Crafty Mom: A Fun Key-Keeper!
This is a perfect project to get you ready to play all day, and never have to worry about losing an important key, especially for kids who are starting to learn how to use house keys! It also makes a cool gift for Dad if he jogs or bikes and doesn't have a pocket. It takes minutes to put together and it's a good craft for all ages, especially when an elder helps a younger one with the glue gun.

What You Need

  • 1.5-inch diameter colorful plastic lid from a juice bottle
  • 3 pipe cleaners in a different color
  • wire cutters or scissors
  • pencil
  • wooden chopsticks (as a helpful tool)
  • medium-heat glue gun
  • 1 yard of leather thong, string or ribbon
What You Do:

1. For each design, twist one pipe cleaner into a loop, at one end. Bend it slightly under the loop and glue to the outside of the plastic lid, so the loop sticks up. Let the glue set. Then carefully bend the rest of the pipe cleaner around the lid, gluing in place at every half-inch or so. Let the glue set at every step before proceeding. You should have a nice, snug ring around the outside of the lid. Then twist the remaining end of the pipe cleaner around the throat of the loop you started with. Glue in place.

2. For the flower: Use a red or orange lid and yellow pipe cleaners. Complete Step 1, then wrap a second pipe cleaner around a pencil - to make a tight coil. Remove the pencil, and stretch the coil out, flattening the loops into "petals." Wrap them around the outside of the lid, gluing here and there. Let the glue set at every point before proceeding.

3: For the turtle: Use a green lid and green pipe cleaners. After Step 1, twist a second pipe cleaner into four loops, about an inch apart each, for the turtle's four feet. Bend them into position from the underside of the lid, so they stick out where you want them to. Then glue in place. Use the chopsticks to keep them braced in back while the glue sets.

4: Now, take the remaining pipe cleaner and wrap it around the throat of the original loop that you made (in Step 1). Glue in place. Extend the rest of the pipe cleaner down behind the lid. Push it into the back and glue in place. Leave the rest of the pipe cleaner free. That's where you'll hang your key!

5: Thread a key or a little keychain flashlight onto the pipe cleaner from Step 4. Then bend it back up behind the lid and wrap the end around the throat of the loop you first made in Step 1. Attach the leather thong, string or ribbon and tie it closed so you can hang your key-keeper around your neck - and go play!

Mary Lyon is the author of The Frazzled Working Woman's Practical Guide to Motherhood and former host of DIY Crafts TV show. For previous Crafty Mom projects, check out