11 Handy Ways To Repurpose An Old Dust Pan Around Your Home

While dustpans are an important part of everyday cleaning. you may not think much about them at all. Associated with some of the dirtier, messier parts of keeping your floors spotless and debris-free, they are usually kept hidden safely away in your cleaning supplies. When your dustpan has reached the end of its use cycle, however, you may be looking for other ways to use it around your home rather than chucking it in the trash. There are actually a number of clever uses for old dustpans, many with a DIY flair or clever practicality to create everything from streak-free mirrors to charming holiday décor pieces.

These DIYs are a fun way to repurpose inexpensive plastic dustpans or to preserve antique metal pans, which often boast beautiful details and rich patinas that accompany decades of being well-loved and used. These charming dustpans are an excellent addition to cottage-style, rustic, or farmhouse décor. Even better, this keeps the dustpans out of the landfill and gives them many more years of use. 

1. Filling buckets

One clever way to repurpose an old dustpan without making a single change to the design is to use it as a hack for filling buckets from your sink. The broad segment works to funnel a stream of water through the handle of the dustpan and into the bucket without splashing or making a mess. Keep one with your cleaning supplies for this purpose. Plastic dustpans with a hollow handle work best for this trick, so, if the pan is older, you will need to make sure there are no cracks where the water might leak out.

2. Artmaking

A creative use for plastic dustpans is making art. You can create a fun, colorful piece of custom painting by pouring acrylic paint onto the dustpan in rows, then use it as an applicator to apply the paint to a canvas, paper, or other surface. The colors will run together as you manipulate the pan across the surface, creating rows and strata of color. Because you can apply a lot of paint at once, this technique is great for painting large canvases and big pieces of art on your own easily and inexpensively.

3. Welcome sign

A lovely piece for an entryway or mud room, this DIY project takes an ordinary metal dustpan and turns it into a custom sign to welcome guests to your home. Use the wider portion to paint a cozy scene or apply a design on paper using Mod Podge. Add a message to the base of the pan, which often forms a pocket perfect for adding some flowers or greenery. Or use it as a convenient spot for stashing mail. A fun idea for the holidays is to create seasonal pieces that look like the Easter Bunny, a pumpkin, a Thanksgiving turkey, or gingerbread people when decorating for Christmas on a budget.

4. Wall caddy

For a dustpan that has seen better days, why not turn it into a wall caddy for holding small objects? Transform a dirty, scratched, or cracked pan by taping the broken parts and adding some metallic sheened paint. Place two halves of an ice cream pint tub or another similarly-shaped item to create pockets on the front, using hot glue to keep them in place. Add some fun decorative accents like pompoms or ribbons. You can also punch holes for adding S-hooks to the bottom to hold hanging items.

5. Planter

Any dustpan with a deep pocket works great as a place to plant small plants or flowers. This is a clever use for old vintage dustpans that you may not be using any longer but still want to preserve. The finished project is a charming rustic planter idea with a lot of rich patina and a sense of age. Just fill the cavity with dirt or small pebbles and add your plants. For newer dustpans without a pocket, you can add cups or other containers with hot glue to the widest part of the dustpan for planting.

6. wall assemblage

Vintage and antique dustpans can be quite beautiful in design. Usually made of metal, they often include carving and details that newer dustpans lack. For a cute wall installation, collect a grouping of old dustpans and paint them in your desired colors. Hang them in a grid or other configuration that is suitable for filling a large, empty wall in spaces like rustic-style kitchens, entryways, mudrooms, or laundry rooms. If your dustpans are in good condition, you can leave them unpainted for a more rustic look that highlights existing details like hand-painted flowers or illustrations.

7. Wreath

Vintage dustpans are cute for adding to wreaths or floral swags as a fun rustic accent. Use the dustpan as a sign in the center of a woven wreath and add a ribbon to the top. Use some hot glue to keep the dustpan in place or punch holes to secure it with floral wire. You can also repurpose an old dustpan as the base for a floral swag perfect for placing on a door or porch. Paint the dustpan your favorite shade or leave it in a rusted, rustic finish.

8. Framed dustpan

A stylish use for an old dustpan is creating a rustic framed container for holding faux flowers or greenery. The project above uses enclosed vintage dustpans, but any metal dustpan with a pocket at the base will work for this DIY. Hang the dustpan directly on the wall and fill it with your choice of decorative accents, then place a wooden frame around the pan to instantly turn it into a piece of décor. This DIY also makes a pretty wall-mounted container for sorting items like mail or magazines.

9. Crochet art

With their wide base, old dustpans are fun to use as a form for crewelwork or embroidery. Create a cover the size of the pan, then slip it over the surface of the dustpan so it covers the entirety. Hand the piece using the hole at the top of the handle for a cute cottagecore-style piece of décor  Cute ideas for decorating your dustpan include favorite sayings, welcome signs, woodland scenes, or playful images like animals or mushrooms. You can also use this DIY for a removable slipcover for the dustpan you use regularly.

10. Squeegee

Another ingenious practical use for an old or extra dustpan is to use it as part of your mirror or window cleaning routine. Pans with rubber edges that are designed to help you easily sweep up dirt can be repurposed as rubber squeegees that assist with cleaning surfaces. Since the functionality depends on the rubber edge, make sure this part is completely intact and without damage for best results. The firmer the seal on the underlying surface, the more efficiently the edge will work to create a streak-free finish every time you use it. 

11. Desk organizer

Dustpans with deep pockets are perfect for using over your desk to hold everything from mail and notebooks to pencils and other supplies. Hang them on the wall next to or above your desk and fill the interior cavity with whatever you want to keep organized. Larger dustpans are also useful for stashing file folders. Vintage metal pans are usually magnetic, so use some small magnets to decorate and clip important notes to the pan. For a rustic and industrial workspace, leave the dustpan in its natural finish, or paint it for a more contemporary look.