13 Clever Ways To Repurpose A Colander Around The House

According to data from a survey conducted by Bosch Home Appliances and OnePoll, the average American spends over 400 hours in the kitchen each year. This is a massive amount of time spent cleaning, cooking, and preparing food, so it's incredibly important to ensure your space stays tidy, functional, and organized so you can enjoy the hours you devote to whipping up dishes. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is through decluttering your cabinets and taking a second look at items that you're not regularly using. Of course, you can sell, donate, or toss these items, but you could also find other uses for them in your home.

Repurposing is obviously a great way to cut down on waste and make more sustainable choices, but it can also allow you to enjoy a new item without spending extra money. They might not seem like the easiest thing to repurpose, but a humble kitchen colander can actually find plenty of other uses around the home, from an eclectic décor piece to a more functional twist on a traditional planter. Don't be afraid to take a look at your unused items through a more creative lens — you might find that they're the perfect fit for other, completely unexpected roles.

1. Create a floating shelf

Repurposed items often make a fantastic base for eclectic décor pieces, and colanders are no exception. To help bring a bit more interest and storage space to your wall, consider cutting a colander in half and using it as a unique floating shelf. This, of course, will require some power tools, especially if your colander is made of metal rather than plastic, but after you split it in half all that's left to do is mount it on the wall. Use it to display knickknacks, hold your keys by the door, or as a faux flower display to incorporate a pop of fresh color and texture.

2. String it up as a hanging basket

Hanging baskets and planters can give you more space to display greenery, especially if you have pets with a penchant for chewing on leaves, and a colander can easily be transformed to fit the role. With the addition of some string or chain either tied around the handles or inserted through holes on the side, you'll have created your very own colander hanging basket. The holes on the bottom can help with drainage, so if you want to use your hanging basket outdoors, you don't have to worry about pooling rainwater that could harm your plants or attract bugs.

3. Repurpose your colander into a planter

Colanders make for great hanging planters, but they can be used as regular standing planters, too. A colander planter with lots of small holes is a fantastic option for plants that don't require a ton of water, are frequent victims of overwatering, or are prone to root rot. Colanders with larger holes might have issues holding on to soil, especially sandier varieties. In this case, you can line it with a layer of thin fabric, plastic, or coconut coir (six coco liners from Amazon cost under $18) before adding in your soil.

4. Whip up a charming wind chime with an old colander and some spoons

If you're looking for a way to repurpose two kitchen essentials into one ornament, this idea is for you. Take an old colander, then add some chains and a hook to the rim so you can hang it. From there, attach pieces of cutlery to some string, wire, or fishing line, then thread the ends through the holes in the colander to create a wind chime. This project can, of course, be customized to your liking, so don't be afraid to play around with different sizes, shapes, and modifications to your pieces until you're left with a look and sound you like.

5. Give an old colander new purpose by turning it into a pendant light

Making your own lighting fixture might seem a bit intimidating, but with the help of a drill and a pendant light kit (such as this plug-in option that's just under $10 on Amazon), you'll be able to finish this project in a matter of minutes, with or without electrical experience. Start by drilling a hole through the metal bottom of the colander, then thread the wire through (you will need to create a larger hole if opting for a plug-in cord). The light will shine out of the uncovered bottom and also create a fun, speckled pattern on your walls. 

6. Turn a vintage colander into a table centerpiece

Just about anything can be turned into an accessory to decorate your dining table, but colanders are a particularly on-theme choice. They have the same level of functionality as a plain bowl and come in a wide variety of different colors, materials, and patterns that can help bring some more interest and a bit of repurposed flair. Fill with seasonal decorations like warm-toned foliage for fall and pine branches and ornaments for Christmas, or keep your choices neutral for a year-round décor piece that won't clash with the rest of your dining room decorations.

7. Have fun creating a faux flower display using a colander as a base

Many of these projects require you to use your colander as a kind of bowl or vessel, but this idea turns this kitchen essential on its head. If you're looking for a way to create a more unique and voluminous faux flower display, flip your colander upside down and use the holes to hold onto the thin wire stems. This DIY is a fun experiment if you're getting tired of the look of simple vases, but it can also make for a satisfying activity for younger kids or older adults who are working on their fine motor skills.

8. Collect multiple colanders and mount them as wall décor

Consider giving your colander a second life as a piece of wall décor. It might seem a little out there at first, but repurposing items you might not have originally thought of as decoration can bring an unexpected twist to your space and add dimension to an otherwise flat wall. If you like the look, you can collect more colanders to create a big, fun focal point. Mount them as-is if you're just looking for some color and texture, or add battery-operated lights (such as these puck lights from Amazon for $3.33 each) underneath to give your colanders an illuminated twist.

9. Feel free to use your colander as a fruit bowl

Colanders are already convenient for washing produce, so why not use them to store it, too? This repurposing idea is one of the simplest out there, and a great way to give more of a spotlight to a colander that you feel isn't getting much attention stowed away in the cabinet. You can still use the colander to wash your fruit before placing it on the counter, and you don't have to worry about water pooling in the bottom of the bowl or your fruit staying wet for long.

10. Transform a colander into a cool table lamp

Making a hanging light out of a colander is an incredibly simple process, but if you're willing to take on a more involved project, consider trying out this table lamp idea. The basic concept is the same — simply drill a hole through the bottom of the colander to turn it into a shade — but there is plenty of room for creativity. If you want to create a fully custom piece, you can try your hand at building a DIY lamp base in your preferred style, but you could also easily swap an existing lampshade for a colander if you're not feeling particularly crafty.

11. Create a colander candle holder

Candles are a great way to bring ambiance to just about any space, but sometimes, the jars they come in are a bit boring or don't match your décor. Thankfully, there are many ways to fix this problem, even with something as unexpected as a colander. Place your candle in the colander, then leave it as-is, or fill the empty space around the edges with some additional décor. Just make sure anything you include is either fire-safe (such as stones, glass pebbles, or shells) or placed far enough from the flame — even the cutest candle setup isn't worth creating fire hazards in your home.

12. Colanders can be ideal containers for succulent gardens

When it comes to caring for succulents, there are two main things you need to keep in mind: many succulents need a lot of sun, and most don't need much water. While proper positioning on a windowsill or in the brighter parts of your yard can take care of the first need, there are various ways to cater to the second, like ensuring your plant has proper drainage. Because of their holes, colanders can make the perfect base for a succulent garden. Small holes work best to hold the soil. Simply fill with cactus mix, place your plants, and decorate with rocks and small stones. 

13. Rig up a rustic chandelier

Crystal beads might not be the first thing you think to pair with a colander, but this combination can create some lovely contrast in a lighting piece. Follow the same steps that you would to make your own hanging light, then add some strings of crystal chandelier beads onto the rim to finish off the look. If your home is already set on lighting, or you're looking for something more strictly décor-focused, you can also forgo the light completely and use some string to hang this piece in your yard or near a window to act as a sun catcher.