5 Ways to Reuse Your Old Keys
There are so many things you can do with those odds and ends that always end up in a junk drawer or in the garbage. I absolutely hate giving back keys to places I have lived and if nobody asks for them upon my moving date, I keep them. I have lived in a total of three houses and one apartment and one cottage, I have keys to all of them. When it comes to an apartment or rental unit you are usually required to return the keys but no one says you cannot make copies.
You can be a little rebellious in the name of decorating and creating those unique pieces of art nobody else has, it's not like someone is going to arrest you. Famous last words. So, remember, to keep those quirky and unique memorabilia and have fun.
1. Framed House Keys
Why not create a unique piece of art to hang in your home office, bathroom or foyer? This is a pretty simple and inexpensive solution to keep those discarded keys out of the junk drawer and create something entirely personal.
You will need:
1. Shadow Box Frame (example: , $14.99) Main Street Decor
2. Keys (obviously, the number will be up to you)
3. Krazy Glue, Single Use Tubes (Canadian Tire, $3.99)
4. Black Fine Point Pen (Steal one from the neighbours, go ahead)
Now you have a choice of using the backing already provided or cutting something else to size, I would suggest something neutral to keep focus on the keys. Arrange the keys on the backing, don't be afraid to move them around and try different configurations, this is after all your piece of art- girl (or boy), you go nuts!
When you are satisfied with the arrangement, a few drops of Krazy Glue on the back of the keys and press them firmly onto the backing, holding them in place for a few seconds. Then repeat the process until all your keys are in place, when you are ready neatly print the corresponding address under each key. Allow the glue to set for about five minutes before hanging on the wall and prepare for your friends to ask when you became so damn innovative.
It's only a matter of time before this key thing takes off, hop on the bandwagon now before some decorating-bitch goes and puts it on television.
2. Key Jewelry
Now, I am going to go out on a limb here and make the assumption nobody reading this was born before 1901 and does not have a series of fashionable skeleton rings at their disposal. Though there are antique stores with bins of skeleton keys of various sizes to rifle through but we aren't taking a trip there today, we are using your old keys- stop skipping ahead!
Nobody said jewelry needed to be purchased from a store to be trendy and unique. Just because you did not find it at Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters does not mean it is not worth wearing or will cast you into the depths of fashion purgatory. Fashion should be about taking risks and finding your own style, and besides you are not wearing a dress constructed entirely of meat ... so calm down.
You will need:
1. Keys (obviously the shiniest one you own, preferably not the one you are currently using)
2. Chain (You can pick these up from a secondhand store or simply use one from another piece of jewelry you do not currently wear anymore)
3. Rhinestones or other decorative pieces (Take a trip to a craft store or bead store, there are usually some really interesting decorative pieces you can buy for mere cents)
4. Krazy Glue, Single Use Tubes (Still at Canadian Tire and still $3.99)
All you need to do is choose which decorative piece should go on the key, I would suggest something with your initial or symbolic to you. Your imagination is the only limitation but try not to imitate already existing designs, the key (see what I did there) is to create something unique to you.
When you are satisfied with the design, dab a bit of glue on the back of the decorative piece(s) and press firmly onto the key. Thread through the chain and take your new necklace out dancing, you'll be the talk of the girls bathroom (and not because you passed out in the stall)
3. Key Wind Chimes
This one is pretty simple and something you can turn into a great craft for your children or use a relationship bonding exercise. Though, as a general warning, couples who cannot paint together should not craft together - nobody wants to be burned with hot glue. There are few people who dare to be different in this world but always attract the 'norms' who coo over their work, why not be that person?
All you need is your imagination, some string or chain and a branch or metal ring. You can be original and creative too!
Things you will need:
1. Keys (theme of this hub)
2. Branch or medium sized metal ring (look to nature or Canadian Tire)
3. Chains or pretty string (these things can be found at local craft stores or WalMart)
Cut the strings or break the chains so they are a variety of lengths and affix the keys to the bottom. You are trying to achieve something whimsical and free looking, so try to avoid making everything symmetrical. I would also suggest you try fishing-wire instead of string or chains, this will appear like the keys are floating.
And who doesn't want a little magic in their lives? Nobody! Fashion the string/chain to the branch or metal ring and hang. Voila! Dare that wind to blow unnoticed.
4. Key Wallart
This one is a little more involved but still fun for the crafting novice. You're going to require commitment and strong crafting resolve because this one will test your patience but be rewarding in the end, I promise.
Martha Stewart is the queen of those beautiful craft ideas nobody thinks of actually doing or hanging in their homes but makes totes sense when you see them completed. There is something magical about the way she holds those crafting pieces up for the audience to see, somehow you feel incredibly stupid for not doing it first. You find yourself wandering around your house looking for things to recreate the craft while still maintaining your individuality, the last thing you want is to be compared to Queen Martha.
Things You Will Need:
1. 8x10 Matted Gallery Frame (binz, $15)
2. 3 Keys (you choose which ones you want, try to be diverse)
3. Black Sharpie
4. Krazy Glue, Single Use Pods ($3.99)
This one is more of a fun craft and something I have tweaked to my own liking, sorry Martha. Arrange the keys in a straight vertical line with enough space to write beneath them, when you are satisfied with the configuration then glue them down. This is where you can be creative, underneath all keys write something, like, 'Front Door' 'Cookie Jar' 'heaven' or 'Cookie Jar' 'Bakery' 'Neil Patrick Harris' front door'.
Be as ridiculous as possible. This is something you can really have fun with. Are you a kind of a nerd? Why not write 'Car' 'Bike' 'Enterprise' or 'Front Door' 'Mail' 'Delorean' - they don't need to be funny for everyone who visits but they should make you smile. If you have a roommate or spouse try creating one for each of you and hanging them in different spots in your home.
You can really do anything.
5. Centrepiece Key Arrangement
This one of the simplest of the bunch and surprisingly it does not involve Krazy glue, there are only so many fumes one can take. The best part about this centrepiece is it can be as tall or as short as you want. You can dress it up or dress it down depending on the function or theme of the party, and you should be able to leave it on the table everyday.
Things You Will Need:
1. Glass Vase (Dollarama, $2.99)
2. 2 Bag of Blue Marbles (Walmart, $4.99/each)
3. 10 Keys
Fill the vase halfway full with the marbles, you can usually getaway with only using the first bag. Then empty in your keys before adding the second bag of marbles. It would be better if you bought a cylindric vase, instead of a hourglass shape, because it suits the marbles better.
You can set it on a table in your foyer, on your diningroom table or perhaps you could store it on a bookshelf amoung your favourite books.
S loves to make new things and is a connoisseur of odd looks, especially those of people who do not understand imagination can lead to odd results. He is one of the main writers of a collaborative website, The Twenties Project and vlogs on Youtube about his life ... because he is that original.