was a teenager I once made a wooden keyhanger for my parents. I cut it out of plywood and painted it with watercolors. It shows a half-timbered house with a cat in one window. A tree and bushes are standing in the garden and a white garden fence is in front of it. On each of the pickets of the fence there is a little hook for hanging your keys. This key holder is still in use, hanging at my parents' door.

I decided long ago to make a new key hanger for myself and my OH. I promised to start making it years ago and was repeatedly asked how the project was going – he knows I never started. As I am at home now, I had no excuse anymore. I just had to start this project.

The motif of the key hanger was decided ages ago: Super Mario World. I am a huge fan of the series and got some key rings with Super Mario themed figures from my partner which I wanted to use as decoration.

First of all I had to decide on a background design. I decided for the classic Mario landscape of mountains and clouds. And of course there had to be a green tube. All my key ring figures should also find a place, and there of course had to be enough space for keys.

Just like with the key holder I made for my parents, I wanted to get a 3D effect by building it up of different layers. After making a crude sketch I transferred it to plywood and cut out all pieces with a jigsaw. I smoothed out the edges with sandpaper. Then the project came to a halt again. I'm always slightly afraid of starting to paint anything because it might look wrong. After a few weeks I finally started. I painted with usual watercolors and a cheap paintbrush. I first applied the base color of each part and then let it dry over night before adding details like the typical spots on the mountains or the grass.

When I had finished painting I again waited one night before gluing all pieces together with wood glue. At the back of the key hanger I attached a few smaller pieces of the same wood, two at the top (behind the mountains) and two at the bottom. This keeps a distance between the key hanger and the wall. I also attached hooks for hanging the whole thing up on the ones at the top. This way they are invisible behind the key hanger.

The final step was to put little nails where the key ring figures should hang and screwing in the hooks for the actual keys. I think the whole key hanger turned out very well.

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