What to Do With Used Nails, Nuts, Bolts and Hardware

Reuse, recycle, repurpose: That mantra even applies to those bags, boxes and coffee cans of old nails, nuts, bolts and other hardware cluttering up your garage or workshop. Clean out your space and give yourself some room for new projects, while feeling good about not wasting those piles of metal.

old rusty screw bolt texture
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Old nuts and bolts

Scrap It

Metal recyclers, who can be found in most localities, will often buy your hardware for cash. Prices vary depending on whether your metal is iron, copper, aluminum, steel or brass; call beforehand to find out if a particular recycler accepts the type of metal you have. The various prices are usually calculated by weight.

Distress Furniture

Old hardware makes a perfect medium for distressing wood furniture. Insert a handful of bolts and screws -- the heavier, the better -- into an old sock, and beat them against various parts of furniture pieces you're redoing. This gives new-looking furniture an aged look with unique dents and dings.

Make Art

If you have a creative muscle you yearn to stretch, get out your welding torch. Give that hardware new life as trivets, wind chimes, sculptures, fountains, toys, picture frames and other household items, gifts or art for display.


Patricia Rockwood

Patricia Rockwood has been a professional copy editor and writer for more than 25 years. She is an avid gardener with a certified Florida backyard habitat. Rockwood has practiced yoga for more than 40 years and taught for much of that time. She is also a professional mosaic artist.