How to Use Shape Fonts to Make a Skeleton Key Hook

I have so many collections around my house, but there’s one thing I collect that doesn’t cost any money, doesn’t take up any space in my house, and doesn’t need to be dusted, and that’s free fonts!

I collect free fonts because it’s nice to have lots of different font styles to choose from when making a graphic, but also because I love dingbats!

DIY key hook

Dingbats are special shape fonts.  Each shape is created using the regular alphabet or numbers on your keyboard.  In order to turn those dingbats into stencils, you’ll first need to find a dingbat font you like.  I get most of my free fonts from  For example, to make a skeleton key hook, you’ll need to download the Old Retro Keys font found here.

Once you have it downloaded to your computer, you’ll be able to use it in Microsoft Word, with Silhouette Cameo software, and usually with Picmonkey as well (as text).  I usually use Picmonkey, so I type the entire alphabet in a text box (the font doesn’t matter), then I duplicate that text box, highlight all the text, and change it to the keys font, as shown below.  This helps you see which key or other dingbat you want to use as a stencil.  I just delete the remaining dingbats that I don’t need, so I’m left with just the 1 image that I want.

How to use dingbats as stencils via

To use it as a stencil, you can either cut it out on vinyl with a Silhouette machine, or just trace the image onto your surface and use paint to fill in the design.

There are 100’s of dingbat fonts to choose from, so it gives you lots of free designs that can be used to make signs, or a key hook like mine.

This key hook is available in my online shop HERE.

skeleton key hook

See more easy DIY project ideas HERE.

DIY Projects

signature pin it

make a stencil

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  1. Sandy Steele says

    Hi! I LOVE your blog and already have learned so much from you! Thank you for sharing your ideas and knowledge with us. On the dingbat key tutorial I clicked the “here” to go to download the information, however it sent me to another one of your pages and said the page was no longer available. Did I do something wrong? I would love to learn how to make dingbat stencils such as this and learn how to do it. Can you let me know where I need to go?

  2. Dori Price says

    Hey there,

    I’m new to your blog and I love it! Regarding this post, when you say “just trace the image onto your surface,” would you kindly suggest the best way to do this? I’m very new at DIY projects and using crafting tools, etc. So for example, say I print the key using Microsoft Word, how do I trace the image onto a surface?

    Thanks for your help!

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