The DIY Trick That Will Make Sure You Never Get Locked Out Again

There are few feelings worse than knowing you’ve been locked out of your house. You forgot your only key inside and the spare? It’s nowhere to be found, or worse, you never stashed one outside.

Odds are, to make matters worse, it’s dark and cold outside. You might be alone and you’re more than likely very frustrated and freaked out.

Worst. Day. Ever.

To prevent having to call in backup or shimmy through a first floor window, all you need is this brilliant tip from Instructables. This hack will teach you how to make a DIY emergency key using just a few simple materials, so you can make free copies of your key whenever you need them.

Guess what? Having three or four keys in your wallet, phone case, or in your car means you’ll never get locked out again.

It sounds a little implausible, making a key at home, but we’re not talking about the traditional metal keys you’re picturing. These keys are made of plastic, plastic from common household materials, and they work JUST as well as your regular house key.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Tic-Tac container
  • Unused gift cards or expired credit cards
  • Clear tape
  • Lighter or a candle
  • Your key

Granted, you need your key to make these duplicates, so this hack isn’t going to work on the fly if you’re outside sans key. You have to have the key to make the proper mold out of your plastic materials.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Scavenge around your home for Tic-Tac boxes and in old wallets for expired cards. Once you’ve collected this essential material, make sure you get clear tape, a lighter or candle, and your trusty house key ready to go.

Step 2: Smoke the Key

Use your lighter or candle and flame one side of the key. Smoke will accumulate on the surface of the key, causing it to (temporarily) blacken. Once that side of the key is black, place it aside and let it cool down for a few minutes.


Curious for more? Definitely go check out the Instructables article for the rest of the directions to this awesome project. Trust us, if you’ve ever run into the classic “oh no, I don’t have a spare key” issue, this hack will be your saving grace.

The best part of all is that you can make as MANY of these copies as you want. Once you learn how, all you need to do is find enough hard, plastic material to keep creating these makeshift keys.

Just a note: each key will only last about ten uses, due to the fact that it’s made of plastic (and can wear away) rather than metal. So having a handful of these to go through when you need them is definitely your best and easiest bet.

What do you think of this creative way to make your own key? Will you be using this trick to make copies of your keys for free? We know we certainly will! Share your thoughts on this DIY in the comments section below.