Fresh Ways to Reuse Things in Your Kitchen

Made Rice Krispies treats? Use the cut-out cereal box to carry them. (Read on for more genius tips.)

Photo: Getty Images

From using ice cream cones as cupcake holders to re-purposing last night's to-go container as a paint palette, new uses for old kitchen items offer clever ways to reuse and upcycle—rather than throw out—kitchenware and kitchen gadgets sitting around the cookspace.

Kitchens cabinets and cupboards can easily be cluttered with kitchen tools and equipment,cookbooks, and other miscellanea. This isn't a bad thing at all—many of these kitchen items make life so much simpler—but it can be a little frustrating when a one-trick kitchen tool takes up a lot of storage real estate while only serving a single purpose. That purpose or function may be important, but that doesn't mean it does anything to lessen frustrations, especially when kitchen storage spots are full to bursting.

This is where new uses for old things in the kitchen come in handy. These upcycling ideas give a second (or even a third or a fourth) purpose to common kitchen items, so everything is an efficient multitasker. No more agonizing over how much space a muffin tin takes up or wondering if it's worth it to keep those to-go containers around. No more guilty feelings every time something gets tossed. With new uses for kitchen items, everything will have a second life serving another purpose, either while it's still in use for its original purpose or once its original usefulness is up.

Put these clever new uses and upcycling ideas to work in the kitchen, and then give the upcycling philosophy a try in other areas—office supplies,school supplies, and more all have their own creative repurposing opportunities to help reduce waste and increase the usefulness of everything in the home.

01 of 100

Dish Towel as Wine Bag

Wine bottles wrapped with dish towels
James Baigrie

Place the bottle along one side of the fabric so that the bottle's top meets the top of the fabric. Fold the excess material at the bottom over the bottle, forming a pocket of sorts. Then roll the dish towel evenly and secure at the neck with ribbon.

02 of 100

Cocktail Shaker as Egg Scrambler

Cocktail shaker as egg scrambler
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Whip up fluffy omelets by adding eggs, milk, and seasonings together in a cocktail mixer. Give it a few shakes and it's ready for the skillet. Submitted by: suziegirl

03 of 100

Baby Food Jar as Easter Egg Decorating Aid

Baby Food Jar as Easter Egg Decorating Aid
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Design Rothkoesque Easter eggs. Fill a jar with dye, then dip half the egg in and let dry. Dip again, but only one-third of the egg. Repeat with both ends of the egg until you have stripes in varying shades.

Need a quick refresher on how to dye Easter eggs? Watch this quick video to learn how to hard-boil an egg, then check out these homemade Easter egg dye recipes.

04 of 100

White Bread as Glass Magnet

White Bread as Glass Magnet
Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran

The next time a tumbler takes a tumble, sponge up the shards with a slice of bread. Even tiny slivers will cling to it.

05 of 100

Cereal Box as Sweets Carrier

Cereal Box as Sweets Carrier
Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran

Attention, PTA members: Here's a practical Transport Alternative for the bake sale. Tape a cereal box closed, then cut away the front or back panel to create a tray for those top-selling brownies. Best of all, you can just "donate" the box.

06 of 100

Colander as Knitting Assistant

New Use: Colander as Knitting Assistant
Jamie Chung

To prevent balls of yarn from tangling, string the end of each through a colander hole.

07 of 100

Wine Corks as Cabinet Silencers

Kitchen cabinet with wine cork cushion
Gemma Comas and James Merrell

Silence cabinet doors that slam by slicing a cork into thin disks and sticking them onto the inside corners of cabinets to muzzle the closing noise.

08 of 100

Chopsticks as Glue Stick

Chopsticks as Glue Stick
Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran

To get a tiny sequin in just the right spot during your next craft project, use the tip of a chopstick to nudge it into place without gumming up your fingers.

09 of 100

Gift Box as Sugar Holder

New use: gift box as sugar box
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

More lovely to look at than the branded box from the store, but it still slides easily into the pantry for storage.

10 of 100

Holiday Tags as Drink Labels

New use: gift tag as glass label
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Merlot gone missing? A small, adhesive gift tag keeps each drink in the right hand.

11 of 100

Colander as Toy Scoop

Colander as Toy Scoop
Erica McCartney; Styling: Kristine Trevino

One of the most popular kitchen tools also happens to double as a clean-up aid. Before draining the tub, use a colander to make scooping up small toys fun and easy.

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Colander as Splatter Blocker

Colander as Splatter Blocker
Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran

When frying, top the pan with an upside-down metal colander to protect yourself from burns while still allowing heat to escape.

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Wrapping Paper as Placemat

New use: giftwrap as placemat
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Turn rectangles of giftwrap into placemats you don't mind getting dirty. You can even write guests' names on the edges to designate seats.

14 of 100

Rubber Band as Jar Opener

New use: rubberband as jar opener
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Get a grip on a tricky top; wrap a rubber band around a slippery or sticky lid to give yourself some extra oomph.

15 of 100

To-Go Container as Paint Palette

New use: to-go container as paint palette
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Even a starving artist eats takeout sometimes. Use the plastic top from a to-go container as a palette for mixing colors; when you're finished, just toss.

16 of 100

Cupcake Liner as Mason Jar Lining

New use: cupcake liner as mason jar lid
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Secure a cupcake liner over the top of a jar with a rubber band. It can be a temporary fix if you've lost the lid, a pretty solution to keep flies out of the lemonade, or a cute topper for a gift-in-a-jar.

17 of 100

Tic Tac Box as Spice Holder

Tic Tac Box as Spice Holder
Erica McCartney; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Pack small amounts of your favorite spice (red pepper flakes, anyone?) in old Tic Tac boxes, to season food on-the-go.

18 of 100

Use a Wineglass as a Candleholder

New use: wine glass as candle holder
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Give some height to a candle display by perching a pillar on an upside-down wineglass.

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Paper Towel Tube as Linen Organizer

New use: paper towel roll as linen organizer
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Keep linen placemats and runners crease-free; roll them around a paper towel holder instead of folding.

20 of 100

Wrapping Paper as Tray Liner

New use: paper as tray liner
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Turn an old tray into a special serving piece with a single scrap of pretty paper. Use double-sided tape to keep it secure.

21 of 100

Holiday Lights as Night Light

Mason jar filled with battery powered Christmas lights
Levi Brown

Fill a large Mason jar with a strand or two of battery-powered lights to add whimsy to a walkway or a nightstand.

22 of 100

Cereal Bag as Crumb Maker

Cereal Bag as Crumb Maker
Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran

These durable bags can take a beating. Fill one up and give it a whack with a rolling pin to make crumbs out of crackers, cornflakes, or candy. Remember to twist the top closed to prevent flyaways.

23 of 100

Ribbon as Utensil Holder

New use: ribbon as utensil holder
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

When utensils are wrapped together, guests can grab what they need in one go—great for a buffet table.

24 of 100

Cupcake Liners as Garland

New use: cupcake liners as garland
Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino

Using a large sewing needle, thread a string through the alternating colorful cupcake liners to make a ruffled garland.

25 of 100

Cereal Box as Photo Saver

Cereal Box as Photo Saver
Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran. Photo in box: Renee Keith/Getty Images

Sending Grandpa a shot of the all-star soccer team but don't want the postal journey to bend it (like Beckham)? Sandwich the picture between the large panels of a flattened box.

26 of 100

Turkey Baster as Pancake Shaper

Leaf shaped pancakes
Levi Brown

Use a baster full of batter to squeeze custom pancakes onto the griddle. Start with easy letters and shapes, then work up to more complicated designs, like these leaves. (The trick is to draw the outlines and veins first, let them brown, then fill in the gaps with more batter.)

27 of 100

Muffin Tin as Large Ice Cube Tray

Muffin tin used as ice tray
Levi Brown

The cold, hard truth: Small ice cubes melt fast, leaving a pitcher of lemonade watery. To make long-lasting jumbo cubes, use a muffin tin. Pop them out by running the back of the tin under hot water for 30 seconds.

28 of 100

Chopstick as Brewing Tool

Chopstick used as brewing tool
Levi Brown

For mess-free tea, tie a bunch of bags to a chopstick and rest it across the pitcher's rim (use 2 bags per cup of boiling water). Brew for about 4 minutes, then lift and discard the bags.

29 of 100

Contact Lens Case as Travel Spice Holder

Contact Lens Case as Spice Holder
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Pack small amounts of salt, pepper, and spices for a camping trip.

30 of 100

Binder Clip as Sponge Stand

Sponge being held by a binder clip
Levi Brown

To prevent a smelly, waterlogged sponge, air-dry it in a binder clip away from the sink.

31 of 100

Rubber Bands as Sandwich Labels

Rubber band used as sandwich ID
Levi Brown

Distinguishing chicken salad from tuna is no picnic. Next time you're packing sandwiches, stretch a thick rubber band around each one and label it with a permanent marker. Divvying up lunch will be a snap.

32 of 100

Chopsticks as Lint Remover

Chopsticks as Lint Remover
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Pluck the lint buildup from a clothes dryer's trap.

33 of 100

Cupcake Liners as Candleholders

Cupcake liners used as candleholders
Levi Brown

Nothing holds a candle to dining al fresco, unless it's so dark you can't see the food in front of you. Place tealights in foil cupcake liners for a little glow at your next outdoor party. They're cheap enough to use by the dozen, and cleanup is a piece of (cup)cake.

34 of 100

Bowl as Garlic Peeler

Bowl as Garlic Peel Remover
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Peel garlic. Place cloves in a bowl, cover with another bowl to form a sphere, and shake. The peels will flake off.

35 of 100

Salt as Iron Cleaner

Salt as Iron Cleaner
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Eliminate sticky residue from an iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.

36 of 100

Colander as Laundry Aid

Colander as Laundry Aid
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Hand-launder delicates. A colander shields them from any residue in the sink that can harm the fabric, such as peroxide from toothpaste or caustic agents from cleansers.

37 of 100

Sponge as Envelope Sealer

Sponge as Envelope Sealer
Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Safeguard your taste buds during holiday card season. Replace a dried out ink pad with a damp sponge and use it to seal envelopes and attach stamps—no licking required.

38 of 100

Salt as Homemade Drain Cleaner

Salt as Drain Cleaner
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Get a slow-moving drain flowing again and pour a solution of ½ cup of salt for every quart of hot water down the pipe.

39 of 100

Newspaper as Refrigerator Odor Absorber

Newspaper as Odor Absorber
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Absorb odors in the refrigerator's vegetable drawer with a lining of newspaper.

40 of 100

Olive Oil as Sap Remover

Olive Oil as Sap Remover
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

If dragging and decking out fresh spruce leaves you with sticky digits, pour a tablespoon of oil onto a cloth, then rub until clean. Bonus: The oil is a great moisturizer for dry winter skin.

41 of 100

Aluminum Foil as Party Garland

Aluminum Foil as Holiday Decoration
Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Twist foil into links to make a sparkly garland for an almost-instant party decoration (or a rainy-day distraction for the kids).

42 of 100

How to Clean Stainless Steel Without Any Chemicals At All

Getty Images

Both durable and shiny, stainless steel is the ideal material for kitchens and bathroom. But as anyone who's owned stainless steel kitchen appliances knows, the name is somewhat of a misnomer. The material is prone to fingerprints, streaks, and water stains. The name "stainless" was originally used to describe the metal's ability to withstand heat and humidity without corroding. Although this material is tough, harsh abrasives can scratch it or make it rust, so it's important to learn how to clean stainless steel the right way. Follow the steps below to get your stainless steel shiny and have it live up to its name.

  • Soft cloth
  • Mild dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda

1. Check the manual: Before you clean a stainless steel appliance, it's a smart idea to check the manufacturer's recommendations. Lost the manual? Don't worry, you may be able to find it online. It's important to check the directions for your specific appliance, because there are numerous grades of stainless steel that may be more or less durable, and some appliances are treated with a clear-coat finish, which can be stripped by certain cleaning products.

2. Go with the grain: Just like wood, stainless steel has a grain. Check out the striations on the surface of your appliance, and wipe in that direction, beginning at the top and working your way down.

3. The quick clean: In most cases, wiping down the stainless steel appliance with a clean cloth dipped in hot water should do the trick. But for more stubborn stains, add a drop of dish soap to the water and use the sudsy solution to wipe the surface. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.

4. The steam clean: To sterilize stainless steel, you can also use a steam cleaner with a nozzle attachment. The steam will disinfect the surface, which can then be wiped dry with a soft cloth. Because stainless steel can scratch easily, avoid using a brush attachment or any stiff cleaning tools.

5. Try vinegar: For stubborn grease spots or water scaling, wet a soft cloth with a diluted solution of 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Wipe the entire surface from top to bottom, but never let vinegar sit on the surface. Follow with a complete rinse and dry.

6. Baking soda scrub: Burned or caked-on messes on stainless steel pots and pans or countertops typically need a bit more attention. Make a soft paste out of baking soda and water and apply to the stain, allowing it to sit for about 20 minutes. Then, scrub the area with a cloth dampened in a solution of water and dish soap. It's important to use a soft cloth and work parallel with the grain to avoid scratches. Be sure to fully rinse and dry.

43 of 100

Olive Oil as Cat Food Supplement

Olive Oil as Cat Food Supplement
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Prevent hair balls. Add ⅛ to 1¼ teaspoon to your cat's food for easy digestion.

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Salt as Stain Remover

Salt as Stain Remover
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Remove coffee and tea stains from the insides of cups by rubbing with a salted citrus peel.

45 of 100

Parchment Paper as Musical Instrument

Parchment Paper as Musical Instrument
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Make a kazoo by folding a piece of parchment or wax paper over a comb's teeth (the paper should hang over about an inch).

46 of 100

Cornstarch as Makeup Protector

Cornstarch as Makeup Protector
Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Balance the oiliness of moisturizing makeup. Brush on a thin layer as a finishing touch.

47 of 100

Felt Pads as Cutting Board Anchor

Felt Pads as Cutting Board Anchor
Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran

Anchor a cutting board's corners to make prep work easier and safer.

48 of 100

Soda Bottle as Pasta Measurer

Clear plastic soda bottle holding dry pasta
James Wojcik

Said good-bye to soda? Fill the mouth of a dry 20-ounce bottle with uncooked spaghetti; the opening holds enough for a hearty single serving.

49 of 100

Belt Hanger as Kitchen Towel Hooks

Belt hanger as kitchen storage
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Hook extra dish towels and pot holders on a belt hanger for easy retrieval.

50 of 100

Binder Clip as Chip Clip

Binder clip as chip clip
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Secure half-eaten bags of potato chips with a binder clip for an easy way to keep your favorite snack fresh and crunchy.

51 of 100

Cake Stand as Soap Dish

Cake stand as soap dish
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Glam up a bathroom or vanity. Stock soaps and washcloths on top, or showcase your prettiest perfume bottles.

52 of 100

Cereal Box as Drawer Organizer

Cereal box drawer organizer
Levi Brown

If you're the flaky type, cereal boxes (including the single-serving minis) can corral desk-drawer chaos. Slice off the tops and the bottoms and fill them with loose odds and ends.

53 of 100

Pipe Cleaners as Drink Labels

Pipe cleaners as drink labels
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Skip the fancy wine charms and use an array of brightly colored pipe cleaners to identify guests' drinks at your next get-together. Submitted by: LassieBV

54 of 100

Collapsible Laundry Bins as Garbage Bins

Collapsible laundry bins as garbage bins
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

During seasonal cleaning binges, soft-sided, handled laundry bins can double as trash cans. Submitted by: HookemSuz

55 of 100

Chip Clip as Bookmark

Chip clip as bookmark
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Attaching a chip clip to each side of your cookbook will not only keep your place while whipping up dinner, it will also help keep the book open. Submitted by: kriehl5

56 of 100

Silverware Holder as Bathroom Drawer Organizer

Silverware holder as bathroom organization
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Use a utensil tray in your bathroom drawer to keep small items like tweezers, nail clippers, and makeup brushes organized. Submitted by: Margaret2580

57 of 100

Melon Baller as Jar Scoop

Melon baller as jar scoop
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Scoop and strain from a narrow-mouth jar at the same time by using a melon baller. Works especially well for foods like capers and pimento. Submitted by: KimEH1

58 of 100

Sugar Dispenser as Kitchen Twine Holder

Sugar dispenser as kitchen twine holder
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Keep kitchen twine from tangling and jamming your drawers by using a glass sugar dispenser as a spool. Simply place the twine in the jar and thread through the open hole.

59 of 100

Cake Stand as Counter Organizer

Cake stand as counter organizer
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Curb countertop clutter. Drop keys and bills on the stand instead.

60 of 100

Plastic Easter Eggs as DIY Maracas

Plastic easter eggs as maracas
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Fill emptied plastic eggs with puffed rice cereal and silver-ball cake decorations to make impromptu maracas for kids.

61 of 100

Cupcake Liner as Decorative Snowflakes

Cupcake liner as decorative snowflakes
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Create a winter wonderland in the entryway. Flatten white paper liners (foil ones will work, too), fold into halves or quarters, then snip out shapes along the folds. When you open them back up, voilà: snowflakes you can string from the ceiling.

62 of 100

Votive Candle Holders as Place Cards

Votive candle holders as place cards
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Arrange a luminous table setting. Write guests' names on strips of parchment paper and wrap them around votive holders, securing the ends with tape. As an alternative, remove the candles, cut snapshots of guests to match the height of a holder, and then curl around the inside wall.

63 of 100

Cupcake Liner as Halloween Decoration

Cupcake liner as halloween decoration
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Show what a creative Halloween party "ghost-ess" you are. Turn white liners upside down, attach spooky googly eyes, and display them by a boo-fet of seasonally inspired treats.

64 of 100

Pastry Tip as Place Card

Pastry tip as place card
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Set a sweet table and use scalloped pastry tips in fun colors as place-card holders.

65 of 100

Gravy Boat as Unique Soap Dish

Gravy boat as soap dish
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Fill an antique gravy boat with a bar of soap to transform it into an elegant soap dish.

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Cake Stand as Display Stand

Cake stand as display stand
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Show off. Display small photos and mementos, which look more important on a platform.

67 of 100

Drink Holder as Fruit Protector

Drink holder as fruit cushion
John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran

Rough commute? Slide a drink cooler over an apple to keep it from bruising in your lunch tote.

68 of 100

Cupcake Carrier as Knickknack Organizer

Cupcake carrier as knickknack organizer
James Wojcik

For the 359 days of the year when you're not hauling cupcakes, use the cups to store jewelry or craft supplies.

69 of 100

Straw as Ketchup Unclogger

Ketchup and straw
James Wojcik

Insert a straw until it reaches the bottom of the glass bottle. Shake the bottle, then pour, leaving the straw inside. The airflow provided by the straw breaks the condiment-stopping vacuum.

70 of 100

Paper Doily as a Cake Decoration

Cake decorated with a paper doily
James Wojcik

You baked the cake. Now you're expected to frost it, too? Take a break from the sticky stuff and use a doily to stencil on a pretty sugar topping. Press a doily flat on top of a round cake and, using a fine-mesh sieve, sprinkle confectioners' sugar liberally over the surface. Use two hands to carefully remove the doily post-dusting.

71 of 100

Beer Koozie as Shaving-Cream Holder

Beer koozie as shaving-cream holder
James Wojcik

Protect your bathtub rim from rust rings by slipping this foamy college relic over a can of Barbasol (rather than Budweiser).

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Zippered Plastic Bag as Pencil Case

Plastic bag as pencil case
James Wojcik

Always have your pencils and PTA notes (or toddler's crayons and doodle paper) in the same spot: Just punch holes along the nonzippered edge of a sandwich bag, then click it into a three-ring binder.

73 of 100

Coffee Beans as Pie Weights

Coffee beans as pie weight
James Wojcik

When prebaking a piecrust, use beans to keep it from puffing up or shrinking into the pie plate: Line the bottom and sides of the cold dough with foil and fill to the brim with beans.

74 of 100

Ice Cream Scoop as Sand-Castle Tool

Ice cream scoop containing sand
James Wojcik

An ice cream scoop deposits perfect domes for a Taj Mahal (or a yurt).

75 of 100

Clipboard as Place-Mat Holder

Clipboard as place-mat holder
James Wojcik

Hang a clipboard on the wall (or inside a cabinet) to clamp down on place mats—and that old "I can't find them!" excuse from the person setting the table.

76 of 100

Aluminum Foil as Wrinkle Remover

Ironing with foil under garment
Quentin Bacon

To get wrinkles out of silk, wool, and rayon clothes that can't take direct heat, place a piece of foil on your ironing board, then lay the garment flat over it. With the steam button down, pass the iron three to four inches over the fabric several times. Wet heat radiating from the foil helps smooth out wrinkles.

77 of 100

Aluminum Foil as Fixture Protector

Foil-covered doorknob protected against paint
Quentin Bacon

Protect doorknobs and hardware in the kitchen and bathroom when you're painting by wrapping foil around them to catch dribbles. The foil molds to the shape of whatever it's covering and stays firmly in place until the job is complete.

78 of 100

Aluminum Foil as Glassware Scrubber

Ball of aluminum foil used to scrub glass pan
Quentin Bacon

To get baked-on food off a glass pan or an oven rack, use dishwashing liquid and a ball of foil in place of a steel-wool soap pad, says Mary Findley, president of the cleaning-products developer Mary Moppins. It's one way to recycle those used but perfectly good pieces of foil you hate to throw out.

79 of 100

Aluminum Foil as a Funnel

Aluminum foil spout
Aya Brackett

Fashion a funnel of foil to neatly transfer salad dressings or condiments from tacky plastic bottles to pretty carafes or back again. Place it in the bottle and pour away.

80 of 100

Aluminum Foil as a Piecrust Protector

Aluminum foil wrapped around crust of a pecan pie
Quentin Bacon

To prevent a piecrust from burning while the filling cooks, make a foil collar to deflect heat. Take a piece of foil about 25 inches long, fold it into thirds lengthwise, and fasten the ends with a paper clip. Halfway into the baking, slip the collar over the crust (as shown). Leave it on until the pie is done.

81 of 100

Aluminum Foil as a Grilling Helper

Aluminum foil on grill
Quentin Bacon

Really hot grill bars equal dramatic grill marks on your porterhouse. To concentrate the heat and keep it from escaping, lay a sheet of foil over the grill for 10 minutes. Peel the foil off just before cooking, scrunch it into a ball (it cools fast), and use it later to scrape any residue or ash from the bars.

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Baking Sheet as a Memo Board

Baking sheet used as a magnetic bulletin board
Monica Buck

Set the baking sheet inside a 16-inch plate hanger mounted to the wall. Make sure the sheet is magnetic—so good ideas will stick.

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Baking Soda as Silver Polish

Baking soda and silver bowls
Beatriz da Costa

To polish silver: Wash items, then place on aluminum foil in the bottom of a pot. Add a baking-soda solution (¼ cup soda, a few teaspoons salt, 1 quart boiling water) and cover for a few seconds. The result? A chemical reaction that gets the black off the gravy boat.

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Baking Soda as Hair Cleanser

Baking soda in the shower
David Prince

If daily use of mousse or gel is weighing down your locks, add a pinch or two of baking soda to your shampoo once a week to remove product buildup. Getting squeaky-clean strands is a piece of cake.

85 of 100

Bundt Pan as Corn Holder

Corn on the cob upright in an angel food cake pan
Aya Brackett

Cut corn from the cob without the mess. Place an ear in the center of a Bundt pan. As you slide the knife down, the corn will fall right into the pan.

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Mold Ice With a Bundt Pan

Bundt pan as an ice mold
John Lawton

Give a punch bowl an elegant (and functional) touch with this floating ice sculpture. Simply fill the cake pan with water (or nonalcoholic punch), freeze, and pop out before serving.

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Bundt Pan as Vertical Roaster

Bundt pan with chicken
Jim Cooper

For a juicy bird that's crispy all the way around, first layer potatoes, carrots, and onions on the bottom of the pan. Then season the chicken and place in the pan with the cavity over the center hole. Set the dish on a cookie sheet to collect any drippings and roast as usual.

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Cake Stand as Candle Holder

Candles on a cake stand
James Merrell

Create a candle centerpiece to light up your wedding (or you dinner table) by using cake stands as platforms for votive and pillar candles in assorted sizes.

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Cake Stand as Appetizer Server

Appetizers on a tiered stand
Thayer Allyson Gowdy

To cut down on waiting time for hors d'oeuvres, stack a small cake stand on top of a larger one to increase your surface area for canapés or crudités and free up precious table space.

90 of 100

Can as Biscuit Cutter

Using a can to cut biscuits
Antonis Achilleos

Most biscuit cutters make overly wide biscuits, anyway―more beret than top hat. Use a tomato-paste can to achieve the proper size. First, scoop out the paste and freeze it in Tupperware or a storage bag. Then remove both the top and the bottom with a can opener and wash the interior. To prevent sticking, dip the can in flour before each cut.

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Cast-Iron Pan as Recipe Board

Cast iron pan as a recipe board
John Lawton

Hang a skillet on a kitchen wall and you'll have a convenient magnetic spot to display recipes, important reminders, and anything else your brain is too, well, fried to remember.

92 of 100

Chalk as Tarnish Prevention

Dinner set on a table.
Monica Buck

Slow the tarnish on your good silver by tying up a few moisture-absorbing pieces in cheesecloth and store them with your cutlery for shinier flatware that reflects well on you in no time flat.

93 of 100

Champagne Flutes as Candle Stands

Candles perched on champagne flutes
Monica Buck

If you find yourself with a mismatched collection―or without bubbly―flip thick-walled Champagne flutes upside down to create a beautiful grouping of candle stands for a shelf or a mantel. Use heavy wineglasses for table centerpieces, as the wider mouths will provide more stability to withstand bumping.

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Chip Clips as Clothes Hangers

Chip clips holding a kid's jacket on a large hanger
Aimee Herring

Hold small coats in place on adult-size hangers. Use clips with rubberized grips to help items stay put. Not only will you have an organized coat closet, but you'll save money by not having to buy special kids' hangers.

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Chopsticks as Flour Leveler

Cup of flour leveled with a chopstick
Mark Lund

Use a chop stick to easily level flour in a measuring cup. Leave it in the flour canister and you won't have to rummage for a clean knife.

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Coffee Filter as Wine Strainer

strainer with a bottle of wine
Mark Weiss

When the cork crumbles, salvage a bottle of wine by slowly pouring it through a filter into a pitcher or carafe. That way your $25 Fume Blanc won't go down the drain.

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Coffee Filter as Yogurt Strainer

Coffee Filter as Yogurt Strainer
Rick Lew

For a dip that doesn't taste watered down, strain your yogurt before using it. Secure a paper coffee filter over the mouth of a deep cup or jar with a rubber band then pour in some yogurt. Any liquid in the yogurt will drain through the filter.

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Colander as Ice Bucket

Orange colander holding ice
Aya Brackett

Make ice cubes last longer at your next cocktail party: Put them in a colander set into a bowl. As they melt, the water will drain through the holes instead of sitting and turning the ice to slush.

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Cookie Cutters as Cake Decorating Stencils

Cake decorated using cookie cutters
Beatriz da Costa

To stencil designs on frosted or unfrosted cakes, place cookie cutters on top and fill with sprinkles, powdered sugar, or cocoa powder. (Warning: This technique may convince guests you've taken a master class in cake decorating.)

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Cooking Spray as Candlestick Cleaner

James Baigrie

Celebrating by candlelight? Spray the inside of a votive holder with a thin coating before dropping in a tea light. After the candle has burned down, the remaining wax will slip out.

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