10 unusual places to upcycle your old door locks and hardware.


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10 unusual places to upcycle your old door locks and hardware.

By emily.bailey

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Old door knobs | Schlage

Here are 10 unexpected places to put your old door knobs, levers and other hardware, adding style and function to your home.



We’re turning 100! Over 10 weeks, Schlage is sharing its favorite top-10 lists. That’s 100 tips, ideas and moments of inspiration so you can enjoy the safety, simplicity and style of Schlage for another 100 years to come.


Door knobs belong on doors, right? Yes. And no. You might be wondering what to do with old door locks and hardware when you’ve changed your look or if you’ve found some vintage gems secondhand. Here are 10 unexpected places to put your door knobs, levers and other hardware, adding style and function to your home.

Vintage knob door pull.

1. On the wall

One popular place to use your old door hardware is in your entryway. Mount the knobs either directly to the wall or affix them to salvaged wood or reclaimed trim, for an upcycled coat rack. You can use all matching hardware or go for a more eclectic or rustic look with knobs in different materials and finishes.

Door knobs can also be used for hanging wall art. A Tree Lined Street uses them on their gallery wall, and we love how they’re both entirely practical while also giving extra visual interest to your artistic display.

2. With the curtains

One way to give your window treatments a unique look is to play with variations of curtain rods. Door knobs make beautiful finials – those end caps on the rods – or as the actual fixtures you hang your curtains from like we see at Houzz.com.

Use door knobs as curtain tie-backs, too. Older hardware gives any window a vintage feel, especially when paired with a tasseled tie. But you aren’t limited to the antique designs. If there’s a more contemporary style of knob you love, we say go for that.

3. On furniture

If you have a larger piece of furniture, it can be tough to find a drawer pull in the right proportions, especially if you’re trying to capture a very specific feel. Expand your search beyond cabinet pulls and consider door knobs or grips as well.

4. In the closet

This storage hack uses handle grips, and you might be kicking yourself for not thinking of it sooner. Whether in a bedroom walk-in or an entryway closet, gain extra hanging space when you attach a handle either underneath the shelving or to the inside face of the door for scarves and ties. Here’s a handy variation for the laundry room from Pigskins & Pigtails.

Using the same idea as No. 1 above with the coat rack, you can make a smaller rack for jewelry. You often see these attached to a frame that you can mount in a larger closet or hang near a bathroom mirror – wherever you need it most. We especially like the idea of mixing and matching the sizes of the knobs and door pulls. Larger knobs work great for scarves or hats, smaller ones for necklaces or bracelets, and pulls for earrings.

5. On the table

Turn your old door knobs upside down, affix some coiled or decorative wire and you have the perfect stand for holiday cards and family photos. For grander tablescapes, display the table number or your guests’ names when you have assigned seating for a crowd. It’s great for holiday feasts and DIY weddings.

6. From the ceiling

Personalize the cord on your ceiling fan with an upcycled door knob. Rustique Art shows how to pull this off so that you can look as good, and as cool, as you feel.

7. In the bathroom

It seems that we always have small items – cotton balls, makeup brushes, bobby pins – running amok on the bathroom counter. For a unique way to keep everything in its proper place, upcycle some decorative containers or apothecary jars, adding a beautiful door knob to the lids. You can match the knobs to the other finishes you have in your bathroom or take advantage of those that come in colorful glass for a bit of sparkle and glam.

8. In the kitchen

Remember those grips you attached underneath the closet shelving? Use the same type of hardware as handles on a serving tray. It’ll come in handy for breakfasts in bed or at a party.

And speaking of parties, if you’re looking for a stylish way to keep wine corked for the evening, try these bottle stoppers. There’s no reason it has to be a beverage bottle, though. Consider these for your olive oils or homemade salad dressings. You can also attach a door knob to the top of a cake dome.

9. In the garden

Door knobs, either glass or with a particularly decorative design, attached to a stake make fantastic garden markers. When they have a bit of shine to them, they’ll reflect sunlight in gorgeous ways.


Include a door knob on your next homemade birdhouse so your feathered friends have somewhere to land. Door hardware can be used to build a suncatcher – focus on glass knobs – or wind chime as well.

10. Inside a gift box

If you want to give someone new door hardware as a present, we won’t stop you. But in the spirit of upcycling old door hardware, try a DIY painted sign with a vintage door knob, hinges or other upcycled pieces. Include an inspirational phrase – “Open doors and embrace new opportunities” – or a sentiment about home and you have the perfect gift for the graduate or new homeowner. Love Grows Wild simply included an old skeleton key with a painted heart.

The trick to using old door hardware in unusual ways is to think outside the box and borrow inspiration from others who have been there before. Find more ideas from Schlage in our blog’s DIY Tips archive or on Pinterest.