Wednesday, November 3, 2010

TIPS: How to reuse old keys

All of us have some of them lying around somewhere. I'm talking about old keys - car keys, house keys, box keys, locket keys, etc. There are keys for just about anything and while they are necessary, there comes a time when we no longer need a particular key. Over time, they seem to build up and you have a pile of keys that you don't know what to do with. Here are some suggestions:

- My older children enjoy playing with keys. They play pretend. If I give them my old keys (especially on a keychain - they love that!), they will use it to play pretend when they play house or restaurant or driving or whatever. Those keys can be used just like we use ours. (I wouldn't recommend this for toddlers or babies, but they should be fine for children over four). They'll have fun with this!
- Some people use old keys to create artwork or decorative items. They might glue them to lamp shades or make a sculpture from keys. Some artists melt them down and use them for metal work. You just have to ask around and see if anyone would like your old keys for this purpose.
- Keys for Kindness collects old keys, turns them in to the recycling place and then uses the money they earn to support research for Multiple Sclerosis. You just mail them your old keys. Here is there web address:
- Find someone who makes homemade jewelry and ask if they want them. Keys are popular as jewelry items. If a particular key is special to you, have it turned into a charm for a necklace or bracelet. It's simply a matter of adding some spray paint or other decoration or you could use it as is.
- Let the children decorate them (with paint, glitter, etc.), put a hook on the little hole most keys have and use them as Christmas tree ornaments. (There are LOTS of ways to save on Christmas tree ornaments. You do NOT need to spend money on expensive, fancy ornaments.)
- Make some wind chimes and give these as gifts. This is especially nice if the keys meant something to the recipient. (Or keep the chimes for yourself.)
- For homeschoolers, trace each key on a paper with a bunch of other traced keys. Then, give the paper and the keys to your child and have them match each key to the one on the paper. :)

- Finally, my best suggestion, I think. I came up with this one when thinking about how our family could reuse the keys.

If you need to do a drawing for something and only have a small number of people (probably less than 50) or you do family drawings sometimes to see who goes first, who gets to pick the movie for family movie night, etc., use keys instead of tickets.

First, use a Sharpie to mark two sets of keys with a unique number (1 to 50, for example). So you'll have two keys marked "1," two keys marked "2," two keys marked "3," and so on. For each person who participates in the drawing, give them those two keys with the same number. They drop one key into the drawing bucket and keep the other key.

Then, when you do the drawing, the person who has the key that matches the number you drew, they win.

This is a fun way to save trees because they won't have to make paper tickets AND you'll be recycling the keys! You can even have participants dump all their keys back into the bucket at the end of the event, sort them for your next drawing and then do the same thing all over again.

As always, feel free to share your ideas, too!
Sonya :)


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