Antique keys have a lot of personality and a surprising amount of uses!

You may have a few out in your garage, in your attic, or stored away. You can find them too at yard sales and even some stellar reproductions at retail stores. Antique keys often pop up in surprising places, but what can you do with these rusty pieces? You may be surprised by their popularity and versatility. Read on to discover five great ways you can use antique keys and their reproductions. pirate skeleton jail antique keys

Pirate Ship Skeleton Jail Keys Set - Cast Iron Costume Prop
Amazon Price: $14.99 $1.81 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Use antique keys as Halloween decorations

Give your space a spooky vibe by adding a few sets of antique keys to your Halloween decorations. They add just the right amount of eeriness without being too scary. Pinning a few up to a wooden board  - like you've got a spooky shack in the back - is a nice touch. Or maybe you are going for the pirate look at Halloween. Antique skeleton keys make for excellent pirate costume accessories. They could be the keys to your treasure chest or perhaps jailor's keys for the ship's hoosegow. 

You can find replica antique keys at very cheap prices, so they also make fun Halloween give-aways and party favors for the kids. Come up with a spooky story to go along with the keys, and watch their eyes light up when you give the sets out! You'll definitely be one of the house stops that'll be talked about for weeks. 

Shabby Cottage Chic Antique Decorative Keys
Amazon Price: $5.00 $4.45 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Decorate with antique keys around your home

Shabby chic and cottage chic are very popular home decor styles these days. They pair antiques (and antique replicas) of all types with more contemporary trimmings, creating some really stellar looks. Antique keys work really well here. You can hang them on rustic key racks to give a sense of functionality to the art. Or another popular option - you can position a set of antique keys in a picture frame to act as a unique wall art piece. 

There are also interesting home and kitchen pieces shaped like antique keys. For instance, antique key bottle openers are very popular in rustic homes, as well as key racks that have been shaped to look like giant antique keys themselves. There are chocolate molds shaped like antique keys and wall stickers featuring them too. The wide variety of items goes to show you how popular antique keys really are!

The Waldorf Antique Key Decorative Finish Bottle Opener
Amazon Price: $16.53 $8.19 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Wear antique keys as jewelry

Some of these older keys are very ornate and beautiful, and others are rusted and edgy. Either way, antique keys can make for some unique jewelry, especially as necklaces. They can have a real steampunk feel which makes these keys very popular fashion accessories among fans of the sci-fi genre. But they also can look great with more traditional fashions too. These keys have a personality and history about them that immediately make them a conversation piece. They just feel like they've got a story to tell. Even if you don't know where the key came from, how you came about it will likely be spoken about many times. 

It's not too difficult to put together a necklace using an antique key. They often have ornate patterns that contain wholes that are perfect for feeding a chain through. Or you can ask a local jeweler to drill a small hole and add a chain. 

4" Iron Skeleton Key Replica - Steampunk Jewelry
Amazon Price: $6.95 $3.95 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Use them as parts of arts and crafts projects

If you're a crafty person in your own right, antique keys can be a lot of fun to get creative with. These aren't things you see every day incorporated into home projects. You can develop unique pieces of art with them, or use them to decorate various hobby projects, like on top of crafted boxes or decorating the sides of a picture frame. They give that cottage chic feel to nearly any crafts project you can imagine. 

Here buying replica antique keys will probably be a must. If you've got a craft concept that you're looking to replicate over and over, then being able to get multiple sets of keys is very important. These replicas typically look and feel like the real thing and are relatively inexpensive, so you'll surely love using them. 

Metal Skeleton Keys - Copper Stage Theatre Prop Western Decor
Amazon Price: $4.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 29, 2013)

Use antique keys (or donate them) as props for plays and drama classes

Maybe you aren't into antique keys as Halloween decorations or decorative pieces, but that doesn't mean you can't find good use for them! Theatre companies and drama classes are always hungry for antique-looking props. If you know a local theatre is putting up a period piece, why not reach out to them and offer up your treasures? Even if they don't have anything in the pipeline they often collect props for future plays and as tools for acting classes, so no matter if your keys are real or replica, they've got a use here. 

You may be surprised at the versatility of antique keys, but when it comes down to it they are very interesting to look, surprisingly stylish, and full of personality. That's the perfect storm of cool when it comes to decorations, jewelry, and props. If you've found a trove of antique keys in your home, don't hide them away - put them to good use! Or if you love the style, consider purchasing some quality replicas to use at Halloween or as home decor. They are definitely a conversation starter.