How to Display Antique Locks and Keys

DIY Antique lock and key display cabinet

Got antique locks and keys and don’t know what to do with them?

Lock and Key Cabinet Collage with watermark

We collect antique locks and keys whenever we travel overseas.

They’re great because they’re a perfect excuse to stop off at every antique/junk store.

Also, they are nice and small (usually) which makes packing them easy when space is at a premium in your luggage.

But how to display them?

I wanted to remember each and every one and which country they came from – I didn’t want to throw them in a jumbled mess on a shelf or in a bowl.

I’d bought two of these old windows off Trademe for $2.50, so I decided to convert them into display cabinets.

Window frame before

I considered re-painting them, but loved the old shabby-chic peeling paint.

Close up of shabby frame

Using some old MDF wood we had, I cut two backs for the cabinet.

Then I painted them with some white paint we had stored in the garage.

Next, I arranged where I wanted my locks and keys to go.

Locks on backboard

I marked with little crosses where I wanted to insert my hooks

Close up of key

With a pencil I drew a light line where I wanted to the names for each country, placed the letters on and transferred them

Transfer sticks2

Transfer stickers3

I used these transferable stickers because I wanted quite a polished look, but ordinary stickers would have been fine.

Transfer stickers1

Then drilled pilot holes in each and screwed in the hooks

Screwing in hooks

With all the locks and keys in place on their hooks I carefully drilled pilot holes through the back board and window frames and then inserted the screws.

Antique locks and keys in display cabinet with watermark

If you’ve come up with some nifty way to display locks and keys then I would love to hear about it. Believe it or not but I still have more locks and keys I want to put on show but am not sure I want an entire wall of display cabinets…

Thanks and hope you enjoyed the post!