Rock the Casa

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Posts Tagged ‘skeleton keys’

Current Crush: Skeleton Keys

Posted by Beth on September 9, 2009

Set of Vintage-look Keys from Pottery Barn

Set of Vintage-look Keys from Pottery Barn

File keys under “things they don’t make like they used to.” Just look at a beautiful, ornate old key and then take a gander at that ring of boring, stubby keys that’s always getting lost at the bottom of your purse. No comparison, right? I was just reminded of that fact as I perused, checking out the new merchandise, and came across the set above. FYI: These keys are faux antique, so in my opinion, they don’t have nearly as much charm as the real deal vintage kind. I have a few old skeleton keys that I’ve picked up over the years at various house sales and flea markets, but not enough to make a collection. Suddenly I’m motivated to go looking for more and actually do something with them—which means I’ll probably be hitting the Brooklyn Flea this weekend. It’s really a blend between a traditional flea market and a craft fair, with some yummy food vendors thrown in as a bonus. I’ve only been to the original in Ft. Greene, so I’m curious to know if the DUMBO location has as many vendors. Anyone been to it?

Back to keys. So, what can you do with an old skeleton key (or keys)? I would:

  • Hang it on a long chain and wear it as a necklace. (If you’re anti-DIY, check out Erica Weiner’s vintage key necklaces.)
  • Use an oversized key as an actual keychain. This idea was inspired by the ingenious Bottle Opener Key over at
  • Hot-glue a number of them onto a plain picture frame or mirror frame.
  • Glue one onto the front of a journal with a plain cover and give it as a gift.
  • Spraypaint one key (or a few) white, glue to some colored card stock, and frame it as art.
  • Hang them on the wall in a group, like the PB set at top.
  • Arrange a collection of them in a vintage glass jar.

A couple of other smart ideas I dug up online:

Country Living suggests hanging the keys from ribbons in a window, or even using them as pulls on a shade. Continuing on the window theme, I’d also try threading them onto ribbons and using them as curtain tiebacks.

Over on, Howdoesyourgardengro created some adorable door/wind chimes using vintage keys. They’re currently sold out, but a crafty person could probably make a similar set of chimes.

To find an endless supply of skeleton keys, head on over to eBay or search the vintage section at Etsy.


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