Last Friday, we held an event for anyone new to Chi Alpha. Candi wanted the event to have sort of a “comforts of home” theme and something to do with “keys.” She had all the leaders come up with their “Key’s to success” for being in college, staying Christian on campus, and for Chi Alpha specifically. They are great and you can read them here!
We wanted to give out a little favor. Here were the requirements: cheap, but not cheap looking and very meaningful. We got to talking and googling and pinteresting and this is the idea we came up with- keys! The whole point of our event was to make people feel included in the family of Chi Alpha. When you give someone keys to your house- you trust them! They have access to something special and privileged. Now the keys we gave out didn’t actually unlock anything- they were just symbolic. The keys that the Chi Alpha leaders shared were available to the new people freely. They were welcome to community! It be a cute idea to tweak for a house warming, a new members event at a church, or for a leadership team or something. We saw lots of escort cards involving keys for weddings.
I called Lowe’s an asked if they had any keys they were willing to give away- and they did! Lots of keys! They must have given me over 100. (He said they could have given me double, but a lady is in the process of building a life size horse out of keys and stops by weekly to collect keys.) That made the project really cheap!
Here’s what I did:
keys: FREE! from Lowes
key rings: $2.99/25 from Hobby Lobby. (Probably could have gotten these cheaper somewhere…)
shipping tags: $5.49/100 from Office Max
spray paint: $3.98 from Lowes
First I spray painted all the keys:
I feel like this probably goes without saying, but patience is key in spray painting. Make sure you aren’t impatient like me and actually wait a LONG time in between coats and flipping the keys. They ended up a little sticky and some of the paint came off because they stuck together. I tried to tell myself this added to the “vintage” look. Also- bonus idea- you could lay out the keys in a pattern and then use the paper you spray painted on as a cool wrapping paper or framed art.
Then I made the tags:
It took us a long time to decide what exactly we wanted on the tags. Should it be a quote? Scripture? We decided we liked the idea of a custom “definition of a key.” Here were some ideas:
We decided on the second option.
If you’re like a normal or a sane person, you would find a way to print these on your computer or use a label. I, on the other hand, love to do things the hard way and insisted on using a typewriter. Yes- like a real typewriter. But they turned out so cool!
Here was the first test run:
I made lots of mistakes…but again I decided that added to the charm- right?
Then I tied the tags to the key rings and this is how they turned out:
I hope these little keys remind people that they are a part of a larger community- they are home in the body of Christ with in Chi Alpha. It was a fun project that is highly adaptable to lot of different events.