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REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures

Turn your mystery keys into hooks for the ones you still use

By Wendy Becktold

Lori Eanes

Lose any metal objects lately? Put in a request at and someone with a metal detector just might show up to try to find it free of charge. These volunteers are kind of like superheroes with headphones. One of them even located a college ring that had been lost since 1977. I wish one would follow me around my house, because I constantly misplace my keys.

Here's the strange thing: While the keys I use daily often go missing, I have a growing pile of mystery keys in a tin on my dresser. I'm sure they were important once, and I probably tried hard not to lose them. But now I have no idea what they're meant to unlock, and for some reason I can't imagine throwing them out.

This project, then, is a twofer. With a piece of wood, screws, and some pliers, I transformed the castoffs into a rack to hold and organize my current stash. It was quick and easy, and I had all the materials on hand. Now I just have to remember to hang my keys there.

An electric drill comes in handy, but nails and a hammer work just as well.

Wendy Becktold

  • 3 to 5 keys, one for each hook (plus extras in case a few break)
  • Pliers
  • Vise (optional)
  • Piece of wood (9.5 inches wide by 3 inches high is a good size for 4 keys)
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Nails or wood screws (one for each key)
  • Hammer for nails or electric drill for wood screws

Based on a project by Nicholas Torretta at

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