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Uses for Old Keys

Old keys cry out for a new crafty life. There are many interesting projects you can undertake to create something fun and useful from old keys. This is a guide about uses for old keys.


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December 17, 20150 found this helpful

Recycled Key Wind Chime

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This is a guide about key wind chime. Many people enjoy the soothing sounds of wind chimes. You can make your own using old keys.


September 23, 2012

Purchase an inexpensive Styrofoam cone, actually more of a pyramid, at a craft store. Get one about 8-10 inches tall, that has sides (or larger, if you have a lot of old keys and only want to make one).

Paint the old keys gold. Painting only one side is okay. If more color is needed, use metallic paint of additional hues for some/all of the keys.

The natural sparkle of the Styrofoam seems to lend a bit of a festive air to the decoration, so no paint is needed on the tree itself.

Using straight pins, stick one where you want the top of a key to go, leaving about 1/4 inch sticking out. Hang a key on this, then use another key to prop the key at whatever angle you wish. Keep doing this until you have created the look you desire. Leaving blank spaces between keys gives an attractive look.


You can also made the trees in several sizes with the corresponding keys: small cone, luggage keys, etc. Also, varying the sizes of keys on the larger cones is an option.

I have one that I made years ago, and it still looks great!

By varying the Styrofoam shapes you could also make other decorations, such as cylinders for faux candles, cubes, etc.

Source: A craft magazine back in the 70s, I think.

By Cay from Green Cove Springs, FL

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October 21, 20120 found this helpful

I have many old keys and thought this would be a great way to use some of them. I'm having a problem visualizing this though. Is there a way you could post a picture of the one you have?

Thank You,

D'borah 1227

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January 25, 2010

Create a simple decorator touch for your family room or front hallway using old keys.



Gather a few old keys from rummage sales or flea markets or ask your friends or family if you can get a few.

Cut fabric to fit securely behind the frame, securing it to the back or cut a piece of cardboard to fit if it doesn't have one.

Stitch your keys on, either through the eye or other place on the key.

You can also stitch the keys in place before the fabric is attached to the back.


Next, fit the back with the fabric and secure it with staples or small nails.

If you want to you can add picture hanging wire or even attach a pop tab to the back (or two) to hang it on the wall.

The frame I used wasn't deep enough to do this project using glass in the front.

By Melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO

Editor's Note: Caution: These old keys are usually made from lead. Keep away from young children.

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August 2, 20060 found this helpful

Information Tags

You can use a Dremel (or similar brand tool) to both cut the "teeth" section off the key and engrave information on the large section. Similar to a dog tag. You can then use these "tags" for identify pets and belongings (luggage perhaps?) Small key rings are available at most hobby and craft stores, as well as Walmart.

By kidseatfree

A Key for Santa

If you know of any small kids who live in a house or apartment that doesn't have a fireplace they may be concerned about how Santa Claus will get into their house. Go on the internet and do a search for "Santa's Magic Key". You can use any kind of key but the larger the better. You run Christmas ribbon through it and print out one of the poems that comes with the instructions. I print out the poem, laminate it, punch a hole and run it through the same ribbon. You may spend about a dollar per key, and you can sell them for up to $5.00. I've been doing this for a couple of years and I always sell a few and give away a few. Good luck!

By Margaret

Wind Chimes

Drift Wood and Fishing Line

I made a windchime from some "unknown" keys. I used old house keys, trunk keys, lock keys, etc. I put with the lighter, smaller ones at the bottom of each row and them tied at different levels with fishing line. I hung them from a small piece of driftwood. I used small eye hooks to hang 5 rows of 4 to 5 keys, and 2 larger eye hooks at each end on top of the driftwood. Love the other ideas here too!

By Reen1960

Pop Bottle Wind Chimes

Use the top of a 2 liter pop bottle and cut it where to top of the label is. Then poke some holes and hang the keys from the holes. It's a good craft for kids.


Key Box

I once saw a small box covered with glued on keys. It was really cute. Maybe paint the box black so the silver and gold keys really show up.

By Ginnee

Key Bracelet

Many years ago I saw in a movie magazine a lovely bracelet made by an actress. It was made of a variety of keys, it was very "antique looking" and was really attractive. The bracelet itself was a chain to which the keys were attached.

By Miranda.

Keeping Drapes Straight

If you want to keep the drapes and curtains straight - put keys in the hem.

By Susie

Old Key Necklace

I made a necklace out of part of my collection of old keys. There is 11 keys on the necklace with a one inch space between each key.

By Jennifer

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August 6, 20060 found this helpful

A doorbell or a window intruder alarm.

Each using several keys as the clanger.

1-Doorbell drill a hole through the doorknob side of the door frame.

Run though the hole a piece of electrical wire

Secure to that wire a length of fishing line.

Now you make your bell or even a key windchime.

Me I used an old juice can poke a hole on the bottom .cut out the other top ran my fishing line into the can tied and taped the line to a small pencil.

Then I attched and strung 4 keys at different lengths of line. I hung the Key Bell on the joice in the center of my ceiling right off from the living room---Then I secured the exposed fishing line with screendoor eye hooks The small hand screw in kind.

After threading I resesecured the fishing line to loop I made on the eletrical wire.

On the outside I secured on the same type of a loop One of those old Lucky charm /Ceiling Fan ? Rabbits foot chains. Mine was the chain complete with the Rabbits foot.

The slightest pull of the Rabbits foot would set the can to rocking and the keys hitting the inside of the can. ( Oh you can decorate the bell can anyway you like of just use the key wind chime if you want


I simple attached through eyelets the fishing line to the top of the window then attached several keys to the line so that if the window is opn the keys will hit the window glass swaying back and forth a few times.

And There You Go Mr. Thriftys Rootin Tootin Frugal Security System with doordbell

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March 11, 2010

With keys and locks being a fashionable jewelry theme right now, you can make trendy pieces for very little. I put a large key from an antique store on a ball chain for a great casual necklace.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 8, 2008

I love to find new uses for old things. I have tons of keys and was wondering if anyone had any idea what could be done with them?

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 9, 20080 found this helpful

Our daughter made a beautiful sounding wind chime from old keys. The top of the wind chime was the bottom of a two liter soda bottle. Holes were punched with an icepick and nylon string used to hang the keys. It has lasted 18 years; this year I restrung it. It has a beautiful tone.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 9, 20080 found this helpful

Please don't give old (or new) keys to infants or toddlers. They are a lead poisoning hazard.

http://www.ucsf  eysen011804.pdf-

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 11, 20080 found this helpful

If you have any left and want to be done with them, you might want to give them to a school - - to use as "counters" to help younger kids with math skills. I had a small box of them in my second grade classroom and the kids loved them!

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October 12, 20080 found this helpful

I saw a TV show where they soldered/welded them together to make tables, plant stands, and other stuff. You need lots of keys, planning, and a great bit of imagination, but the items looked really neat.

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October 15, 20080 found this helpful

Use as a paper weight.

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Read More Answers

December 18, 20110 found this helpful

I want ideas on what to do with different kinds of keys? Thanks.

By Sue from IL

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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

Make a card that says you hold the key to my heart, and glue it on the card.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 17, 2011

Does anyone know of any organization collecting keys for children whose homes have no chimneys? I have a bunch to get rid of and would love to donate to this specific program.

By Gem from Gordonsville, VA

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

I teach kindergarten and would love to make these for my students. My address is PO Box 58 Barrackville WV 26559 if anyone has any donations!

Thanks, Kindergarten Connie

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