Skeleton and closet, door and dresser. Keys themselves evoke a slight thrill of mystery and secrets. These ancient door and lock openers lend suspense and promise. The rust and patina of the years is captivating and the mere presence of a key makes one curious where it came from and what it opens. Most antique keys that you see are "bit" or "barrel" keys. The bits are the teeth at the end of the shaft of the key that operates the lock. Sometimes these same keys can be called barrel keys when their long shaft is hollow - like the barrel of a gun. This style of key was used for more thank 1,500 years a duration that holds little merit because the companion locks to these keys were super easy to pick. Now, some of these keys you find are skeleton keys - which open many doors, a master key of sorts. But generally speaking the odds are your key only opens one lock.
But beyond its value of securing doors, cabinets and attics full of treasure - the keys themselves are representatives of history and make beautiful statements in a purely artistic way. So even if you never discover the origin or the lock to the lost key you possess, here are my favorite ways to incorporate these antique keys into your life and to unlock new meaning and purpose for them.
1. Use a handful of old keys as table markers for the guests at your wedding, to show you and your beloved are unlocking a new era! This idea and photo were found here.
2. A WIND CHIME!! Here are two examples of easy DIY wind chimes with antique keys.
his charming teapot/key concoction was a DIY project that you can find here. But just looking at it for inspiration might be enough. The second is an even easier approach using a wooden needlepoint hoop, some twine, old jewelry and of course, a generous helping of those unique keys.
3. String a piece of leather through the bow or top of any antique key for a gender neutral necklace that is really chic and lends an air of mystery to any outfit.
4. Or do what I have done and add one of these keys to blank ring for an easy and stylish keychain.
Well hopefully this has unlocked a few ideas for you!