Upcycling Ideas for Vintage Hardware

Upcycling Ideas for Vintage Hardware

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a soft spot for vintage hardware. From keyhole covers to antique door knobs to old hinges and beyond, I love it all. Generally speaking, architectural salvage can be big and bulky, like reclaimed lumber or porch columns. And while those are all fine and good, I usually beeline for the salvaged hardware when I’m at an architectural salvage store.

In fact, many of my “Junkin’ Journeys” are driven by architectural salvage stores that specialize in “smalls”, like vintage hardware.

Shopping for architectural salvage on a junkin journey or junking road trip

And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about it! From skeleton keys to vintage glass door knobs, there are a LOT of hardware lovers out there.

I’ve made a few projects with vintage hardware already, such as this wall decor with keyhole covers:

decorating the entryway with keyhole covers

And these Halloween spell books that were embellished with hinges, drawer handles, and old keys:

Making a Halloween Spell Book from an Old Yearbook

But there are loads of other upcycling ideas for antique hardware. Whether you transform it into vintage home decor, or perhaps jewelry, or even adding it to newer furniture, there is no shortage of repurposing ideas.

Even if you just add a touch of it here and there, like I did to these wooden tool totes.

Industrial style decor with a wooden tool caddy

So, I thought I would assemble some of those project ideas into a single blog post for easy inspiration. The next time you stumble across a crate of antique hinges or vintage locks, perhaps you’ll already have a project idea in mind.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Clearly I need to paw through my collection of old hardware and see what else I can make, eh?

wooden pumpkin decor and trinket box

I know for a fact that I want to upcycle a few of my skeleton keys. I actually have some from my great-grandparents farm in Ohio, so I won’t touch those. But I’ve collected others over the years and they are fair game!

Skeleton keys in an apothecary jar

Either way, there are lots of options out there for whatever antique hardware you collect. For your home, for your garden, to wear and beyond!

And if you enjoyed these upcycling ideas for vintage hardware, then you’ll love this wall art that I made with porch brackets!

Architectural wall art from porch brackets

Craft on!


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Vintage hardware or antique door knobs as vintage home decor with these upcycling ideas and repurposed projects

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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.


  1. You have such a creative mind to come up with all these ideas. I love the look of skeleton keys too.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Oh, most of these aren’t mine, Carole! Click on the little thumbnail photos to be take to each blogger’s tutorial!

  2. Quite the collection of ideas, you shared. I actually have five families collections of keys—apparently no one ever threw anything away. I WILL do something with them!

  3. Pamela Martin says

    Do you know of any places that will ship vintage hardware to Canada?

  4. What a great round-up, Sarah! You’re a sweetheart for including two of my projects in it 🙂 I pinned a bunch!!

  5. Thanx for putting these all together; it will be so much easier to scan when I find a treasure and need ideas! I love vintage doorknobs, drawer pulls and keys especially.

  6. I am loving these ideas! We are restoring an old home from the 40s right now and trying to keep as much of the original home as possible. We are at the height of all our projects like cabinet refinishing, gutting bathrooms, etc and we want to keep the kids entertained. We found a bunch of old lightbulbs, keyholes, keys, and wood. We aren’t totally sure what to do with it since we don’t want to throw it out. This is so helpful, thank you!

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