Upcycled Projects with Cookware and Bakeware

Upcycled Projects with Cookware and Bakeware

When it comes to thrift stores, there’s no shortage of cookware and bakeware options on the shelves. Pots, pans, lids, and more- there’s always an endless array of items that had once been used in the kitchen. But if you aren’t interested in cooking or baking with them, have no fear- for there are a ton of ways to upcycle those cookie sheets and frying pans. Here are some fantastic repurposed projects to get you thinking outside the box- or, at least outside the kitchen.

Pizza Pan as Wall Decor

circle weaving on a pizza pan

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This woven wall hanging started out as a pizza pan on a thrift store shelf, believe it or not. But look how amazing it turned out- both as a loom and as a finished frame. The final results are contemporary and surprisingly stylish for a Boho or eclectically-styled home.

Garden Decor from Cake Pans

DIY mosaic stepping stone with key hider

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Stepping stones like this are easy to make if you upcycle a cake pan from the thrift store or your cupboard. But shh, this particular one has a secret underneath that just might save you from a really bad day!

Curb Appeal with Colanders

Enamel colander as a hanging porch planter

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

An old colander from your kitchen is absolutely ideal as a planter, isn’t it? The straining holes act as built in drainage and the handles make it easy to hang from your front porch. The key to success is using the enameled versions which are sturdier but not too heavy to hang.

Crafting with Cookware

halloween cookie cutters as needle felting supplies

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Normally, you might not put cookie cutters and craft projects together in the same sentence. But they are perfect little “molds” to use when trying out needle felting projects. How cute are these little Halloween figures that I made from a set of vintage Halloween cookie cutters? Obviously, any shape would do, and they’re perfect for turning into handmade brooches for your jacket or sweater.

Decorative Mushrooms

diy toadstools from vintage jello molds

Image credit: Organized Clutter.

I’m not sure if mushrooms have ever been more popular (decoratively speaking) as they are right now (well, maybe the ’70s…). Luckily for all of us upcyclers out there, they are relatively easy to make using any number of thrifted finds! Look how charming these garden mushrooms made from vintage Jell-O molds are…and they add some a fun touch of whimsy to your porch planters and garden displays.

Starting Seeds in Bakeware

Plant starter trays with muffin tins

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

If you love to germinate seeds for your garden as Spring approaches, then this upcycle idea for bakeware is perfect for you. An old rusty muffin tin from the thrift store is ideal as a plant starting tray. Simply pop them out and transplant to your garden or larger pots when ready!

Lid for the Birds

diy hanging bird bath

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Bird baths are a wonderful thing…until you have to clean them. But this one, made from a casserole dish lid, is shallow and SO easy to disinfect to keep the birds happy and healthy. (Adding a few pebbles to the middle of it helps smaller birds keep their footing, too.)

Organizing with Cookware

Magnetic bulletin board by decoupaging fabric on metal

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

The cookware section at thrift stores is full of any number of baking pans. And you can easily upcycle one into a magnetic memo board like this, thanks to some paint and vintage fabric from an pretty bed sheet. You could use it in the kitchen or home office, or even for a child playing with magnetic letters, etc.

Seasonal Decor

upcycle idea for red and white enamelware

Image credit: House of Hawthornes.

There is something particularly wonderful about red and white enamelware pots and pans, isn’t there? And now after seeing this adorable Christmas decor project, I may never look at that vintage cookware the same way again.

Gift Idea from Tart Tins

bottle cap coasters from tartlet tins

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

These coasters are meant to resemble oversized bottle caps for a beer lover- and started as a set of vintage tart tins. But adding round cork coasters inside and stamping them is a great way to personalize them for gifts.

Decorative Garden Stones

diy garden stones from copper molds

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods for the Charlotte Region ReStore(s).

Remember those old copper Jell-O molds that used to hang on kitchen walls back in the day? Well, why use them to set gelatin when you can use them to set concrete and make these decorative garden stones for your yard? Half the fun is hunting down all sorts of interesting shapes and designs that the molds came in.

Bakeware for Earth Day

seed bombs diy for earth day craft

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Making DIY seed bombs in a mini muffin tin like this is actually a “twofer” upcycling project. Which makes it perfect for Earth Day! Not only does it upcycle a piece of cookware from a thrift store, but the paper pulp used in the seed bombs came from a padded paper mailer. How wonderfully eco-friendly is that?

Valentine’s Day Hearts

Valentine's Day home decor from heart cake pans

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

If red and pink isn’t really your style when it comes to Valentine’s Day decor, this industrial-inspired idea might be right up your alley! Heart-shaped cake pans from the thrift store were assembled into industrial-style hearts for a unique spin on heart decor.

Cookware Flowers

metal flowers from beater attachments

Image credit: Thrifty Rebel Vintage/Color Me Thrifty.

Once upon a time, we all wanted mom to let us “clean” the beater attachments when she was making cake batter. But these days, maybe they’re best left for upcycling ideas like these decorative “tulips”! Aren’t they a whimsical and wonderful way to add a pop of color to your garden?

Standing Bird Bath

diy birdbath with a pot lid

Image credit: My Repurposed Life.

Standing birdbaths are always attractive to birds, so long as the water isn’t too deep. And this DIY bath uses an extra tall candlestick as its stable, sturdy pedestal base and a shallow aluminum pot lid as the bowl.

Stitching on Cookware

Star embroidery on a vintage colander as a patriotic centerpiece

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Not all colanders are created equal. Some have straining holes in decorative shapes, like stars. Which means they can be easily embroidered and turned into a festive centerpiece like this.

Garden Signs and Plant Markers

garden sign from a frying pan

Image credit: Dukes and Duchesses.

Garden signs and plant markers are a fun way to add charm and whimsy to your outside space. And this upcycle idea uses a small frying pan from the thrift shop as an herb label! In fact, it’s now a chalkboard sign so you can switch out what it says whenever you want (or whenever it rains).

Desktop Succulent Pot

Desktop zen garden

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods for the Charlotte Region ReStores.

They say that succulents are easy to keep alive, but if you’ve had trouble with them in the past, you’re definitely not alone. There are lots of faux succulents on the market, but these DIY versions made from felt are particularly charming.

And you can “plant” them in anything you want- including a mini muffin pan from the thrift store!

Hopper Feeder from Pot Lids

Platform bird feeder from repurposed pot lids

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

A pair of colorful and mismatched pot lids from a thrift shop are fun to marry together into this outdoor project. A platform feeder (or hopper feeder) for birds that just needs a few pieces of hardware to bring it all together.

Upcycle Ideas for Cookware and Bakeware

craft projects with pots and pans

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of secondhand cookware is perfect for using in your kitchen for baking up a storm. But if it’s not quite up to eating/cooking snuff, then perhaps one of these upcycling ideas will have you putting it in the cart anyway! Because as you saw, there are a lot of fun ways to repurpose it…for both your home and your garden.

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. JANET SCHEN says

    Hi. What are the petals on the tulips? I’m not recognizing them as anything I would have in my kitchen. I love getting your emails and all of your imaginative projects your mind thinks up!

    • Hi, Janet! If you click on the that photo of the “tulips” or the bold/blue/underlined text in the paragraph beneath that photo, it’ll take you to the original tutorial post.

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