Skeleton Keys Spelling out the Word "Fall" on Four Pumpkins

As shown in Midwest Magazine

Have you noticed all the ways skeleton keys are being used by decorators lately? Earlier blog posts have featured keys used as wall art, as building art, and on the Tiffany sunglasses shown below. But skeleton keys are not just a “high end” trend. Old keys were attached to pumpkins with dressmakers’ pins to spell “FALL” for Midwest Magazine’s September 2011 issue. The accompanying story noted that you could also spell “EEK” for a Halloween decorating idea.

Large Collection of Skeleton Keys on Pegboard at Anderson Lock in Des Plaines, IL

New Skeleton Keys

New skeleton keys are still available at Anderson Lock–only $4.99 for the pre-cut blanks typically used on interior doors. However, if you need to have a skeleton key cut, it will cost $50.00.

Classic Skeleton Key Machine at Anderson Lock in Des Plaines, IL

Classic Skeleton Key Machine

Anderson Lock has an old key machine that is used only for skeleton keys. Joe McCallister, a hardware sales representative who formerly owned his own locksmith business, loves that machine. He hasn’t had much opportunity to use it, but did cut a skeleton key for a customer last week and says there are still a lot of back door locks on homes in Chicago that use cut skeleton keys.

Joe McCallister Cutting a Skeleton Key at Anderson Lock

Joe McCallister Cuts a Skeleton Key


Anderson Lock has used skeleton keys for decoration for 60 years, way ahead of the trend! The huge gate key that hangs in our showroom was bought by Gene Anderson’s parents when vacationing in Sweden after selling their Chicago Ace Hardware store.

Old Swedish Gate Skeleton Key in Anderson Lock Showroom

Swedish Gate Key in Anderson Lock Showroom