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15 Unconventional DIY Projects Made With Old Keys

Some of our very favourite crafting projects to make are the ones that upcycle every day household items. You might not think to make these objects into artistic pieces, but as soon as you’ve seen an inspiration picture, you’re hooked on the idea! What’s our current obsession when it comes to household item crafts, you ask? It’s keys!

Check out these 15 awesome DIY ideas for upcycling old keys! Use the ones you forgot to give back when you move, the ones you found in the drawer of an old dresser and can’t identify, or even different styles and shapes of keys from rummage sales and thrift shops!

1. Mini key charm bracelet

VIEW IN GALLERYMini key charm bracelet

(Photo via LizonesJewelry)

Do you have an accidental stash of those tiny keys that come with padlocks, suitcase locks, and the little locks on vanity cases? These keys aren’t often used, but they’re visually pleasing all together because they come in all shapes and sizes. Try turning them into bracelet charms using closing jewelry links, chain, and a clasp.

2. Key wind chimes

VIEW IN GALLERYKey wind chimes

(Photo via Art Angel Studios)

Simple string, twine, or fishing line will help you hang hold keys of different sizes from a metal ring to create a rustic set of wind chimes! Hang the keys at different levels, making sure they still overlap so they clink together when the wind blows.

3. Leather key cuff

VIEW IN GALLERYLeather key cuff

(Photo via Rainwheel)

If you have the tools for working with leather, like the clamp for puncturing it to put in studs, then all you need are some metal domes and you’re set to make this rustic-chic key cuff. We love the alternating directions of the keys.

4. Framed art


(Photo via Josette)

If you have a set of old keys that actually mean something to you, like the keys to your parents first home together for example, then display them proudly! Try placing them in a vintage (or at least vintage-looking) frame with a coloured backing.

5. key chain necklaces

VIEW IN GALLERYkey chian necklaces

(Photo via Shygarshop)

These “key chains” are a little different than your average key chain! Creating necklaces from keys is easy as pie. Find a jewelry chain, measure it to where you’d like the key to hang, and attach a clasp!

6. Key-imprinted clay beads

VIEW IN GALLERYKey-imprinted clay beads

(Photo via Captured Moments)

Create flat rectangles and press keys of different styles and shapes into the clay to leave a decorative imprint. Bake the clay (or use self-drying clay) and glaze it to give it a shiny bead-like finish. Then you can reuse the keys for other crafts!

7. Framed, key printed burlap

VIEW IN GALLERYFramed, key printed burlap

(Photo via Charming Churchmouse)

If you have a selection of old, vintage keys with interesting shapes but you don’t have quite enough to make them into something, use them to stamp instead! Lightly cover one side of a key in paint and imprint its shape onto the burlap. When it’s dry, place it in a frame and hang it up!

8. Vintage key Valentine

VIEW IN GALLERYVintage key Valentine

(Photo via Art Angel Studio)

A decorative, vintage key is a great way to add a bit of class to a cute DIY Valentine’s Day gift. Whether you put it on the card or create an art piece for display, it’ll look more grown up than  a lot of other hand made Valentine’s.

9. Simple wall hangings

VIEW IN GALLERYSimple wall hangings

(Photo via Beth Whitfield)

Differently styled key rings, grandfather keys, and locks make a great wall display, especially if you have them from all different eras. Hang the keys on a nail to create a vintage aesthetic.

10. Key holder made of keys

VIEW IN GALLERYKey holder made of keys

(Photo via Crafthubs)

Bending keys isn’t easy business, but it can be done! Super glue or nail them to a length of wood once you’ve bent the end to create  a hooked shape and hang it on the wall to keep your current keys organized!

11. Vintage key place holders

VIEW IN GALLERYVIntage key place holders

A collection of vintage or nicely designed keys tie to a place card and pinned to a framed board is a great way to organize seating at weddings and events. The key gives each person something to hold onto that’s more substantial than a piece of card that they’ll probably lose.

12. Key coaster


(Photo via Craft Klatch)

This tutorial shows you how to embed old keys in resin to create a clear, smooth coaster with some novelty inside! Don’t be intimidated by the idea of working with resin. It’s easier than you think!

13. Key bowels and bottles

VIEW IN GALLERYKey bowels and bottles

(Photo via Little Piece of Me)

Using very strong super glue or E6000 adhesive to cover a glass serving bowl or a glass bottle creates an awesome industrial looking effect. Just make sure each key touches another one so they stay stacked and stuck together and in formation!

14. Harry Potter inspired flying key mobile

VIEW IN GALLERYHarry Potter inspired flying key mobile

(Photo via Potter Crafts)

Whether you’re putting them in a baby’s room or using them as decor anywhere in your house, mobiles are cute for incorporating themes in a whimsical way. We absolutely adore the way these little flying keys and how they add some magic to the room.

15. Painted key charm necklace

VIEW IN GALLERYDIY Painted key charm necklace

(Photo via Living Locurto)

If you’re a patient person and a detailed paper, anything can be a good canvas! Keys are no exception. Grab a very fine paint brush and some all surface paints and then embellish your creation with beads and put it on a chain.

Have you created other unique DIY projects using keys? Tell us about how you did it in the comments below!