Crafting with Antique Hardware

Crafting with Antique Hardware

Antique enthusiasts don’t just adore old furniture and home decor. Architectural salvage pulled from historic homes before demolition is also a perennial favorite. From stairs to mantels, tiles, and more, architectural salvage stores are full of unexpected treasures. But some of the most affordable pieces come from their selection of antique hardware. And there are lots of ways to upcycle and repurpose those key plates, doorknobs, and hinges in new and clever ways.

Vintage Faucet Planter

Galvanized bucket planter

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A salvaged faucet or spigot is such a fun thing to add to a planter, isn’t it? And you don’t need any plumbing skills to do it! Of course, in this specific planter, the moss roses eventually overtook it later than same summer. By August, you couldn’t even see my fancy faucet addition. But it was still worth the DIY effort, though.

DIY Magnets from Antique Hardware

vintage hardware as diy magnets

Image credit: Petticoat Junktion.

Smaller pieces of antique hardware, such as keys and knobs, are perfect for this easy upcycle idea. Aren’t they charming and perfectly repurposed into fridge magnets now?

Vintage Hardware Display

decorating the entryway with keyhole covers

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Usually made of brass, key plates are a favorite of collectors, as they often come in a variety of shapes with intricate designs. In this case, they were also painted over with the rest of the door while in use. Which means that attached to a salvaged cabinet door like this makes them a unique and appropriate piece of wall decor for a foyer or entryway.

Spigot Handle Ornaments

diy christmas ornaments from spigot handles

Image credit: Homeroad.

Red isn’t the only color that spigot handles come in, but it’s probably the most popular. Which means salvaged handles are ideal for upcycling into Christmas ornaments like these. Simply add other favorite bits and bobs to really bring them to life.

Doorknob Coat Hooks

brass doorknobs as diy coat hooks

Image credit: My Repurposed Life.

Old doorknobs are a common find at architectural salvage stores- made of brass, glass, ceramic, and more. But here’s a great way to repurpose those plain brass knobs that aren’t all that expensive: DIY coat hooks on a wooden base. In this case, an old headboard was repurposed, but you could use any sort of salvaged wood you have on hand.

Halloween Spell Books

Making a Halloween Spell Book from an Old Yearbook

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Antique hardware, especially hinges and handles, is fun to add to any mixed media art project. In this specific case, vintage hardware was added to old yearbooks, transforming them into spooky Halloween “spell” books. They have such a great Harry Potter and Hogwarts vibe now, don’t they?

Junky Birdhouses

junky birdhouse with antique hardware

Image credit: Petticoat Junktion.

Some antique hardware is gorgeously weathered with chippy paint or a seasoned patina. But some pieces are just plain rusty; which is fine, of course, but not everyone’s cup of tea. So, if you come across some rustier bits, you can still put them to good reuse on your backyard birdhouses like this!

Brass Hinge Butterfly

hinge butterfly project

Image credit: Salvaged Living.

Ok, how cool is this upcycle idea? A vintage brass hinge has been painted to resemble a monarch butterfly to use in the garden or a porch vignette for summer! As someone who LOVES raising caterpillars to chrysalis to butterfly, this is such a charming project for the otherwise humdrum hinges you find at Habitat ReStores.

Mini Pulley Necklace

vintage pulley as a steampunk necklace

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

To this day, I’m not entirely sure what this teeny, tiny pulley was originally used for. I’ve been told certain old window sashes used them, and others have speculated they were used for nautical flags. Either way, all that matters is that it’s one of the CUTEST pieces of antique hardware I’ve come across. And it makes an awfully charming pendant necklace, as well.

Christmas Decor with Antique Hardware

vintage hardware on a christmas tree

Image credit: Pillar Box Blue.

There are a lot of imaginative DIY Christmas tree ideas out there, that’s for sure. But this one is truly unique, comprised of salvaged wood and- you guessed it- antique hardware as the “ornaments”. From knobs to pulls, to hooks and handles, this is a very festive way to show off your unique hardware collection.

Embellishments for Industrial Decor

Crate stencils for wooden tool caddies

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This once-plain tool caddy was given a factory-inspired makeover thanks to some shipping crate-style stencils and the addition of salvaged hardware. And while new screws were used to attach the vintage hardware bits, this tutorial shows how to make them match the hardware’s patina.

Casters for Cat Toys

Cat toy storage in a vintage wooden crate

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This upcycled cat toy box started by upcycling a vintage wooden crate. And let’s face it- a set of new casters underneath it would have looked ridiculous. Which meant that some salvaged casters were the only way to keep a cohesive look– and they worked perfectly!

Perfect Pumpkin “Stem”

wooden pumpkin decor and trinket box

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Upcycling things into pumpkins is an autumn tradition of mine, but sometimes the “stem” part throws me for a loop. But not in the case of this DIY hinged pumpkin box. Because a salvaged swag hook (albeit upside-down) was the absolutely perfect piece to top it all off.

Cabinet Hardware

upcycle idea for spigot handles

Image credit: Dukes and Duchesses.

Ok, this is a hardware-for-hardware swap, but it’s a great way to boost personality in a room, isn’t it? Blue spigot handles as cabinet pulls in this bathroom add whimsy and color, which is always a good idea in my book.

Wearing Antique Hardware

upcycled necklace with vintage hardware

Image credit: Lovely, Etc.

The right piece of vintage hardware- delicate, clean, pretty- is absolutely ideal for this unique upcycling project. A DIY necklace that is sure to be a conversation starter is a wonderful way to repurpose the dainty and most exquisite pieces of hardware in your collection.

Nautical Hooks

Nautical wall decor with vintage drawer handles that look like the boat cleats

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

You might not think of dock cleats as coastal decor, and these coat hooks didn’t originate from a boat slip. But, they did originate from a vintage dresser that was given a more modern makeover. So, the handles were repurposed into this set of coat hooks that has great coastal/nautical flair.

Letters from Antique Hardware

turning vintage hardware into letters

Image credit: Petticoat Junktion.

Here’s an incredibly creative way to upcycle any number of hardware bits in your stash. Turning them into alphabet letters to spell something out really lets you become an artist. Think of all the ways you could combine hardware pieces or manipulate them to become assemblage signs like this…

Business Card Holder

diy business card holder from a hinge

Image credit: Salvage Sister and Mister.

Here’s a great idea for anyone with unique flair that owns a brick-and-mortar store. Upcycle an old hinge into a business card holder for your front desk/cash register area. How perfect and handy is that?

Crafting with Antique Hardware

antique hardware and fixtures

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

I hope you’ve found some fun new inspiration for any old hardware you have in your stash (or plan on hunting for). There really are unlimited options when it comes to repurposing all those old fixtures. And while some are functional and some are simply decorative, they’re all wonderfully clever and a terrific way to upcycle pieces of history.

Interested in some additional upcycling ideas for architectural salvage, as well? Then this collection of project ideas might be right up your alley!

Craft on!


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upcycle ideas for vintage fixtures

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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