19 Fun Ways To Repurpose An Old Cheese Grater Around The House & Garden

Isn't the phrase "It's time to clean out the kitchen drawers" often met with a groan? Yet, hidden amidst the jumble of mismatched lids and gadgets past their prime lies a diamond in the rough: the old cheese grater. Now dull and neglected, this kitchen tool might be inching towards the trash bin. Forget tossing it, however; we're about to slice and shred through the mundane (pun intended) with 19 fun and surprising ways to repurpose an old cheese grater in your house and garden. 

Envision that unassuming time-worn kitchen gadget refashioned into a beautiful light fixture, its holes, once perfect for soft cheeses, now casting a constellation of light across your space. Or, consider it becoming a quirky organizer that infuses an industrial touch into your office or kitchen space while keeping your items in check. Outside, transform it into an herb planter or a rustic addition to your array of exterior décor items.

Upcycling an old cheese grater is more than a mere recasting of a worn-out tool's roles — think of it as a celebration of sustainable practices while indulging in the pleasures of reinvention. With your creativity and a dash of elbow grease, that humble kitchen item can evolve into a centerpiece that sparks interest and inspiration without even costing you a penny. Besides, think of the stories you will share with your guests, their curiosity piqued by a simple, overlooked cheese grater that now stands as a symbol of ingenuity and thoughtful reuse.

1. Jewelry organizer with a twist

An old box cheese grater can assume a second life as a chic display for your precious jewels. Begin by thoroughly cleaning it to remove any remnants of its past life, then spruce it up with your preferred paint color (keeping your direction of painting, whether vertical or horizontal, consistent to ensure a smooth finish). Once meant for shredding cheese, the holes become perfect perches for dangling your earrings in a visually-appealing and organized manner. Jewelry items with loops (think necklaces, chains, rings, and bracelets) can gracefully hang from hooks attached to the grater's holes, while watches can be draped over the handle.

2. Cheese grater reborn as an utensil holder

The humble cheese grater can infuse a creative touch into your culinary space as a charming utensil holder. Begin by ensuring the grater is clean and dry, then let your imagination run wild with decorating and painting. With the narrower end sealed with a wooden block, your once-overlooked box cheese grater becomes a home for wooden spoons, spatulas, and whisks that used to clutter your drawers. Doing so, this simple upcycling hack adds character to your kitchen and an element of order to the chaos of cooking tools. As an additional practical touch, let a kitchen towel drape over the grater's handle. 

3. Upcycled into a towel holder

How about transforming an old cheese grater into a statement piece with a functional twist — a towel rack that exudes rustic charm while serving a bona fide purpose? Fastening the grater to the wall with the handle oriented downwards offers a clever solution for hanging towels, whether amidst the lively activity in your kitchen or the intimate space of a bathroom. The rusty, metallic texture can add a farmhouse feel, or grace the grater with some paint in a shade that contrasts your walls. Finally, place any item you desire inside the top of the grater, from a kitchen sponge to faux flowers.

4. Cheese grater lampshade

Next, we dive into the creative depths of upcycling an old cheese grater into an illuminating masterpiece. Reimagined as a lampshade, it transcends the mere practical purpose of diffusing light, doing so in a way that casts intriguing patterns across your space. The brilliance of this creation, however, hinges on the right bulb intensity. You're at a crossroads with two lighting options here: weaving string lights within the box grater or crowning a table lamp with the grated masterpiece. Whichever path you choose, it pays off magnificently in a lighting fixture that's as unconventional as it is beautiful — a bold statement piece that sparks conversations and admiration.

5. An organizer that adds rustic charm to your desk

Reinventing a cheese grater as an office supplies holder blends utility and vintage charm. With a thorough cleaning and possibly a coat of paint, the aged grater is ready to become a quirky yet sophisticated item for workspace organization. Standing securely on a desk right side up or hung on the wall upside down, it admirably functions as a neat compartment for pens, pencils, markers, paintbrushes, scissors, and other stationery, ensuring your essentials are within easy reach. Further, you may even be able to sharpen pencils in a pinch by quickly rubbing them sideways against the grater's sharp edges.

6. Small table clock

This tip sees a retired cheese grater get a new lease on life as an offbeat yet functional mini table clock. To start, procure a small, battery-powered clock mechanism, like the Mudder Silence Quartz Clock Movement that's available on Amazon for about $9. The grater's side with larger perforations is ideal for the clock face. Through a centrally-located hole, secure the clock mechanism, nestling the circuit compartment within the grater's hollow. The clock's hands can then be attached to the appropriate shafts. Adorned with sketched clock numbers or any painted image you desire, this repurposed grater is primed to grace your desk or nightstand with rustic rebellion.

7. Fashioning a flower or herb planter

Invite some pizzazz into your floral displays with an old cheese grater turned into a planter. Thanks to the grater's small holes and a piece of wood sealing its narrower end, its hollow container can hold damp potting soil effortlessly. The charm here is layering landscaping fabric and planting a small flower like a pansy for a pop of color encased in a rustic, upcycled planter. Finally, fasten wire through the grater's upper corners, fashioning a loop for hanging from a shepherd's hook. Alternatively, screw the botanical décor to your fence or wall. You could also plant an herb instead, if desired.

8. Pendant light

An antiquated cheese grater fashioned into a pendant light is an ingenious way to infuse your living space with a touch of an industrial vibe or rustic charm. For this hack, you'll need a light-fitting kit, including a socket, cord, and mounting hardware. Begin by attaching the cord to the top of the grater and double-check that the bulb socket fits snugly within. After which, install a bulb — LED is a savvy choice here to sidestep metal heating concerns. The magic unfurls as beams of light filter through the grater's perforations, weaving captivating light patterns across your kitchen island or that cherished reading nook.

9. Unleashing melodies with a DIY wind chime

Imagine transforming a mundane object into a source of charm and music for your home or garden. The idea of turning an old cheese grater into a whimsical wind chime does precisely that. Begin by gathering your creative toolkit: a time-worn grater, twine, beads, keys, and the bonus items — metallic forks and spoons with small holes drilled into their handles. Proceed by threading your cord through each of these elements so that they dangle freely below the grater. Then, affix a longer piece of twine to the grater's top, ensuring wind can readily caress your stunning, unique DIY wind chime into melody.

10. A novel herb stalk holder

For this hack, envision a country-style solution to keeping your fresh herbs within arm's reach. The twist lies in positioning the grater upside down and securing a container within so its narrow end now becomes the base of a decorative herb vase, ideal for supporting upright herb stalks such as rosemary, lavender, or thyme. Depending on where you envisage this herb haven living (whether against the fridge's face, hanging under a cabinet, or on the wall), secure a magnet or a hook on one of the grater's broader faces. The once wide bottom now becomes an opening where you can place your fresh herb stems. 

11. Crafting a quirky owl

For this transformation, we'll repurpose an old cheese grater to use in the garden or home as a decorative owl figurine. Gather two metal or plastic lids and a small, triangular wooden piece. Start by gluing the lids on the grater's front to form the owl's wide-eyed look. A small, triangular piece placed below the eyes acts as a quaint beak. You could further embellish your avian sculpture with feathers and metal pieces for the talons. Perched in a corner, this cheese grater owl adds enchantment to your home. Alternatively, it can stand as a guardian in your yard, deterring pests and birds of prey.

12. Old cheese grater into patriotic décor

Repurposing an old cheese grater into Americana décor perfect for national holidays begins by cleaning your grater thoroughly and applying masking tape horizontally across the middle. Then, with paint, create a field of blue from the masking tape upwards. Shift the focus to the remainder of the grater, where alternating vertical red and white stripes will take shape. The final flourish unfolds when you position a stencil over the now-dry blue section and fill its holes with white paint to form the stars. Further, to personalize this piece, you could paint the grater to look like any other flag you desire.

13. Christmas décor

In this hack, an old cheese grater sheds its culinary identity and dons a festive one, spicing up your Christmas celebration with a tinge of nostalgia. Creating this piece of holiday decor begins by meticulously cleaning the grater and then staining it with brewed coffee for enhanced rustic appeal. Now, deck out the stained grater with a Christmas-themed ribbon tied around its handle, faux berries (for a touch of color), and pinecones with fresh or faux pine needles. A Santa Claus tag will top off your creation with a hint of playfulness. Finally, include lights inside the piece to illuminate it from within.

14. Cheese grater reborn as a snowman

Infuse a sprinkle of winter right inside your home by transforming an ordinary cheese grater into DIY Christmas snowman décor. Your craft commences by cleaning an old cheese grater. For the snowman's hat, pull a black sock over the smaller end of the grater, draping it to the middle. Next, hot-glue two buttons for the eyes, a paper carrot nose, and three to four buttons arranged in a cheery curve for the snowman's smile. Then, cut a section off the loose end of the sock, tie what's left with yarn, and attach a fluffy pom-pom. You can now embellish the masterpiece with ornaments. 

15. Wire stripper

Breathing new life into a forsaken kitchen relic, you can upcycle a cheese grater into a practical wire stripper, marrying culinary history with electrical handiwork. Start by cleaning the grater and possibly sharpening its edges to ensure a clean cut; each side's varying hole sizes are perfect for accommodating different wire gauges. You can now pull a wire steadily through an appropriately-sized slot, using the sharp edges like a blade to slice off the insulating sheath. The once single-purpose kitchen gadget will become an indispensable ally in electrical projects. This proves that sometimes the most effective tools come from the most unexpected places.

16. Embroidered art

Art knows no bounds, and the humble box cheese grater can become the canvas for your artistic expression. Picture yourself embroidering words onto the metallic grid, threading yards of different colors through its perforations to spell out your intended message. Alternatively, paint single letters onto a series of flat graters, each a tile in your mosaic of meaning. Once completed, affix these grates to your wall, spelling out directives that command attention and appetite in equal measures — think "W.E.L.C.O.M.E" next to the main door and "E.A.T" or "M.E.A.L.S" in your kitchen. Either choice is a conversation starter that dishes out style.

17. A clever tool for abstract painting

A flat or box cheese grater can take center stage as an innovative painting tool. Imagine standing in your workspace, a cheese grater in one hand and paint in the other, both hovering above a board that's covered in white paint. With a careful tilt of the wrist, colors begin their descent through the grater's perforations (think of rain through a sieve), landing on the canvas below. The effect is a random yet rhythmic constellation of paint specks, unlike the uniformity synonymous with a paintbrush. Vary the paint colors as you glide or tilt the grater above the board for a dynamic effect.

18. Cheese grater acrylic paint swirl art

This cheese grater repurposing hack marries simplicity with color movement and blending. Begin with a sturdy board as your canvas, priming it with a backdrop of black acrylic paint. While the base layer is still wet, pour on acrylic paints in various shades. Layer them gently over the black, allowing each color to sit atop the other without completely blending them. Now, introduce the star of the show: the flat cheese grater. Place it gently on the layered paints, then gently swirl the board. As the paints spread, a spectacular display of swirls unfurls. Let it dry, then hang it in your home.

19. Bee-themed home decor

A box cheese grater can get a new lease on life as a captivating bee-themed decoration. Begin by painting a grater and several spatulas a golden color. For that authentic bee look, employ a creative technique by using bubble wrap dipped in black paint to add characteristic black dots to your painted grater and spatulas. Next, hot glue on a bee decoration, aligning with the golden and black color theme, then embellish a spatula or two with ribbon and burlap. The final step involves inserting the decorated spatulas into the grater and hanging it upside down, creating a delightful representation of a beehive.