Upcycled Utensils: Transforming Kitchenware Into Crafty Decor

Ashley - July 21, 2023

In today’s world, it’s important to be mindful of how our actions affect the environment- and our wallets! It’s easy to toss an old piece of kitchenware that can’t serve its original purpose anymore, but that means you have to pay to replace the item, and you’re creating more waste. What if we told you there was a way to significantly reduce your waste and save money? That’s right- you can fulfill those two needs with one deed! Everything in your kitchen can be upcycled. Upcycling is similar to recycling in that an item gets reused, but when you upcycle something, you’re transforming it into something of equal or greater value than it had originally. Sound interesting? Awesome! Keep reading to learn how to transform your kitchenware into crafty decor.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Transform Teapots Into Flower Pots

It’s happened to all of us. You get excited about collecting an item you’ve always loved and then realize you’ve run out of space or use for them. Collecting teapots is a common hobby, but you’ll eventually run into a space issue. Rather than keeping your old teapots on display in the dining room or shoved into the back of a cupboard in your kitchen, try this neat trick! Easily transform those old teapots into flower pots and hang them in your yard. Most teapots are made of durable materials like stoneware, which makes them perfectly suited to endure most weather conditions. Fill them with some potting soil and your favorite flowers, then use them to line your stairs, porch, or garden path. It’ll give your home a unique touch, give your collection a sense of purpose, and save you from having to buy more flower pots!

Photo Credit: thewoodgraincottage.com

Personalized Coat Hangers Using Spoons

What is it about silverware being such a common housewarming gift? If you’ve moved homes a few times, then you probably experienced the customary gifting of silverware. While people mean well when they give you a new silverware set, it can become too much. What do you do when your silverware drawer is overflowing? One option is to donate the excess, but we love this hack, too! First, attach a wooden board to your wall. Then, flatten the bowl of the spoon and bend the handle to create this U-shape. After that, you can either attach the spoons to the board right away or send them off to be engraved with each of your family member’s names! Not only is this a great way to save money and space, but it’ll also help end the “which coat hanger belongs to who” argument that many parents have to deal with on a daily basis. Trust us, you want to try this one!

Photo Credit: recyclart.org

Pasta Strainers Make Excellent Wall Light Decor

Lighting decor is all the rage in modern homes. DIY lighting decor is even more popular as people work to protect the environment through craftiness! You’ve probably seen tons of DIY lighting decor ideas for patios, gardens, and other outdoor spaces, but this hack will light up your kitchen in a unique and thrifty way. This trick will work regardless of how many pasta strainers you have lying around. Grab one or ten- however many you want to work with! Put a wall sconce light on your wall (or use multiple). These are often LED battery-powered lights, so you don’t have to worry about proximity to outlets. Place your pasta strainer over the light and decide on the best method to keep it in place. You can use hangers to hold them up or screw them into place for a long-term solution. Either way, it’ll look amazing and get those extra pasta strainers out of your cupboard.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Cheese Grater Light Fixture

While we’re on the topic of creating unique and thrifty-looking light fixtures for the kitchen, check out this hack! These bell-shaped cheese graters are awesome for a variety of uses in the kitchen, but once they become dull and old, it’s time to find a new use for them. Rather than throwing them away when you replace them, transform them into a light fixture instead. All you need is a setup similar to the one in this photo, where you have overheating lighting that hangs down. Remove whatever lampshade you’ve been using (if any), and put the cheese graters into place instead! It looks ingenious and functions great! Then, you can hold onto the lampshades you removed to use in other rooms of your home.

Photo Credit: homedit.com

Turn Ladles Into Candle Holders

Ladles serve a very specific purpose, and it’s hard to imagine repurposing them for anything other than dishing out delicious soup. But there is something else you can do with your old ladles! Their deep bowls make the perfect holders for tealight candles. If you’re a fan of vintage decor in your kitchen, this is the perfect hack for you! Just make sure you hang the ladles somewhere secure and sturdy. You also don’t want to leave any candles burning if you’re not in the room to supervise. This trick works well with ladles of all shapes and sizes, and it’ll make for excellent decor during your next dinner party!

Photo Credit: countryliving.com

Make An Old Cutting Board Your New Tablet Holder

Everyone that loves to cook understands the importance of being able to reference the recipe you’re working off while you’re cooking. Back in the day, people used cookbooks. But in our technology-entrenched world, it’s all about tablets and other smart devices. Tablets are super convenient for looking up new recipes, and you can often have the recipes read aloud to you as you cook! But it’s easy to get food pieces all over your nice tablet screen while you’re cooking. Rather than buy a new tablet holder, try this trick instead! Grab an old cutting board and make sure it’s clean. Then, take a square dowel and attach it to the board. That’s all you have to do! Then you have an excellent tablet holder that perfectly matches the rest of your kitchen decor.

Photo Credit: thesucculentecclectic.com

Use Old Wine Corks As Succulent Holders

D you enjoy a classy glass of red at the end of a long day? Wine is a delicious, classic treat and even has some health benefits! But unfortunately, drinking wine creates a ton of waste. Wine corks often get thrown in the garbage and end up in a landfill somewhere, but they don’t have to! There’s an easy way to transform these little corks into gorgeous plant decor. All you need is wine corks, small succulents, potting soil, and a cutting implement. Cut down into the wine corks until the middles are hollow. Fill the holes with potting soil, and then place your tiny succulent into the cork. You can hang these along your walls, place them on windowsills, or arrange them in other fun ways around your home. When you’re ready to toss the wine corks, put them in your compost pile! Many people don’t realize this, but wine corks are actually 100% biodegradable!

Photo Credit: onelittleproject.com

Create Cute Characters Out Of Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are one of the biggest enemies of reducing waste in our society. They’re everywhere, used for everything, and incredibly harmful to the environment. If you can’t avoid using them, it’s important to find ways to reuse and repurpose them. Thankfully, there are a ton of crafty projects that only take minutes and look fabulous using plastic bottles. Take these cute little characters for inspiration. Simply cut the tops off the water bottles, then decorate the bottoms however you’d like. We think the googly eyes add a whimsical touch. Then, fill them with potting soil, add a plant, and place them somewhere with sunlight. Plus, you can do the same to the tops of the water bottles and hang these from the ceiling or your porch railing to create a little vertical garden.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Make A Silverware Chandelier

Here’s another crafty idea for people that have way too much silverware and no idea what to do with them. Chandeliers used to be a common lighting fixture in every home, but they’ve largely been replaced with more trendy and modern pieces. However, if you love the vintage feel of chandeliers but don’t want to spend hundreds buying one from your local home goods store, then you need to try this idea. You’ll need a solid base to work with, like the frame of an old lampshade, as shown in this picture. Then, drill small holes in the handles of all the silverware you plan to use. Choose a delicate chain to hang the silverware from the frame. You can get super creative with this idea and paint the silverware or decorate them in other ways if you’d like. Go as big or small as you want. The sky’s the limit!

Photo Credit: inhabitat.com

Put Tealights In Old Teacups

Have you ever browsed a flea market or thrift store and found a gorgeous set of teacups that you simply couldn’t pass up? They look gorgeous as decor all on their own, but you can always enhance them to make them functional as well as decorative. Teacups are the perfect size for holding tealights, and they look gorgeous. This will make the perfect centerpiece on your dining room table and can become a focal point in any room of your home. Plus, teacups are perfect for collecting and using those last few drops of wax that never get used in candles. When a candle is mostly burnt down, pour the leftover wax into a teacup. Keep doing this until the teacup is full, and then you’ll have a new candle created from all the old ones!

Photo Credit: findingyourgood.org

Turn Forks Into Keyring Holders

We already mentioned turning spoons into a coat rack, but you can do a similar trick with forks. Create a unique, eclectic keyring holder with your old forks in minutes with this hack! First, attach a wooden board to your wall. You’ll probably want to do this in your entryway, living room, or kitchen, depending on where you typically enter and exit your home. Next, grab some old forks and make sure they’re squeaky clean. Bend the tines of the forks to create fun shapes, and then bend the handles to create a small U-shape. The final step is attaching the forks to your board. You can hang your keyrings from the fork handles, or use it to hang other small, lightweight items, like potholders!

Photo Credit: trueformbuilders.com

Make A Chandelier With Old Wine Bottles

Earlier, we mentioned how you can transform wine corks into tiny succulent holders to provide a pop of green decor around your home. Now, we’re going to tell you all about the way to create a chandelier out of wine bottles! This hack takes a little more time, patience, tools, and skill than the others on this list, but it looks amazing once it’s complete! And it’s the perfect light fixture to hang over your bar or kitchen island. So, here’s what you’ll need: wine bottles, light sockets with wire, a utility knife, a glass-cutting tool, and a drill with a 1″ paddle bit. First, clean and score the bottles and remove the bottoms. Then, add wire to the sockets and make sure the bulbs fit well inside the bottles. Grab your wooden plank (or cut one to size) and drill holes for the bottles. Then, create the canopy piece, add the hanging hardware, and put your hard work on display! You can get really creative with this one by using wine bottles with different colors, staining and decorating the wooden plant, and attaching the bottles at uneven lengths to the board for a funky feel.

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Turn Muffin Pans Into Craft Organizers

If you’re reading this list, you’re probably someone who enjoys doing crafts at home. All of us thrifty and crafty people know how difficult it can be to keep all those little pieces separated and organized. Rather than spend your hard-earned money on more organizers, try this trick out for size instead! Somehow, we all manage to end up with an overabundance of muffin pans at some point. Don’t throw the extras away or gift them to a friend! Repurpose these muffin pans into organizers for all your tiny craft supplies! The deep cups are the perfect size for storing beads, gems, buttons, pins, needles, and more. You can stack them in a drawer or lay them side-by-side so all your crafting supplies are easily accessible.

Photo Credit: recyclart.com

Use Whisks As Hanging Tealight Holders

Tealights are going to make a frequent appearance on this list. They’re easy to work with, go with anything, and they give your home a cozy feel! Here’s an idea for when you have an excess of whisks and need to do something unique with them. Grab your extra whisks and make sure they’re nice and clean. Then, find a good spot to hang then from. Your kitchen is probably the best place, but there’s no reason this trick can’t work in your dining room or other areas of your home! Hang the whisks and place a tealight inside. Light the tealight and enjoy the view! This is a great idea for a decorative lighting piece, but it’s also a fun way to light up your space when the power’s out!

Photo Credit: brit.co

Outdoor Hanging Mason Jar Lanterns

Mason jars are GOAT for DIY craft projects. Seriously, you can do so much with these versatile containers! One of the best uses for old mason jars is turning them into outdoor hanging lanterns. Whether you want a creative way to light up your garden path or just a cute piece of decor to hang from your porch, this hack is for you! All you need are some old mason jars, sturdy rope, and candles. Clean out your mason jars, place the handles inside, and hang them from tree branches, porch railings, or any other convenient structure. You can take this hack to the next level by painting or staining the mason jars to create a gorgeous pop of color and whimsy in your yard.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Rolling Pin Hook Hack

Old rolling pins are the perfect choice for creating rustic kitchen decor. Turn them into a coat rack, aprong rack, or simple hanging storage space with this easy hack. Here’s what you’ll need: a wooden plank, 3-5 old rolling pins, a wood cutter, and strong wood glue. Cut the rolling pins at an angle as shown in this picture. Glue them onto the wooden plank and then attach the plank to your wall. At its simplest, this is an adorable rustic spot for all your hanging needs. But you can get even more creative with it! Stain or paint the wooden plank and the rolling pins to create the design of your dreams! If you don’t need hanging storage space, you can still do this hack and use it as a rustic piece of wall art instead.

Photo Credit: acharmingproject.com

Create A Coffee Pot Terrarium

You’ll instantly fall in love with the look of this hack when you see it! Creating terrariums out of old items is a great way to upcycle your old kitchenware and add a burst of nature to your home’s decor. The first step is to gather your materials. You’ll need a clean coffee pot, small pebbles or gravel, activated charcoal, and plants suitable for terrariums (such as moss, succulents, or small ferns). Add in your pebbles or gravel first and then place a layer of activated charcoal, which will help keep the terrarium fresh and healthy. Then, add your potting soil and plants! You can also add decorative elements such as small rocks, miniature figurines, or small pieces of driftwood. This will look gorgeous sitting on your dining room table, coffee table, or kitchen island.

Photo Credit: ecoparent.ca

Themed Mason Jar Terrariums

If you loved the idea in our previous hack, we have a way to take it to the next level! For this one, we’re recommending using mason jars, but you could still use old coffee pots if you’d like. Follow all the same steps from the previous hack, but this time, make it themed! Dino-themed terrariums are a big hit with children and can create a bit of green space in their rooms that they’ll absolutely love. But there are plenty of other themes you can try. Turn your tiny terrarium into a fairy garden, desert oasis, beach paradise, or put a science fiction spin on it with wild looking succulents and little alien figurines. This is a great way to match the themes in different rooms of your home and provide each room with a unique touch. Your guests will love the idea and instantly want to replicate it!

Photo Credit: freshlypreservedideas.com

Create An Herb Garden With Mason Jars

Mason jars are definitely one of the stars of this list, but these containers are so versatile that we can’t help but share all the various ways they can be used with you. There is never an end to the ways you can reuse mason jars! They make the perfect containers for mini herb gardens that you can keep inside, so you always have fresh mint or parsley available while you’re cooking. Simply paint the jars’ lids with chalkboard paint and label them with the names of different herbs, or use mini chalkboard hangers like the ones in this photo. Fill the jars with potting soil and plant herb seedlings. Arrange the jars on a windowsill or mount them on a wooden board for a gorgeous and organized display.

Photo Credit: findingyourgood.org

Transform Old Serving Trays Into Mini Chalkboards

If you haven’t heard of chalkboard paint yet, it’s time to get onboard with the trend. Chalkboard paint is amazingly versatile. You can use it on a ton of different surfaces and it’s perfect for repurposing old kitchenware. Serving trays and platters used to be a staple in every home, but they’ve fallen out of favor in recent decades. Don’t throw those trays away! Instead, turn them into mini chalkboards with chalkboard paint. Then, hang them from your kitchen or living room walls and use them to keep your family organized. You can keep track of shopping lists, school events, and more with this neat trick.

Photo Credit: purelykatie.com

Vintage Cheese Grater Supplies Holders

Do you or your kids enjoy crafting at home? Is anyone taking online classes? If so, then you need to try this idea! You can easily transform old cheese graters into vintage-looking supplies holders. This trick literally only takes a couple of minutes and no additional supplies. Just grab some old cheese graters and make sure they’re clean. You’ll also want to ensure they’re dull to avoid accidentally cutting your skin. Then, place them on your crafting or work desk and fill them with supplies like pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, etc. This is an easy way to keep your supplies organized while adding a vintage feel to your space. Of course, you can always get creative with this hack by staining or painting the cheese graters. Or, if they’re really dull, you can wrap them in decorative paper to give them a more modern and artsy feel.

Photo Credit: gardens.theownerbuildernetwork.co

Use Old Spoons As Garden Markers

Do you have an abundance of old wooden spoons that are currently taking up space in your kitchen drawers? Then, you’ll want to try this hack! Most people will simply throw away wooden spoons when they’re no longer useful, but with a little creativity, you can give them new life. Use them as garden markers to help identify where you planted which seeds. Simply write the name of the plant on the face of the spoon and draw a little picture of the plant if you’re feeling extra creative. Then, stick it in the ground where you planted your seeds! You can also do this trick with regular silverware, although you’ll need to use a different type of paint or have them engraved.

Photo Credit: 11cupcakes.com

DIY Cake Stand Using Old Glassware

Who doesn’t love a mouth-watering baked treat every once in a while? Cake stands are excellent for displaying and serving your baked treats, but if you don’t own one and don’t want to buy it, try this idea instead. All you need is a sturdy old glass and plate for this trick to work. Flip the glass upside down and glue the plate onto the bottom. Wait for the glue to fully dry before using this stand to display your cake, cupcakes, brownies, or other baked treats. If you want to take things a step further, add some additional decorative elements underneath the cup. You can use faux mini pumpkins and gords or faux moss and plants. Anything to add a little green space and give it some extra pizzazz.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Use Silverware As Cabinet Handles

Are you ready to replace the handles in your kitchen? Don’t go out and buy more run-of-the-mill, mass-manufactured cabinet handles. This is another opportunity for you to use up that old silverware you’ve got lying around! Spoons and forks will work fabulously for this purpose, and they’ll give your kitchen that coveted rustic feel. Just gather up some old silverware, make sure they’re squeaky clean, and create a bend in the handle, just like in the picture. Then, you’ll need to attach the silverware to the cabinets. When you’re done, you’ll have a tasteful, vintage bit of decor on all of your cabinets! Imagine if you also had a silverware chandelier hanging from your ceiling in the same room!

Photo Credit: lovethispic.com

Turn Old Funnels Into Candle Holders

Many people run across a handful of old funnels while cleaning out their garage or attic. We don’t tend to use these in our kitchens anymore, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still serve a purpose! Funnels make for perfect tapered candle holders. Place your old funnels on a serving tray like shown in the picture, stick your tapered candles inside, and light them! This makes an excellent centerpiece for holiday or birthday dinners. However, make sure you put a dish or something fireproof underneath the funnels to catch all the wax that drips down. The last thing you want during a dinner party is your awesome hack turning into a fire hazard!

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Repurpose Galvanized Buckets Into Lampshades

Galvanized buckets are super versatile, just like mason jars, so there are a ton of things you can do with them. One of the simplest ideas is to transform them into lampshades! When a lampshade breaks or becomes unusable, replace it with a galvanized bucket. This creates an especially unique effect when used with hanging light fixtures, as shown in this picture. However, you don’t just have to slap the lampshade on there and forget about it. You can turn this into a crafts project to take your decor to the next level. Drill holes in the sides of the buckets to create a cool pattern, or paint them to match the theme or decor of your room.

Photo Credit: potterybarn.com

Easy-To-Carry Drink Cooler

Here’s another great idea for your unused galvanized buckets. Turn them into easy-to-carry drink coolers for your backyard get-togethers! Galvanized buckets work wonders for maintaining temperature, so they’ll keep your drinks cool for hours without having to refresh the ice as frequently as you would with store-bought coolers. Just bring your bucket outside, set it on a table or your porch, and fill it with ice. Then, add your drinks of choice! The handles on these buckets make it super easy to carry around the yard as the party migrates or bring it back inside for ice refills. Plus, you can decorate the buckets with paint, glitter, stickers, or other materials to create some unique and gorgeous.

Photo Credit: facebook.com/upcyclethat

Make Plant Hangers With Spoons

Yes, we have another spoon upcycling hack to share! Spoons are pretty heavy-duty and are capable of holding a bit more weight than you’d think. However, keep in mind that they’re not designed to support super heavy objects, so choose which plants you use with this hack carefully. Bend your spoons to create a shape similar to the one in this picture. Attach it to the wall of your porch, greenhouse, or indoor wall if you’re hanging indoor plants. Then, hand a lightweight potted plant from the spoons! This is a cute idea that won’t be immediately obvious to visitors, so they’ll be fascinated when you point it out. Be prepared to explain your process so guests can recreate this awesome hack at home.

Photo Credit: practicallyfunctional.com

Use Old Teacups For Bird Feeders

Do you want to attract more birds to your yard and upcycle something you’re not using anymore? Try this awesome teacup bird feeder hack! All you need for this hack is an old teacup, a plate or other dish that can hold the bird feed (you could even use a frisbee!), rope, and bird feed. Take the plate and drill holes around the edges. Then, thread the rope through the edges and tie it to a tree branch or other high object where birds are likely to gather. Next, fill the dish with bird feed and add your teacup. This idea is simple, cute, and perfect for gardeners that love giving their yard a unique touch.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Vintage Teacup And Teapot Clock

Teacups feature pretty heavily on this list because there’s a plethora of ways you can reuse them. Adding them to the frame of a clock to create a vintage teacup and teapot clock is a great way to put your collection display without letting them take up valuable counter or shelf space. You’ll need strong glue for this to work, but it’ll only take a few minutes to do. Just glue your teacups and teapots onto the frame of a clock and wait for them to dry completely. Then, hang the clock on your wall and admire the beauty of it! You’ll want to make sure you hang this in an area where kids and pets can’t get to it.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Use A Cheese Grater As An Earring Holder

Here’s another great idea for making use of old bell cheese graters. Turn them into a simple earring holder! Anyone who wears earrings knows how difficult it is to keep the pairs together. One of every pair inevitably gets lost, but instead of spending money on a manufactured earring holder, try this trick! Get out an old cheese grater and make sure it’s clean and dull. Then, give it a nice coat of paint or stain to freshen it up. After that, you can use it to hold dozens of pairs of earrings. This is a great way to keep your earrings organized and prevent them from getting lost.

Photo Credit: juliemeasures.com

Upcycle Bread Loaf Pan Into Flower Planter

Baking bread at home is a lot of fun and a great way to experiment with different breads, but sometimes you end up with a ton of extra bread loaf pans and nothing to do with them! If you find your kitchen cabinets overrun with excess bread pans, then you need to try this hack. Easily turn a bread loaf pan into a flower planter with a few minimal supplies, and you’ll get it done in an afternoon. Take an old bread pan and make sure it’s been thoroughly cleaned. Then, paint and decorate the outside. Once it’s dry, you can create some drainage holes in the bottom of the pan. Then, all you need to do is add potting soil and your favorite flowers. Place this in your garden, on your patio, or on your porch to add a gorgeous piece of decor to your yard.