5 Things to Do with… Colanders

The colander is so much more than the unsung hero of pasta night—it's positively dripping with DIY potential. Here are five inventive ways you can use a colander in the next creative project you cook up.

I love my colanders. Vintage-inspired, colorful, and enamel-coated, they work not only as strainers, but also as decorative fruit bowls or centerpieces for the breakfast table. When one colander in my set met with a tragic end in the dishwasher, it was just too hard to say goodbye. So I went looking for creative ways to repurpose colanders. Scroll down to see five favorites from among the countless clever uses for colanders that I came across. Who knew that colanders could be so versatile and so stylish?

 

1. RIG UP A STORAGE UNIT

Repurpose Colanders - Baskets

Photo: brigitte.de

With their legs removed, colanders become offbeat yet handy storage baskets, perfect for holding miscellaneous kitchen items such as dish soap and sponges. Hang one or a series of colanders either from the ceiling or the underside of a wall-mounted shelf or cabinet. Anything you choose to keep in it remains within easy arm’s reach.

 

2. HANG A PLANTER

Repurpose Colanders - Planter

Photo: readymade.com

In this ingenious assembly, a colander-turned-planter attaches to a wire clothes hanger, which in turn connects with a chain that reaches down from the ceiling. Given colanders’ original purpose, they provide plenty of soil drainage, and that’s something a quality planting container must have, as any gardener knows.

 

3. CREATE A WIND CHIME

Repurpose Colanders - Wind Chime

Photo: malindadickens.etsy.com

Malinda Dickens creates wind chimes from everyday stuff and sells them through her online store. Take a page out of her book if you’re hunting for an eye-catching, ear-tickling way to repurpose not only a colander, but any other kitchen tools you no longer use—whisks, eggbeaters, cookie cutters, or silverware.

 

4. FASHION A LIGHT FIXTURE

Repurpose Colanders - Light

Photo: terredylangdeco.com

Here’s a project for the ambitious do-it-yourselfer: Turn a beat-up old colander into a shade for the pendant light in your country kitchen. When light streams through the holes in the colander, it produces quirky, amusing, conversation-starting effects on the walls. Alternatively, try out the same idea on a table lamp.

 

5. MAKE A STAND

Repurpose Colanders - Tiered Stand

Photo: knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com

By means of a strong adhesive, combine a white-painted wooden spindle with a pair of dinged-up colanders to create a tiered stand like this one from Knick of Time Interiors. Use this beauty for storage in the laundry room or pantry, or simply bask in its decorative appeal by placing it as a centerpiece on a farmhouse table.