This tutorial is NOT easy, in fact if you do not have patience turn away now, or just admire the pictures. Here is a picture for your viewing pleasure:
I have to say had I not known people in the machine shop field...those keys would not look that good...having said that I want you to know you can totally do this without a cnc lathe. You can easily make the keys out of the existing key board keys, a torch, a steel tube, and a drill press. I even saw a tutorial on heating up an Xacto knife....on second thought....do not attempt that. I nearly lost digits that way.
Ok let's start this project up!
Get a keyboard with easily pop-off-able keys, use a flat head screw driver or some pliers to just pop them off super quick. Take a picture or keep the keys in order, as some of them have different size bases, just for faster assembly.
Unscrew the face plate from the keyboard! Be sure you save all the screws and keep the underside of the keyboard safe, as you want to be able to use the keyboard when finished. If you want to keep anything the way it is (the little window for the Caps Lock/Num Lock etc,) tape it off with some painters tape. Spray paint the face plate whichever metal color your prefer. I always like the silver/gold tarnishy combo, so that took a few layers to accomplish. I can not stress proper spray paint technique enough. It's the key to a smooth finish, and you want that. If you let the paint gunk up, the keys may not fit back on. Hold the can of spray paint at least 8 inches away from the face plate and lightly/evenly coat the face plate, let it dry and go back in with the next or same color, always letting it dry in between. After you let it completely dry, screw it back into place on the keyboard.
Make keys round with a drill press
I know people at a machine shop, so they took the keys and cut them on a CNC lathe. Then you have something that looks like this:
|The bouquet holder option: DO NOT use styrofoam to hold your keys, it will melt onto the plastic key when spray paint hits it.|
|Cut out carefully with a detail cutting tool.|