Asked on Sep 21, 2016

What can I do with an old phone??

by Rachel
I bought a house and there is a really ugly phone that is attached to the hole in the entrance way.
Is there a way to re purpose the phone and turn it into something nice? Its embedded deep on the wall, and I don't want to take it off... (and its too old to actually be used) Thanks!
  51 answers
  • Sandy Hentila Sandy Hentila on Sep 21, 2016
    Use a large shadow box to enclose the phone and keep it for display right on the wall.
  • Mala Mala on Sep 21, 2016
    Hi, congratulations on your new home. You could put an antique looking frame around the phone or just write above or to the side of it..."put your finger in the hole of the number you want to dial"
  • Sandro Visani Sandro Visani on Sep 21, 2016
    Remove the cover, remove as much of the interior as you can and the cord, glue the hand set to the main box to transform it into a handle, hang small hooks inside and transform it into a key caddy.
  • Aziz Siddiqui Aziz Siddiqui on Sep 21, 2016
    Am a grandfather, So: Clean it as much as you can, put a fresh paint, And Put a placard above it saying:" GRAND FATGER"S PHONE", or what ever best comes to your mind. Your visitors will love ur.
  • Katii Blood Katii Blood on Sep 21, 2016
    Not a repurposing idea, but If you have a landline, the phone should work (unless its been destroyed somehow, but age won't do it).
  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Sep 21, 2016
    Usually these have a jack behind them and hang on a hook attached to back of phone. Try pushing up on base to release the hook. If it won't come down that way you have the option of taking it apart by prying off cover ans disconnecting insides or frame it with sign saying antique. Attach cup hooks to bottom of frame for keys or small items. If you don't like the color it can be painted.
  • Rc Shoe Rc Shoe on Sep 21, 2016
    Check out this video of installing wall phone. It illustrates the process for hanging, so just reverse it to take it down.
  • Mj Mj on Sep 21, 2016
    Don't get rid of it. If you ever loose electric power in your area, these old phones work like a champ. I found out the hard way. Keep it handy ~
    • See 3 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 23, 2017

      Just don't use it during a thunderstorm.

  • Stella Love Stella Love on Sep 21, 2016
    You can remove it quite easy it's just hooked to the wall and probably has a very short cord that you just unplug.
  • Wowhavs Wowhavs on Sep 21, 2016
    It will eventually be worth some money to a collector.....
  • LaFawne LaFawne on Sep 21, 2016
    You could always hang a large straw basket over it, until you decide on a permanent fix :)
    • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on Sep 21, 2016
      I was just going to suggest this! A shadow box would work, too. I often cover blemishes with a pretty doll or floral arrangement.
  • Cathie Mars Cathie Mars on Sep 21, 2016
    If you have children learning numbers/letters, why not take it down and let them play with it; also learning their own phone # along with grandma's number and 911. When to call 911 etc..
  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Sep 21, 2016
    I'd leave it there. If you don't want to see it, you can make a wood box to put over it and put "emergency phone" or something else on the box.
  • Darline Darline on Sep 21, 2016
    It should be easy to remove, and the remaining mar to your wall should be easy to cover. As far as the phone, I'd paint it with a design and put a base of a painted brick glued under it and use it as either a doorstop or a garden decoration.
  • V Nichols V Nichols on Sep 21, 2016
    I'd build a small box with a door around it. On the inside of the door put about 4 hooks, for keys. Stencil "keys" or something else on the outside of the door. Also, put a small shelf top on the top of the box to put a few knick knacks on. Make it into a useful decorative box.
  • B B on Sep 21, 2016
    Paint it in psychedelic colors in zentangle fashion. Color all numbers in black and then paint on your families lastname or what have you. It would make a good conversational piece when guests come over.
  • Joan Stanley Joan Stanley on Sep 21, 2016
    Take it off. You can use it for other décor but the entryway its just ugly. There's a plate behind it that is just screwed into the wall. not too hard to cover up.
  • Briar Briar on Sep 21, 2016
    Make a mini phone booth.
  • CrowEyes CrowEyes on Sep 21, 2016
    Sell it on eBay and put the money towards a piece of wall de or to cover the spot. ;)
  • LibraryKAT LibraryKAT on Sep 21, 2016
    They come off the wall; they're just screwed onto a plate underneath them. If the plate is still there, stuck somehow, or you are left with a hole, either patch it or hang something you love over it.
  • Lynn Couch Lynn Couch on Sep 21, 2016
    Hang a wooden box over it. Use the top of the box for what knots...
  • Melinda Worrell Namanny Melinda Worrell Namanny on Sep 21, 2016
    Plant real or faux succulents in the receiver. I think the pieces both can be unscrewed.
  • Susan Susan on Sep 21, 2016
    Take it off and hang a cordless phone there. Those phones are not that old and are still completely useable. You might just need a corded phone when the electric goes out....
  • Kyralee Kyralee on Sep 21, 2016
    One man's ugly is another man's gorgeous. I love it! Find someone else who does and make them a trade.
  • Lisa St Cin Cionko Lisa St Cin Cionko on Sep 21, 2016
    Put a picture frame around the phone then paint the inside of frame, around the phone, with chalkboard paint. Then leave numbers or notes on chalkboard.
    • Flora Lape Flora Lape on Sep 21, 2016
      I have one also that was on the wall from previous owner --i like your idea -thanks
  • Gama Gama on Sep 21, 2016
    Keep it for when the electric goes out then you'll have a phone to use. Cordless don't work when the electric goes out.
    • Jane R. Jane R. on Sep 22, 2016
      I have this exact phone in my garage. It was the only phone that worked when my electricity went out. Then I got u-verse voice from my phone company and now It doesn't work when power goes out because phone service is through the internet. I hate that!
  • Cindy Cindy on Sep 22, 2016
    Just keep it where it is, I have an old dial phone. The only one that is useable during a lighting storm!
  • Kcama Kcama on Sep 22, 2016
    Love the chalkboard idea, make it poster size, maybe unhook the earpiece and place it in an opposite corner with a speech bubble that says "it's for you" or something. ("Call your mother!") If you're not going to use the phone, you could even paint it any color you want.
  • Janet AF Janet AF on Sep 22, 2016
    the phone is not embedded in the wall, just the phone Jack. If you don't have land line service and want this gone it is easy to remove. pull up and Then out on the phone base it will slide off the studs that are part of the Jack. once the phone is off there will be screws exposed. you can unscrew these and it will expose the back of the back and the wires. you can unscrew or just cut these they are not high voltage so won't hurt you. It is a good idea to clip the exposed wire back so the wire is covered by the insulation. If you worry about the exposed ends simply tape them off with electrical tape. you can then buy a simple blind plate and screw it to the existing box in the wall. you can then hang a picture or whatever to cover the blind plate or just leave as is. If you don't want the blind plate you could of course patch the drywall that's a whole new project.
  • Antique Antique on Sep 23, 2016
    recycle to your local thrift store. Some people like vintage phones and this way you get rid of it, someone who wants one can purchase for a nominal amount and the thrift store - one that is charity based makes a little profit that goes to help someone in need
  • Comiksitran Comiksitran on Sep 24, 2016
    "What can I do with an old phone?"....You can call your poor old parents. ☺
  • Sherry Poole Sherry Poole on Sep 24, 2016
    Take some plastic spray paint and paint it a color you like... You will need to of course do some prep work but paint it to compliment your decor or opposite of your decor for a stand out statement.
    • JansDIY JansDIY on Oct 01, 2016
      I am a real novice. I have a phone just like this that I actually still use, but it has yellowed. I would like to paint it, but don't even know how to begin. Do I have to take it apart and sand it or what? Could you e-mail me at: Thanks so much for any help you can offer. Janice
  • Vicky Swycinsky Vicky Swycinsky on Sep 26, 2016
    These phones work without electricity so you might want to hang on to it for later use when the power goes out.
  • Gama Gama on Sep 27, 2016
    That's what I told her Vicky S. I hope that she takes our suggestion.
  • Rachel Rachel on Sep 28, 2016
    Thanks to everyone- but we do not have a landline number! so this phone is really useless.... I was hoping to re-purpose it into something nice
    • J Brown J Brown on Aug 26, 2023

      Did you know you can link your CELL phone to your old land phones? Check out Cell2Jack, cost $35-40 dollars. It's a small electronic a bit larger than a match box. It forms the connection from your Cell to the old equipmen via blue tooth. YOU DO NOT need any landline service. If you have an old "phone system" with multiple satelite handsets you can answer your cell from any of those old units.

      I think I should post this as a project.

  • Pauline Pauline on Oct 01, 2016
    Make a frame and decoupage old phone book pages on it. Put it on the wall around the phone. Add a shelf under the frame and put a pad and pencil for notes. The phone will be a nice conversation piece.
  • Aryeh Kaufman Aryeh Kaufman on Mar 22, 2017

    Maybe you can re-wire and connect an audio jack - this way you can connect it to your cellphone

  • Marnidarr Marnidarr on Apr 17, 2017

    I don't know why, but turning it into a planter sprung to mind. You could lay the receiver on a shelf nearby, (perhaps the same color as the phone), & plant air plants into each end. If you hollow out the phone innards & make a hole in the top, you could have a plant inside & peek out the top. Reattach the back of the phone & put it on the wall right where it was before. Very little work involved! Good luck!

  • Mary Boger Mary Boger on Apr 23, 2017

    Introduce it to my old avocado wall phone. Maybe they'll

    have a little princess It is good to have a landline

    as backup. I really like the previous response to have a speech

    bubble by it.

  • Cora Cora on Apr 23, 2017

    I would give my eye-teeth for some good old-fashioned phones.....

    • Janerose Janerose on May 22, 2021

      I have 3 antique phones n one was my great’s a candlestick phone. Still has the wires attached

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 03, 2021

    Hi, Maybe donate it or sell it! Start up a collection?

  • Deb K Deb K on Sep 04, 2022

    Hi Rachel, this is actually really cool! You could put a frame around it and use it as a piece of historic art!

  • Janice Janice on Nov 30, 2022

    Remove it from the wall and mend the wall it was installed on, then add felt to the bottom of the phone and use it as a door stop/conversation piece.

  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 05, 2022

    Frame it and tell people you collect antiques. Bet most people under 21 haven't seen this before. LOL

  • Leave it just as it is and make it part of a gallery wall with other vintage items.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 11, 2023

    After second thoughts if you doesn't go with your decor remove it. These aren't valuable I see dozens at Good Will and they sell them cheap.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 12, 2023

    Perhaps you can donate it to a local museum :

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Aug 18, 2023

    give it to Goodwill

  • Janice Janice on Aug 18, 2023

    Let us know what you did with the phone after receiving all these suggestions. :)

  • Dee Dee on Aug 18, 2023

    If your old landline is still in good condition, consider donating it or selling it. You can try selling it locally or on eBay, since discontinued phones can be valuable.

    Because they run on a wireless network, cell phones are more susceptible to interference, and cell towers are very sensitive to the elements and have a limited range. A landline will never drop calls, and they are generally louder; they can always be used to reach someone in an emergency

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 30, 2023

    If you don't like it Cover it up, or smash it out and fix the wall after.