Great Ideas Series (Re-Purposing and Re-Using Everyday Items): In the Kitchen

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kitchen repurposing

Are you a fan of repurposing, reusing, and recycling everyday items around your home (or maybe you are looking for some inspiration to do just that)? Well, here’s my very first post in a new Hip2Save series highlighting some creative ideas that’ll have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  Today’s theme is all about repurposing items in the kitchen.

White Platter to Menu Chalkboard

If you’ve been following my posts for the last few months, you may see a re-occurring theme of chalkboards (check out the posts here and here to see what I mean!). Yes, I’m obsessed and it’s become my signature. πŸ™‚ This white platter pictured above is a thrift store find and all I did was tape off the sides and use two coats of chalkboard spray paint. It’s supported by a cute plate stand – I use it as a menu board or as part of my holiday décor (Note that I like to use Chalkboard Markers versus plain chalk when I add notes). It would also make an easy and cute wedding or house warming gift too.

Kitchen Pegboard Organization Hip2Save,jpg
Who says a pegboard is only for garage tools and supplies? Bring it indoors and use it for kitchen tool organizing if you’re short on cabinet space. We scored this piece at the hardware store for FREE. Yep, I saw it in the scrap wood pile by the DIY wood cutting area and just asked if we could have it. And they said yes! All I did was paint it and then hung it up.

Re-Purpose Pant Hangers as a chip clip or cookbook holders Hip2Save
Who else has lots of these plastic pant hangers? They make excellent chip clips and also serve as a perfect tool to hang a cookbook at eye level.

CD holder organizes storage container lids Hip2Save
A CD holder makes an excellent storage container lid organizer. Now your lids won’t be floating all over the place!

File holders organize foil and plastic wrap
How about repurposing an office file holder to organize those long, awkward shaped foil, wax paper, and plastic wrap boxes?!

organize baking sheets and cutting boards with file holders

An office file stand can make a great organizer for cookie sheets and cutting boards.

towel rack organizes pot lids Hip2Save

And finally, install a towel rack inside or next to a cabinet or large drawer to organize pot and pan lids.

Now it’s your turn. How do you repurpose everyday items in the kitchen? I’d love to hear your tips!

Great Idea Series

 Lina ( loves cooking new recipes, thrift store shopping, and DIY home decor projects. 
Join The Discussion

Comments 69

  1. deborah

    love the foil ,storage bag holder idea

    • Brindha

      Yep that’s a cool idea!

    • kc

      I love that idea too and I saw those magazine holders at TARGET last week in the dollar stuff. Hopefully they still have some left.

  2. miller

    A towel rack for lids…great idea! Thank you!

    • Tia


  3. Marjorie

    I really enjoy these posts.
    Now if I could just get the ambition to actually do any πŸ˜‰

  4. Jean R

    Love these postings! Please keep them up. Thanks for all you do, Colin!

  5. jennifer

    In a pinch use crumpled up foil as a pot scrubber or to clean the grill. Works like a charm then you can just throw it away. Also you can use the mesh that onions come in as a pot scrubber for free!

    • visitor3

      Those mesh bags are also great for containing little items in the dishwasher. I especially loved using them for breast pump parts because then when the dishwasher was done running, I tossed the entire bag of parts into the breast pump tote bag, never worrying that I was missing some crucial piece. (Also used the mesh bags when rinsing hand-washed parts @ work, so there was no fear of clean parts falling into or down the sink.) Great for sipply cup pieces also. The mesh has much tinier holes than those baskets plus they can squeeze in anywhere on the top rack. Also useful for corraling tub toys.

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        I love those ideas, thanks!

    • RB

      Hi, Jennifer, I use the onion bag, too. At my house we use it for cleaning the cat box when we change the litter. (That way I don’t have to waste a sponge used for anything else in the house.)

  6. jennifer

    If you fry things like french fries, bacon, or chicken( Yes this is bad and I am trying to do it less ). Instead of using paper towels to soak up oil try laying the food on day old bread and save your paper towels.

    • Brindha

      And what happens to the bread after using it?

      • yvonne

        You could throw it outside for treat for the birds πŸ™‚

  7. Chelsea T

    An old dish rack to organize container lids and containers is another great idea. Any lidless containers can be used to group your spices.

  8. Erin

    I made my own “canisters” for my pantry by covering oatmeal containers in adhesive shelf liner and made labels from chalkboard adhesive shelf liner. I also use an old dish drainer and file folders to sort our incoming mail so it stays off the counter.

    • Alisha

      Can u please share the pics…just for ideas..thanks.

      • bridgette

        The strainer idea is on pinterest, you can see it on there

    • Beverly

      Genius! I’ve been looking for canisters and I just can’t seem to find the right ones at the right price. Thank you so much for this idea!

  9. Katie

    Love it!! I’m excited to see more in the future. I’ve actually been trying to figure out how to get my fruits and veggies off of my counters and table. I’ve been toying with the idea of hanging baskets (big enough to hold a fair amount–5lbs or more if I can manage it) on the wall somehow. (I’ve used those baskets that hang from the ceiling before, but I don’t like them.) I think I may try hanging up some peg boards on the unused wall space on either side of my kitchen window, and hanging some baskets from that. Don’t know if I am making sense, but if anyone else has ideas I’d love to hear. I have about three feet of space on one side of my window, and about a foot of usable space on the other side. πŸ™‚

    • kb

      My friend found a plant stand at a yard sale for cheap that has three or “basket” type tiers on it and that is how she stores her fruit. It sits on the floor in one of the corners of her kitchen. It works very well because the whole rack is the thick black wire, so it keeps everything aired out for the most part. I happened to find the exact one she has below:

    • kc

      I saw something in a magazine, Womans Day February 2014 for a SO-Simple Tiered Tray, maybe look up on the website or google it, I tore the page out for my to make list, it is so simple and cute!!!

      • Katie


    • Amanda

      I found square-ish shaped wire plant containers at thrift store once i used those cup hooks things ,2 per basket and attached to the wall under a cabinet and would keep all our fruit in those. I need to do that in our new house lol

  10. Jennifer B.

    I like to use the containers that some produce (like mushrooms) comes in to store and organize the packets of dry gravy, au jus, or other mixes. I use a separate one for the drink mixes (like Kool Aid) that come in envelopes. I use another to keep my extra condiment single-serve packs in (like extra Taco Bell sauce packets).

    It is easy to pull the whole container down and see exactly what I’m looking for, so these can be stored up on the higher shelves. Best of all, the containers are free!

  11. shawynabelle

    we use dollar shoe totes in the freezer to organize meat and veggies and keep everything where you can see what you have.

    • Vergin

      What is dollar shoe totes

      • mel

        I think plastic shoe size containers from like dollar tree.

      • shawynabelle

        Sorry they are the small little plastic containers from dollar tree or walmart that you normally put shoes in

  12. mel

    One of my file boxes came with a boxed letter holder. I took some plastic baby food containers (Gerber) and trimmed off the overhang of the container and put them in the letter holder (2 for each side) I organized my makeup brushes, eye shadow sticks, eyeliners, mascara, and BB creams within the 4 cups. Now I have all my every day makeup at my fingertip instead of rummaging through my makeup drawer!!

    Here’s a tip for all those plastic store bags that are invading your pantry!! I took a 1 Gallon plastic ice cream container and cut a hole in the top (about 2×4). Then I smooshed as many bags as I could inside the container and put the top on. Now I can grab a bag or smoosh another on inside and I don’t have bags all over the place!

    • Laura

      I do a similar thing – I just use an old kleenex box!

      • Laura

        *for the plastic store bags

  13. Amanda M.

    OMG! I love love love this! THANK YOU!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great! Thanks!

  14. B

    I saved some Classico pasta sauce jars and use them to store rice, grains, nuts etc. Love being able to see how much of something I have left, and I don’t like storing things in opened boxes. I was thinking of buying Ball jars (and then the plastic lids too) but then realized these work great, and love reuse, repurpose, recycle….. and keep the jars out of recycling.

    • shawynabelle

      We do the same thing. We use plastic ice cream containers for thinks like extra beans or tea bags.

    • Tammy

      We buy peanuts in the large clear square plastic containers and they work great for storing items where you can see what is there.

      • Billie Zinke

        Mine are the square plastic cashew containers from Walmart. They are the perfect size and stack neatly.

  15. Vickie

    Can you get the liquid chalk markers at Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics? I’m obsessed with chalkboards too!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes at Michael’s they are by the registers locked up in the very front πŸ™‚

      • Vickie

        Good to know Thank you!

  16. Mona

    Great ideas. Just when I thought I knew it all — shot down again and thanks for all the tips.

  17. Diane

    Do the liquid chalk markers wipe off easily and completely?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes. If it’s been on there awhile get it wet to wipe off. That’s it!

  18. Kim

    Lina, I love your posts! Do you have a blog? I’d love to read more!

  19. ginny

    Empty kleenex boxes hold a lot of those grocery bags, too, and the open slot on the top makes it easy to pull them out.

    • debbie

      same with empty plastic baby wipe boxes

  20. Sheila

    β™₯ the chalkboard Collin, but if I gave my family a heads up about Kale and asparagus it would not go over very well LOL

    • Leighton

      Haha-Same here!

  21. Bunny

    Julia Child used peg boards to display all her pots and pans. There is an exhibit at the Smithsonian if you happen to be going to DC.

    You know those plastic bags that your newspapers come in? My neighbors give me their extra bags and we use them to pick up our dogs’ poop. Better than going out and buying brand new bags. The plastic bags that you put your produce in at the grocery store also works great for this.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That’s really cool! I love the Smithsonian πŸ™‚ thanks!

    • visitor3

      We use the newspaper bags for used disposable diapers! Same idea. Tie a knot after each diaper and several can fit on the “chain” (depending on size of the diaper). Then the chains get tossed every trash day instead of waiting for a diaper genie type gadget to get filled.

  22. Lauren

    My husband would make so much fun of me if I used baby hangers to close bags!!! I can hear him now… Lol

    • Em

      I just break the clip part off, lol.

      • SK

        oh i like that idea πŸ™‚

        • visitor3

          I was thinking a Dremmel tool would clean those right up into single clips… but actually the wire shelves in my pantry would allow those hangers to hang — my husband would go crazy over having all his chip bags on display, like in a closet. And it might end the staring into the pantry looking and looking for something to snack on…. then asking ME where each item is. πŸ™‚ Hm, possible Valentines Day pantry makeover surprise.

          • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

            Yes! Hanging chips=awesome! Ha πŸ™‚

      • mel

        That’s great, I need to do that.

  23. jenn

    i love using peg board inside. i have a slight obsession with with spray paint, which would help make it look like bright polka dots against my rented white walls.

  24. Shanshan

    like the cookbook hanger idea!

  25. pat goff

    I had some vintage ice buckets an I keep coffee filters in one, freezer bags In another, an candy or granola bars in the last one

  26. shar

    $1 General sells surplus pant and regular hangers for 50 cents a bundle I also use them to hold gallon baggies with my scrapbook supplies in them sorted by theme. Love those pant hangers for lots of uses.

  27. Melissa Jo

    Use pant hangers to store taller boots and keep them from getting scuffed in bottom of closet. I cut a small piece of cardboard or old price tags to protect and keep the clip from making a mark in the leather.

  28. Bridget from Cali

    Living in LA, I have a huge collection of flip-flips. I up-cycled wire hangers from the dry-cleaner to hold my sandals neatly off the floor. Simply snipped at the end of each “shoulder” area and created a spiral on each side. Each mini-hanger will nicely hold a single pair. Followed it up by adding a tension rod at the bottom of my closet. It keeps them off the floor in a neat row.

  29. linda

    Make your own baby/personal wipes. Cut a roll of select-a-size papertowels in half with a hacksaw or serrated bread knife. Fits perfectly into a ground coffee container. Add 1 tsp. ea. of baby lotion and baby shampoo to 1 cup of water and add. When the towel soaks up the mix, take out the center card tube. Cut an X into the top of the l id and pull the first one up. Keeps mixture fresh and ready. I spray paint the plastic container first to match my decor.

  30. Pat

    I use some old crock bowls for dog bowls. they can’t carry them around anymore. I use some old crock containers to hold my kitchen utensils, I use a gorgeous old ice bucket to hold my coffee filters. I use an old cookie jar to keep snacks in like granola bars and an old wire basket that I found in my fathers shop to hold ramen noodles and other snacks. I got everything used so it was repurposed. I have some of those old tin boxes that came in the fridgerators in the 30’s (maybe 40’s) that I have on the counter that hold all my gravy mixes and other packaged items. We use grocery bags for our trash bags and we keep them in an old cardboard beer box (had that box probably 15 years) under the sink. My mother once snuck some old wall paper rolls in my suitcase one year and I used that for drawer and shelf liners. It was from the 70’s so not to my taste but it works.

  31. sanchezsharlyn84

    I like these ideas I may just have to do all of this for my kitchen with 5 kids and a husband, my kitchen can be crazy. thanks

  32. AnnaMarie

    All these project make e want to go dig out my Trash to Treasure and Flea Market Decor books. I learned a lot from them and several furniture items in my home are road side, yard sale and thrift shop finds

  33. Kate

    I have a baby wipe contianer with the lid remived in the frig. Its the perfect size to hold string cheese or little packets of ketchup

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