5 fantastic things to do with old cutlery/silverware

Last week’s post about those little plastic spoons you get with children’s medicine reminded me of all the great things you can do with old metal cutlery – not the finest family silver necessarily but the stuff that manages to find its way into your cutlery drawer (or conversely – the remains that are left after everything else leaves and you get a new set!).

1. Reuse them around the home

Our cats have a dedicated old fork for their food; I have an old dessert spoon with a handle bent up at 90° for skimming misc and oil from the top of sauces; and, I have an old tablespoon in with my laundry stuff for spooning in wash boosters.

In our tool kit, we have a fork which can be used for holding nails in place while hammering, a(n admittedly more flexible than most) old butter knife for smoothing filler and several old spoons for stirring filler, paint and whatnot.

What do you reuse them for around the home?

2. Reuse them around the garden

They’re almost equally as useful in the garden too!

Forks are useful when transplanting seedlings – use them to lift the plant’s tender new roots out of their starter tray – and can also be used to temporarily pin thin runners in place if you want, for example, strawberries, to spread in a certain direction.

Knives and spoons also make fun row markers or plant labels in pots. Some people (like dkshattuck, who made the ones above) sell ready made sets for herbs , stamped with the names or otherwise labelled so they’ll last for years and years.

Do you use old cutlery in the garden? If so, what for?

3. Coat hooks and cupboard handles

Sturdy cutlery can be bent into fun coat hooks or key hooks like those pictured above. They’re by Jeremy and Jen Evensen, who sell via Etsy – such fun designs!

They can also be used to make fun kitchen cupboard handles – attached to the door either through the bowl of the spoon/fork or through the handle. And if you’re doing that, why not make a couple more standalone hooks for fun curtain tiebacks?

4. Jewellery

There is loads of gorgeous jewellery knocking around made from old knives, forks and spoons. At a most basic level, all you need is an old fork, some pliers and a few minutes, et voila! a fun and free bracelet.

At the other end of the scale, artisan crafty people are making some really lovely bracelets – the one above is by MarchelloArt and like that one, some bracelets still look like the original tool. Some other are a bit more dressed up and some, using just handles, don’t look like cutlery at all – just lovely silver pieces for around the wrist or “>as a pendant for around the neck.

And if jewellery isn’t your thing, they can be used for other accessories too – from money clips to tie pins.

5. Pass them on

While reusing is all well and good, don’t forget about passing them on. Take them into your workplace or community centre to build up a stash in the kitchen to discourage people from using plastic cutlery.

Most charity/op/thrift shops will accept incomplete sets if you’re just missing a couple of pieces and some, particularly those targeting very low income families/supplying homeless people or refugee populations, will accept random pieces, for people who just want single pieces. Some soup kitchens, food banks and local shelters also accept cutlery donations.

Failing that, keep them all yourself to use on those rare occasions when you suddenly need to feed 5000 – again, to save having to buy disposable plastic cutlery.

What are your favourite ways to reuse old cutlery/flatware? Do you have any other suggestions for how to pass it on?

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5 fantastic reuses, art & crafts using recycled stuff, kitchen, recycled jewellery

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10 Responses to “5 fantastic things to do with old cutlery/silverware”


  1. lovelygrey says:

    You can also make rings e.g. see this example of how to do it on youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUklZ6lUsuI

  2. Kacy says:

    I purposely only use second-hand mismatched dishes and flatware. The odd variety of eating off something different at every meal makes me smile. I pick up the pieces I find interesting at thrift stores and yard sales. These are often lonely pieces of fine china and stoneware that have strayed from their set. If one breaks, I can easily replace it very inexpensively. For some reason, spoons and bowls are the hardest to find.

  3. These coat hooks are really great!

  4. bookstorebabe says:

    I keep a few odd pieces in a separate spot in the silverware drawer for packing with lunches. The kid uses a small lunch tote that gets brought home instead of throwaway bags, so why not? Nicer to use, and it’s not the end of the world if a piece does go missing. The Goodwill nearby has bins full of odd silverware, only sorted by forks, knives, and spoons, and you can buy as little or as much as you like.
    Something else fun is making wind chimes! You flatten the pieces if you can (some hammer flat easily, others are very resistant, it’s okay if you can’t). You can either drill a hole near the top, or just wrap a lot of wire around to hold them. It looks fun and sounds lovely.
    Here’s one how to I found-
    http://www.skiptomylou.org/2011/06/18/silverware-windchimes-craft-camp/
    And another-
    http://www.ehow.com/how_15098_make-silverware-wind.html

  5. Mardel Rick says:

    You can make a wind chime out of old silverware,drill a small hole at top of handle Push a long wire through and put a washer between each one,twist wire up from them together at top. Hang from tree etc.

  6. Jared says:

    I mean I think, you can use clam shells as wind chimes

  7. Medeea says:

    Keep them handy for picnics to avoid disposable ones.
    You can gather a bunch from friends and family and use them together at barbeques, picnics etc.
    Who can complain of an odd fork when the alternative is plastic?

  8. zserb says:

    I’ve found this: http://www.robomargo.com/quickprojects.html
    Search for “note holder” on the page. An old fork, a metal lid and a glass jar can make a cute and (after you’ve got bored of it) still re-usable photo/note “displayer”.

  9. Jenn Nodine says:

    You can also sell them on Ebay! People lose pieces and need to replace them to keep their set complete…and it’s surprising to see what some patterns go for – even just the odd piece. Personally, I’m with Kacy and do the shabby-chic mismatch thing with gorgeous finds at thrift stores of stoneware and flatware. I got over having matching dishes and flatware when my kids were younger. Besides, I love the way my cupboards look all full of differing stoneware, and the variety of flatware and stoneware patterns looks really cool swen the table is set. I’m quite sure I’d never own many of these fine pieces if I had to pay retail. For less than what I’d spend on a cheap and chintsy set at WalMart I have some really high end and versatile kitchenware that somehow all complement one another!



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