Repurpose Old Keys As A Stunning Design Element For Your Cabinets

There is something oddly beautiful about old keys. Sentimental or merely ornamental, these little metal trinkets are beloved by a lot of collectors. Luckily, there are many creative ways to repurpose old keys. Especially when they're used as décor, they become statement pieces in ways you might not have expected before. 

It only makes sense to utilize keys in your décor, particularly skeleton keys, as they have long been thought to bring good luck — and who couldn't use a bit more luck? But did you know that they can serve a purpose beyond the tchotchke shelf? Without a ton of effort, you can easily transform these doo-dads from functionless to functional by turning these literal door-openers into cabinet door pulls to zhuzh up your cabinets. New hardware is a small adjustment with a big impact, after all. With this project, you're going to want to use old keys; think skeleton keys rather than modern-day door keys. Older or antique-style keys are larger, which makes them better (and more aesthetically pleasing) as hardware.

How to use the keys as cabinet pulls

For this easy project, all you need is the keys, a strong adhesive like E-6000, some 2-inch flathead screws, metal nuts, and ⅝-inch metal spacers. If you are using painted plastic key reproductions, though, consider a different adhesive. E-6000 is not recommended for plastics like polypropylene, per its parent Eclectic company. 

On the flathead end of the screw, dot some glue and attach it firmly to your key. From there, glue one of the spacers on each of the screws, butting the spacer up against the edge of the key. This will help the key jut out from your cabinet door. From here, you want to wait 24 to 72 hours to allow the glue to dry and cure fully. While you're waiting, you could even beat that kitchen cabinet clutter with another easy DIY. Once the key dries, you can paint or refinish or attach it as-is to your cabinet or drawer using a nut to hold it in place.

This handy reuse project isn't just limited to kitchen cabinets, either. Transforming hardware all over your house could be the key to a new level of design prowess. From dresser drawers to bathroom vanities, anything that needs a door pull could get a facelift. Even if you just have a couple of keys you want to make useful, why not use them on your office desk or rolling cart? You don't need dozens of keys to have fun with this project.