Home » Thrift Store Decor » How To Make Skeleton Key Magnets And Magnets Using Old Drawer Pulls

How To Make Skeleton Key Magnets And Magnets Using Old Drawer Pulls

Make skeleton key magnets in 10 minutes or less. And if you have old drawer pulls, or unique hardware pieces, stick a magnet to them too. It’s much better to display your favorite things instead of storing them away. 

The magnets have character and are real beauties. They certainly stand out next to my freebie advertising and travel/tourist magnets.

antique keys for fridge magnets

I would hate to see these vintage and antique pieces end up in the metal recycling bin. You can do so many things with small items like these. I’ve seen cute angel tree ornaments made with antique keys.

Today is Thrift Store Decor Day and we are welcoming a new blogger on the tour, Pam from House of Hawthornes. My thrifty friends always have a unique take on their budget creations. Links to their posts are listed after my magnet tutorial.

I have two jars of keys. One jar is mainly junk keys, and the other holds vintage skeleton keys. I pulled out 3 of my favorite vintage keys to work with. I noticed the vintage keys are attracted to the magnets, but the newer keys aren’t—they have a different composition.

vintage hardware and furniture pulls for refrigerator magnets

These are the pulls and junk things from my hardware stash. As I mentioned earlier, I liked the idea of using the long furniture pulls for magnets.

shine rusty hardware with Howards wax

The first thing I did was polish the hardware with Howard’s wax. Some of the pieces were a little rusty, and the wax kept the rust from rubbing off on stuff.

I use Howard’s Wax on just about everything. It’s great for antiquing painted furniture, bringing wood mirrors back to life, softening leather, etc.

Gorilla Glue to adhere keys to magnets

I have a package of magnets I bought at Hobby Lobby, and I also have some that came from the thrift store. Always check out the small stuff (usually in bags hanging on hooks) at the thrift store.

Magnets are expensive. I used clear Gorilla Glue to stick the magnets to the hardware. Not sure how long it takes the glue to dry. I let the magnets sit overnight.

magnets attract

Notice how I have all the hardware and magnets separated? Put those darn things too close together and they all hug on each other. Not good until the glue dries!

how to make antique key refrigerator magnets

Now, isn’t the long hardware pull cool as a magnet? That one is my own unique take on refrigerator magnets. The furniture pull has a magnet on each end. Usually, there is one magnet glued to a small decorative item. I can’t do anything the regular way.

Make Antique Key Fridge Magnets

 I wasn’t sure how to best stage the magnets. I just pulled out my folder of inspiration pages torn from magazines and stuck them on the fridge.

The antique skeleton keys and vintage hardware pieces are more like art than magnets. I did a good job. Can you see me patting myself on the back? I’m eating a piece of chocolate too.

diy magnets made from vintage finds displayed on a yellow metal box

I stuck the magnets on my yellow antique pie safe. They sure pop against the bright yellow. As you can see, the pieces will make their way around the house.

vintage hardware and antique keys made into refrigerator magnets

Which magnet is your favorite? Do you like them? Are you digging through your junk drawer yet? My favorites are…..all of them…I can’t pick just one.

make skeleton key magnets


Leave me a note and then click the pink text links below the “before” makeover photo to visit my friends……

thrift store makeovers

Desk Lamp Makeover – Domestically Speaking
Luggage Rack Side Table – My Repurposed Life
Peony and Grapevine Wreath –  Our Southern Home
World Map Makeover – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Message Board – Refresh Restyle
Key Hook Cabinet Makeover – Sadie Seasongoods
Repurposed Thrift Store Tray – House of Hawthornes
Antique Key Fridge Magnets – Petticoat Junktion (that’s me!)

Thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Kathy, I love these magnet items and YES, I’m wondering what I have in my stash to do the same thing!! Thank you for my Winter inspiration! I always love to see what you’re doing next!!

  2. You can make magnets using small game pieces, thimbles, artificial flower stems, and more. I will share another post where I made a bunch of magnets from junk drawer stuff.

  3. Hi Kathy! I love these. I don’t have any antique small parts laying around but I will be on the look out now. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love everything you make and redo. Thank you for all the great ideas and posting your make overs !

  5. Those are so nice! What a perfect magnet to hold a vintage postcard or vintage picture! I love your ideas!

  6. Who doesn’t have spare unmatched drawer pulls, etc? You even reminded me that I have a pie safe just like yours, but unpainted! Thanks for the easy projects!

  7. I love the character than these magnets have especially on your pie safe; my fridge is already covered in STUFF. I like the idea of buttons (or old earrings, too). One place I found to use a few magnets is on the back of my medicine cabinet doors (lists of poisonous plants, how to do CPR, medication info), This Christmas bazaar at church, I put magnets for sale on the metal post supporting the floor joists! There’s a lot of places that could use a little adornment!

  8. What a wonderful idea!! I have a huge stash of leftover craft magnets that I had no idea how to use them up, now I do!!! Very clever idea!

  9. I love the long magnets the most! Great idea. I have used beautiful old buttons to make both magnets and push pins. Noe l will have to be on the lookout for old hardware!

  10. I have soooo many pieces of hardware that this would be good for! Brilliant my friend.

    I love them all.
    You’re a master of junk Kathy!!


  11. I adore these and wish I had a junk pile of old keys and hardware to select from to make my own.
    But, alas, I do not,I will just have to admire yours.