Garden ornaments as a basis for a ceramic key hider

Recently, I locked myself out of the house. I had left with my husband, but returned alone. When I got home, I realized I hadn’t taken my keys. Our neighbor wasn’t home, so I couldn’t get our extra key from her. In addition, our hidden key was nowhere to be found. So, I set the ladder up behind the house, removed the beading from the screen on a window and broke in. How many of you have done something similar? You’d think I would’ve learned. However, even more recently, as I was about to leave for a lunch date, I couldn’t find my keys. Turns out my husband had accidentally taken both sets to work and he was a good half hour away. My neighbor wasn’t home and yada yada. Lunch date cancelled and a stay-at-home kind of day. That night, my husband brought home two newly cut house keys! We’ve placed an extra key in the house and one outside, but I’m leery about where we’ve placed the outdoors key. So, today, I thought I’d cover hide-a-key containers. This weekend, I’m starting to make one of these little puppies. The ones I’m featuring in are not made of clay and they aren’t key hiders, however, they can be altered to create one. This Frog Key Hider from is a box. Other key hiders have little nooks or, if plaques, have an indentation on the back for magnets.

My Cunning Plan: I’ll use these statues as a starting point for mine. My containers will be one piece, as I intend to carve out a little ledge or area for magnets or a nook. The key will eventually hide on or in that space. I also want my key hider to blend into the environment, so it will look like a stone or garden ornament. I am going to make two or three containers:

  1. Pinch pot. I’ll make a tiny slab for a ledge, securing it with slip.
  2. Carving. Will sculpt from a chunk of clay, then make a little ‘cave’ in the side of the ‘wall’ of the container. Plaque. This will be easy for a tilemaker like me. Will make a well in the back for a magnet that will hold a key.
  3. Glazing. The whole key hider must be glazed, inside and out, as it will be an all-season container.

I will use the garden ornaments below (from the Garden-Fountains site) as a model for mine, though I will alter the design to fit what I want. Of course, glaze will add another dimension. The key hider container must be a design that can be easily recreated in clay. I don’t intend to get locked out again anytime soon!

Four Seasons Obelisk

Hedgehog Plaque

Japanese Mudman

Blackbird’s Revenge

Cattail Oblisk

Zen Frog Statue




Dancing Spirit

About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
This entry was posted in Articles and Interviews, Fun, Home and Garden, How-to-do-it and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Garden ornaments as a basis for a ceramic key hider

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love all these little beauties!

  2. Jan says:

    Thank you so much! I’ve added a few more, as I was having such a good time with this post… Appreciate your comment… 🙂

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