37 Clever Ways to Repurpose Old Kitchen Items

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Feature photo for post '35 plus clever ways to repurpose old kitchen items'. Shows eight examples or different upcycles and DIYs.

Looking for ways to reuse old kitchen stuff? Check out these 35 unique ideas to reuse and repurpose old kitchen items.

I hate throwing out ‘once useful items’ don’t you? I was faced with this recently when did some spring cleaning and cleaned out my kitchen cupboards and drawers because I just couldn’t fit another thing in them!

My first thought was to donate these items but my creative mind started going and I decided to upcycle them. And, a trip to my local Fleatique sparked even more ideas with a few inexpensive, vintage finds.

So clean out your kitchen cupboards and utensil drawers and take a look at these super easy DIYs that will give new life and purpose to your old kitchenware!

1. Baking Pan Message Board & Catchall

Repurpose a cookie sheet and tin bread pan into a lovely message board and catchall. To make one, grab an old metal cookie sheet and a loaf pan, drill holes and attach the loaf pin with small screws.

Photo of a finished upcycle project, Baking Pan Message Board & Catchall. Cookie sheet with a bread pan attached to the front hanging on a paneling wall with a clock and tools nearby. Painted with chalkboard paint - reads "Dad's Fix-It Shop".

I used chalkboard paint from Dollar Tree to make a chalkboard at the top and you can also use magnets on this board. If you plan to use chalkboard paint, I recommend roughing up the surface with light grit sandpaper before applying it.

2. Shamrock Trinket Dish Made From Tart Tins

Repurpose a few heart-shaped mini tart tins to make shamrock trinket dishes. I used napkins and Mod Podge to decoupage my tins but you could certainly use acrylic paint. The stem is a wooden spatula with part of the handle cut off.

Shown finished shamrock trinket bowl made out of three heart tart tins and a wood spatula for the stem. Finished trinket dish decoupaged with green patterned napkins, shown on a white background. Below photo show the three tart tins used and wood spatula as a before photo.
Shamrock Trinket Dish Made From Tart Tins

Fill the tins with lucky coins, wrapped candies, or shamrock trinkets to decorate for St. Patty’s Day. If you’re looking for heart-shaped tins, check out antique stores, and garage sales, or find them here on Etsy.


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3. Cheese Grater Flip Calendar

Make an old grater slicer useful again by turning it into a flip calendar.

Photo of a cheese grater upcycled to make a flip calendar. Rings hold laminated month and date card. Grater is silver and folded in half to make this upcycled flip calendar.
Cheese Grater Upcycled to make a Flip Calendar

Fold a flat metal grater in half and drill four holes in the top (front and back) and attach laminated month and date cards with binder rings. If you’d like to make your old flat metal grater into a flip grater and use the same art shown, you can download it here –> Flip Calendar Art.

4. Mason Jar and Wood Spoon Turkey

Make this cute turkey mason jar and wood spoon decoration to add to your Thanksgiving table or kitchen decor. You’ll need about five wood spoons, a glass jar, and acrylic paint in fall colors. Check out the full tutorial here.

Decorative Turkey Centerpiece - Feature image on kitchen counter
Mason Jar and Wood Spoon Turkey

5. Patriotic Pan Lid Flag Holder

Old enamel pan lids like these have so much character! I snagged these at the flea market to make this beautiful nostalgic flag holder. This was a really easy upcycle. I just spray-painted the top lid blue (it was a worn-out beige) and decorate the bottom one with permanent vinyl lettering before bracing them to a wood board.

Photo of two vintage pan lids, blue on top, white with red trim on the bottom. U.S. Flag inserted into the two handles. Pan Lids repurposed to make a flag holder which is shown hanging on a porch post with blue sky in the background.
Patriotic Pan Lid Flag Holder


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6. Fluted Pan & Corkscrew Caddy

This simple caddy can be used for utensils or as a catchall for crafting supplies or other small items. The hole on this fluted jello pan was small so I was able to glue a wine cork to the center using E6000 and add a corkscrew for a handle.

Photo of an old fluted pan with a wood handled corkscrew attached to the top for a handle. Finished catchall has scissors and colorful thread. In the background is a wire crate with colorful fabrics.
Fluted Jello Pan and Corkscrew Caddy

7. Potato Masher Book Ends

Potato masher makes great bookends! I found these vintage mashers at the Fleatique but you may have a couple in your utensil draw already. If not, you can find vintage ones here.

Photo shows two vintage red handled potato mashers used as book ends with cookbooks in between.
Potato Masher Bookends

8. Spoon Handle Recipe Box

Decorate an inexpensive unfinished wood box or spruce up an existing recipe box by adding a decorative spoon handle.

Photo of a finished upcycled recipe box. Box is painted antique teal with word "recipe" on the front with a vintage soup spoon used as a handle on the top. Recipe box in the center on a counter with bowls and cooking items.
Soup Spoon Handled Update to a Recipe Box

To make a spoon handle, bend a spoon into an arch (heat in hot water first if needed); then drill two holes into your spoon and add small screws to secure it.

I also gave this plain wood box a retro coat of aqua paint and I used my Cricut Maker to make a stencil. Feel free to download the recipe art here if you’d like to use it.

I love cookie cutters, especially vintage ones with unique handles. Anytime I run across them at a yard sale or flea market, I pick them up. They’re usually only a dollar or two and they make me happy!

If you have a few of these little gems hidden away in a kitchen drawer, put them on display in a nice frame! And if you need a few more to add to your collection, check out these vintage cookie cutters on Etsy.

Photo of six vintage cookie cutters with red and green handles in a red frame on a counter.
Framed Vintage Cookie Cutters

I found a bunch of gingerbread cookie cutters at my local Fleatique but you also buy them here (on Etsy).

My mom had these exact ones when I was growing up and we used to make gingerbread cookies every Christmas with them.

To make this candle holder you’ll need about five cookie cutters, paint them if you like, then simply string wire ribbon through the handles and tie them around a glass vase!

Photo of a tall glass container with five gingerbread man cookie cutters tied around it with a red and white ribbon and a candle in the center.
Cookie Cutter Candle Holder

This brings me to my last cookie-cutter idea!

Use them as toppers for mason jars and fill them with cookie mix or candy to give as gifts or use them as pretty kitchen storage jars.

Photo of three large mason jars filled with pink and red candy. The top of the jar lids has a different vintage, red handled cookie cutter on it as an lid accent.
Mason Jars topped with Vintage Cookie Cutters


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12. Salt Shaker Tassels

Make beautiful shabby chic tassels using mini salt shakers and tops from old salt shakers. These decorative tassels can be used in so many ways such as tie-backs for curtains, to decorate baskets, or as a drawer or light pulls. I used a combination of ribbon and ripped fabric scraps to make them.

Photo of three salt shakers used upcycled into tassels. Two are silver New York City mini tea pot shakers with a red, white and blue tassel below. The other is a tassel made out of just the silver top of a round salt shaker.
Salt Shaker Tassels

13. Muffin Tin Easter Egg Tray

Don’t throw out an old muffin pan, with a little paint you can make it into a beautiful holder to display Easter eggs! Just give your old pan a scrappy coat of chalk paint and decorate.

Muffin tins also make great storage trays for small items. Use them to organize your junk drawer, sort and store small beads, or as an organizer for hair accessories.

Old muffin tin painted with light blue chalk paint and shown holding Easter eggs with Easter grass in each cup.
Muffin Pan Easter Egg Holder

14. Muffin Tin Key Hook

Turn a vintage muffin tin into a decorative key holder! These eight-cup tins are a little hard to find but if you snag one, add a few hooks and turn it into a farmhouse-chic key rack.

Photo of a DIY key rack made from a vintage 8-cup muffin tin. The word K E Y S is in gold above with four gold hooks below.
Muffin Tin Key Hook

15. DIY Bird Feeders

Old pans, strainers, and utensils make perfect bird feeders! Fill them with birdseed or suet cake. Just make sure you leave a place for your feathered friends to sit and enjoy. Get the suet cake recipe that I used here from Our Recipe for Success.

Two photos, one a closeup of a pan with an old blue enamel cup filled with bird seed and the same bird feeder shown with two other suet feeders made from a strainer and potato masher.

16. DIY Tiered Trays

Tiered trays made from repurposed kitchen items are easy and inexpensive to make.

Bundt Pan Tiered Tray - feature image in craft room filled with neutral spools of thread, twine and ribbon.
Tiered tray Made from a Fluted Pan and Wood Rolling Pin

If you happen to be cleaning out your kitchen cupboards then you’ve probably stumbled upon a few dishes, trays, or even multiple sets of cake pans that you could repurpose into a beautiful tiered tray.

For more ideas and details, hop on over to my post –> 6 Unique DIY Tiered Trays Made With Flea Market Finds.


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17. Spoon Jewelry

Don’t throw away old spoons, upcycle them to make handmade statement jewelry! Paint them with patina ink if you like and glue beads and charms, buttons, sequins, glass gems, and pieces of sea glass to them using E6000.

Three jewelry pieces made from spoons on silver chains. Spoons have charms on them to decorate including butterflies and a hummingbird.
Spoon Jewelry

18. Vintage Silverware turned Jewelry Organizer

Make this beautiful jewelry organizer out of old silverware and a thrift store picture frame! Just heat up silverware in hot water and bend them around a curved object to make hooks. Drill holes in each and use small screws to attach them to a picture frame.

I love this hanging solution, it’s pretty and functional. No more time spent trying to unknot my necklace chains and bracelets!

Photo of repurposed spoons and butter knives mounted to a ornate thrift store picture frame as a hanging jewelry organizer.
Vintage Silverware Hooks to Organize Jewelry

19. Glass Kitchen Canister Mini Fairy Garden

Oversized glass canisters are great for pantry staples but if you find you have an extra one or two, why not make it a fun fairy garden container?

Glass Canister Fairy Garden

I filled this large glass canister with sand from Dollar Tree (table salt would work too) and shells to make a fun beach fairy garden filled with beach miniatures from The Little Hedgerow. I love the miniatures from this seller because they are so detailed. The beach chair was originally white but I painted it aqua. I also bought a mini miniature bistro set from the same shop and I’ll make sure to share that display once I find the right container!

For more fairy garden ideas, hop on over to my post –> Inspiring Fairy Garden Ideas and Easy DIYs.

20. Teacup Gifts

There are so many uses for teacups. Use them as planters, a bird feeder, or pour beeswax in them to make candles! Here I’m using one as a small gift holder. Just fill a pretty teacup with chocolates and your favorite tea bags to give as a thoughtful gift or wrap one up to add to a sunshine basket to make someone’s day!

Photo of a pink floral tea cup lined with pink tissue paper and filled with pink floral wrapped chocolates and tea bags. Photo shows tea cup upcycled to give as a gift to add to a sunshine basket or any other occasion.
Tea Cup Gift

21. Teacup Sconce

And another use for teacups…make a teacup chandelier or wall sconce.

I gave this old wall fixture a refresh with spray paint and add two floral teacups to make a new, pretty candle holder. The cups were glued to the fixture using E6000 and I added a flameless tealight to each.

Photo of an old wall candle holder upcycled into a pretty Tea Cup Sconce. Two teacups on a wall candlestick holder that has been painted pale pink and had crystal drops hanging from it.
Teacup Wall Sconce

22. Teacup Gnome

Here’s a different use for old teacups and saucers. Make a teacup gnome.

I found this cute gnome at the Fleatique and snapped a picture. How cute is this little guy! If you have mismatched cups and saucers, this might be the perfect upcycle for them.

Tea Cup Gnome shown with a tea cup for a hat and saucer for base. Gray beard with bead nose and a small grouping of red flowers in front.
Tea Cup and Saucer Gnome

23. Colander Fruit Bowl

This is a really simple idea but I thought it was worth noting. Repurpose a pasta strainer to hold fruit. Use a single colander as a stand-alone fruit basket or string two together to make hanging baskets.

Photo of a pasta strainer or colander repurposed into a fruit bowl. Shown: a white enamel strainer with a strawberry pattern sitting on a counter with apples and bananas in it.
Colander Fruit Bowl


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24. Pretty Soap Dispenser

Turn a vintage syrup dispenser into a pretty soap dispenser. I gave this one a fresh coat of sea glass spray paint and I used my Cricut Maker to make a stencil for the word ‘wash’. This dispenser is so cute and brings a little bit of a vintage vibe with it.

Photo of an upcycle syrup dispenser used as a soap dispenser. Painted with seaglass aqua paint with the word 'Wash' on the side.
Soap dispenser

25. Pretty Daisy Sifter

Upcycle an old sifter to make a beautiful decor piece. Strainers, sifters, or mesh pan covers will work for this DIY. I found this old sifter at the antique store but you can purchase new ones here on Amazon or find vintage ones here on Etsy.

To make the applique, I started by drawing a daisy design onto the strainer with chalk. Then I used yarn and a wide-eyed needle to stitch the design.

Photo of a daisy image being threaded with yarn onto an antique round strainer.
Daisy Strainer

26. Pastry Cutter Organizer

Make a cute pastry cutter organizer to hold recipe cards or stationery! Simply drill a hole into a mini wood tray, like this one from Dollar Tree, and attach two or three pastry cutters at the bottom with wire or screws.

Photo of a finished upcycle project using three pastry cutters. Pastry cutters are upside down in a wood tray painted kelly green with a white feather stenciled on the front. This is an organizer for recipes, cards and notes.
Pastry Cutter Organizer

27. Cheese Shaker Picture Holder

Grab some copper wire and an old cheese shaker to make this cute picture holder. I used 16-gauge copper wire and curved it around a pipe about seven times and fanned out the wire to make flower holders. Add colorful beads to your floral picks and dollar store gems to the shaker jar to finish.

Photo of a cheese shaker upcycled into a picture holder. Glass cheese shaker has a silver top with holes. Shown tools to make wire flowers that stick out of the holes in the top to hold photos. Tools in a photo below showing how to make flowers by wrapping copper wire around a pipe.
Cheese Shaker Photo Holder

28. Jello Pan Wreath

Upcycle a copper jello mold or fluted pan into a beautiful wreath. Paint your pan if you like, then hot glue flowers on and add ribbon to hang!

Photo of a wreath made made from an ornate jello tin. Tin filled with yellow gerber daisies and orange daisies as accents hanging by a wide orange and white wire ribbon.

29. Jello Mold Pumpkins

Jello molds come in a ton of shapes and colors. If you have a pair of them, don’t throw them out — make a pumpkin for fall! You can also find these beautiful molds in copper and tin at antique stores, flea markets, and online. Here are a few I found on Etsy: Copper Jello Molds.

Photo of two pumpkins made from four copper jello tins on a wood table. pumkins are decorated with fall faux leaves and a wine cork for a stem.

30. Plastic Tumblers Made Into A Silverware Caddy

Use an extra paper towel holder and plastic drinking cups to make this quick and easy silverware caddy!

DIY Silverware Caddy made with three tumblers spray painted with sea glass paint and attached to a wire paper towel holders that has been spray painted a metallic bronze.
DIY Silverware Caddy made with Plastic Tumblers

I found this metal paper towel holder and the three plastic tumblers at Dollar Tree but you may already have these items on hand and ready to upcycle.

This versatile caddy works well to serve up silverware for a dinner party, as a caddy for the picnic table, or to keep on your counter to hold cooking utensils. Check out the full tutorial here –> Easy DIY Silverware Caddy.

31. Mosaic Picture Frame Serving Tray

Give broken plates new life by making a beautiful tray out of them!

Photo taken overhead of finished blue and white Mosaic Picture Frame Tray shown on a glass table with a succulent and two candles on the left-hand corner of the tray.
Ceramic Plate Mosaic to make a Decorative Tray

I love how this little tray came out. All you need to make one is a little tile grout, a couple of ceramic plates, an old picture frame, and two cabinet handles. Get all the details on how to make a Mosaic Picture Frame Tray here!

32. Butterfly Whisk

Upcycle a wire whisk into butterfly art.

Above picture shows how a finished butterfly made out of a whisk with beads strung across in blue and shades of red. Bottom picture shows a wire whisk.
Butterfly Wisk

To make a butterfly, simply shape a wire whisk into a butterfly shape. Snip one of the whisk loops with wire cutters and curl the ends with needle-nose pliers to make the antennae. Then use 28-Guage Stainless Steel Wire (from the hardware store or link to it here on Amazon) to wrap the whisk with colorful beads.

This was a really fun craft and I can’t wait to put a few of them in my flower garden! These would also make cute gifts or make a few to sell.

33. Spice Rack Paint Caddy

If you have an old spice rack that doesn’t seem to be a good fit for your kitchen, don’t throw it out, use it as a paint caddy.

If you’re a crafter, you probably have oodles of paint bottles hanging around. This metal spice rack has a carousel on the bottom so I’m glad I didn’t throw it out. Now all of my paints are neatly stored in one spot!

Silver wire round spice rack carousel turned into a paint caddy to hold small bottles of acrylic paint in my craft room.
Carousel Spice Rack now Craft Room Paint Caddy

34. Cheese Grater Windchime

Repurpose an old cheese grater into a beautiful windchime!

Photo of finished wind chime with a cheese grater top and copper pipes and crystals for chimes. Hanging outside on a bright sunny day with a green field in the background.
Cheese Grater Wind Chime

To make this windchime, I used a copper pipe we had in the garage and cut it down to size using a handheld pipe cutter. Then I set the pieces in a vice so I could easily drill holes into them! To add a little sparkle I added a few crystals salvaged from an old chandelier.

35. Frying Pan Planter Upcycle

Turn an old frying pan into a pedestal plant stand or birdbath!

I transformed this old pan into a beautiful outdoor planter using Metal Effects Oxidizing Patina Paint and a $4 flea market lamp as a base. This old skillet has been in my basement cupboard for years so I was glad to find a new use for it.

Get all the details on this easy planter upcycle here–> Frying Pan Planter Upcycle With A Patina Finish.

Before and After image of a frying pan on a brass lamp base. After photo shows a bronze and green patina upcycled planter with flowers in it on a cement step.
Before and After – Frying Pan Planter Upcycle

36. Pan Lid Hanging Plant Stand

And the old frying pan above came with a glass lid so I turned that into a hanging plant stand as well.

Old glass frying pan lid upcycled to make a hanging out door plant stand.  Shown with a yellow pot of violas on it. Lid hanging from three chains and a hummingbird decoration hanging from the handle.
Hanging Plant Stand Made from a Pan Lid

37. DIY Garden Mushrooms

Upcycle old kitchen bowls and jars to make beautiful DIY Garden Mushrooms! Get all the details on how to make them here–> DIY Garden Mushrooms Using Thrift Store Glassware.

Three DIY mushrooms made with thrifted glassware and decorated with glass gems, lit up at night with solar lights.


I hope these ideas inspire you to clean out those cupboards and recycle, reuse and repurpose your old kitchen items! If you have a clever upcycle idea for old kitchen items, leave a message below to share. I’d love to hear from you!

If you love these upcycle ideas, Pin the image below to your Pinterest Upcycle or Craft boards to come back to later or to share. Then check out more Home Decor DIY Ideas.

Vertical Pinterest pin showing three of the 35+ ways to repurpose Old Kitchen Items.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Renee shaver

    How did you attached cookie cutters to Mason jar lids.

    1. Dawn Stewart

      Hi Renee! For the spade shaped cookie cutter I drilled two holes into the mason jar lid and used wire over the handle to attach it to the lid. For the round cookie cutters I drilled two holes (through the cookie cutter and the mason jar lids) and used long screws with a small hex screw bolt on the end.

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