While modern kitchen appliances have many smart features, there are still some old-school gadgets that were once a must-have for any cook. From simple storage solutions to smart kitchen ideas, these retro-chic upgrades are easy to find at flea markets and yard sales.
Repurpose mismatched teacups into succulent planters. You can also turn a colander into a unique lighting fixture.
1. Colander Light
One of the most important elements in any kitchen is proper lighting. This can help you see when preparing food or cooking, and can also add a decorative element to your space. Several different types of lighting can be used in the kitchen including under cabinet lights, recessed lighting, and pendant lamps.
A colander is a common kitchen utensil that can be repurposed into a unique pendant light. The light shines through the small holes in the colander, creating a soft filtered light. This lamp would be perfect in a rustic or farmhouse-style kitchen. To make this project, you will need a colander, a lamp base, and a light bulb. You may also want to use wire strippers to remove the covering from the small wires in the lamp base. Then, insert the light bulb and hang the fixture from the ceiling.
2. Teacup Succulent Planters
A rusty metal cart filled to the brim with golden barrel (Echinocactus grusonii) and Texas sotol succulents shows that anything can become an interesting upcycled planter. Look around your kitchen for empty containers, or rummage through thrift stores and yard sales for potential finds.
An old colander makes an easy base for a succulent planter. Just drill a hole in the bottom, add a lighting fixture kit, and fill with potting soil.
This DIY project requires a little bit more skill, but it is still doable even for the beginner woodworker. Use a turn-dial radio to create a groovy home for a succulent garden. Start by removing the back panel and using wire cutters to cut a hole for a planting container. Then, add sand and succulents! This unique design will look high-end and sophisticated in your home.
3. Cooking Lid Clock
In a kitchen where more information is better (temperature gauges for meat, detailed recipes for baking), an essential tool is a pan lid. However, the pot lid is often neglected and discarded when not in use. Fortunately, there’s plenty of upcycling projects that can transform your glass, metal or enamel pan lids into useful tools.
A popular project involves turning a lid into a unique DIY wall clock, but don’t forget to put glue on the underside before drilling or nailing it to the wall. If you have timber kitchen units, you can also screw in some smart black hooks (such as these) from Amazon to keep pan lids out of the way. These can be used to hang everything from towels to utensils. Then you can spend more time preparing meals than searching for that elusive pan lid stuck in the back of a cupboard!
4. Cutlery Bags
Whether you’re outfitting your kitchen for off-the-grid functionality or simply adding old-fashioned flair, these vintage utensils make a great addition to any home. From rusty copper to weathered wood to simple bakelite handles, there’s something here for every kitchen.
Vintage rolling pins and primitive wooden utensils have a rustic look that’s ideal for farmhouse-inspired rooms. They also serve as decorative accents, especially when hung on available wall space.
Vintage measuring cups help cooks get accurate amounts of various ingredients. These tools aren’t always cup-shaped; they may resemble pitchers or small scoops. Glass and metal examples were popular in the mid-20th century. Vintage colanders, or strainers, separate solid foods from water, broth, and other liquids. These utensils often have an in-built grater, and they can be made of wood or metal. They can even be enameled in a variety of colors.
5. Wooden Spoon Planters
Whether stirring soup or spreading Kefir, the humble wooden spoon is one of the most important kitchen tools around. But why not put a decorative spin on this functional utensil? Queensland DIYer Kristine Ham took a few spoons and a planter from Kmart and turned it into a quirky piece of kitchen decor.
Wooden utensils offer an elegant, tactile quality that you can’t get from a plastic or metal tool. While many are crafted from bamboo or cheap wood, you’ll want to invest in ones that feature premium, long-lasting materials like Cherry, Maple, and Olive. These hardwoods will hold up against heat and stains more easily than softer varieties, which absorb moisture and odors more quickly. The deep head on this long wood cooking spoon has a flat front edge that makes it easy to scrape pot bottoms and reach into corners.