I found these decorative metal keys while at Micheal’s one day, and snatched one of each of the 6 unique designs. I loved the intricate designs and knew I had to do something with them. Interestingly, they all came with a different coloured ribbon tied to them — the same colours I use to colour-code each family member’s belongings.
At home, I already had a brown metal jewellry tree that I had been using to hang seasonal decorations on. It was begging to be used for this project.
Pulling out some black spray paint I already had on hand, I coated the tree and each of the keys in a couple of coats of paint. I hung the keys from thread outdoors so that I could do both sides at the same time.
When the paint was dry, I dry-brushed each key and the tree with silver craft paint from the Dollar Store, and let that dry. In the meantime, I steamed the ribbons flat.
As a family, we decided which key would represent each person. The kids then got to tie their colour ribbon to the key they had picked, and hang their key on the key tree.
You may have noticed that there were 6 keys, but that we only have 5 in our family … so far. The sixth key represents the child we hope to adopt.
This key tree now stands on our fireplace as a representation of our family: They each have the same finish, representative of our family identity, but each one is unique, representing the different strengths and personalities that make up our family.
As an aside, while I was spray painting the white key (the only one in a lighter finish), the paint wouldn’t adhere as well. There are still small spots showing through. I decided to leave it as is, because it reminded me of what our PRIDE adoption class intstructors had mentioned over and over again. Any child that joins our family through adoption, no matter their age, will have a story that we aren’t a part of. They will have a history and a family that we need to recognize and celebrate, rather than try to ignore or cover up. To minimize that connection would be to minimize the identity of that child and would make her feel like her own unique story is unimportant or worse, something to be ashamed of.
And so our Family Key Tree sits in our living room as a reminder of the importance of each member of our family, of our essential part in the whole, and of our unique abilities and personalities!