6 Ideas to Repurpose, Recycle, or Reuse Old Bread Pans

Updated on June 27, 2018
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Techy Gran looks to use her long years of experience and research to provide information about useful lifestyle topics.

My stash of aluminum bread pans waiting to be repurposed - recycled- or -reused-
My stash of aluminum bread pans waiting to be repurposed - recycled- or -reused- | Source

Should I Get Rid of Old Baking Pans?

No, don't get rid of your old baking pans! Some time ago, I stopped baking bread in aluminum pans. I had purchased a breadmaker to replace them, but I found those pans still stashed in a bottom cupboard in the kitchen. They needed to go!

Cleaning out a kitchen storage area is a low priority in this household, but today, its number came up. I know that bewailing cupboard clutter is a first world problem. Fortunately for all annoying problems such as these, Pinterest offers many first world solutions.

Learn a few ways you can recycle, repurpose, or reuse those old aluminum baking pans. Not only will you have a trendy rustic look (also known as shabby chic), but aluminum is stronger than many materials that are used today for shelving and bins. It is also light, which is a great benefit when one plans to move the constructed item about as a caddy or mount it on a wall. Although I no longer trust aluminum to prepare food, this metal was designed as a workhorse! Those pans lasted through bread disasters, and they are ready for another purpose!

If you have other creative ideas, please share them in the comments section, and remember that we're focusing on baking pans. Thanks!

1. Make a Tiered Caddy From Baking Pans

Great 3 tier caddy that can be made for $5 if you have the old bread pans on hand!
Great 3 tier caddy that can be made for $5 if you have the old bread pans on hand! | Source

This tiered caddy makes good use of three old aluminum bread loaf pans. You can see that one of the three pans is a different shape (actually, probably a cake pan).

The shabby chic design lends itself well to the gracious older home on a buffet stand, in a bathroom, sewing room, or on a laundry table. Or you might want to use it in a potting shed as a place to keep your small gardening accouterments, such as seed marking pegs, rolled nets, and spools of twine. It's pretty easy to put this caddy together, too!

2. Bread Pans Repurposed as Metal Wall Bins

This wall bin set-up made with bread pans is for sale on Etsy.
This wall bin set-up made with bread pans is for sale on Etsy. | Source

An antique barn wood panel is used to showcase this set of repurposed bread loaf pans as wall-mounted metal bins.

I think that you could have a pretty nice knock-off of this particular piece of shabby chic if you are short on old barn wood but have a stock of interesting pallet board. If you go that route and already have the old pans, all you would need is some screws and maybe some spray paint.

Where do you envision mounting this unit?

  • Veranda wall?
  • Potting shed?
  • Sewing room?

3. Bread Pans as Kitchen Organizers

Bread Pans working as kitchen bins!
Bread Pans working as kitchen bins! | Source

These chain-linked wall organizers remind me of some ready-made metal containers I purchased for my son and wife, at considerably more than it would have cost to make them with some cut chain and recycled bread tins!

I see these fitting into a kitchen, a nearby pantry, or an office? Wherever you put them, the generous size of the bins will accommodate a huge assortment of possibilities!

4. A New Herb Garden

The 'retired' industrial bread pans come alive as a garden!
The 'retired' industrial bread pans come alive as a garden! | Source

5. A Simple Display Case

Simple and elegant repurposed industrial bread pans...
Simple and elegant repurposed industrial bread pans... | Source

Of course, you knew that somehow a garden was going to be part of the exhibition of the useful and fascinating ways to re-use the retired bread pan. This design uses 'industrial' loaf pans from Westons Bakery in Toronto, Canada. Industrial pans will allow you to bypass all the work of linking the pans together since they come that way!

I'm guessing that you could find retired industrial pans online as a spin-off of "retired" bakeries such as happened to Safeway in-store bakeries in many Canadian locations. Indeed, Safeway stores were removed altogether from many communities in 2014. You could also check with the going-concern bakeries in your city, as they are looking for somewhere to unload their well-used pans. Worth a try!

6. Bread Pans Repurposed as Magnetic Spice Rack

Handy dandy backdrop for magnetic spice jars
Handy dandy backdrop for magnetic spice jars | Source

A Brief History of the Bread Pan

Up until the 1700s in Britain, and elsewhere, bread was generally round or oblong, and baked in an outdoor clay oven.

In the 1700s the tin mines were revved up in Cornwall and one of the products of this metal mining and manufacture was the bread-baking tin (pan) of the oblong shape with straight sides and bottom that we are used to baking in today in North America.

Britain's John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, proclaimed himself the inventor of the 'sandwich', described by some foodies as the only good edible to come out of England. The sandwich was much helped in its launch by the uniform slice shape accomplished by baking in a tin loaf pan.

Today many North Americans gravitate towards artisan loaves (i.e., baguettes, oblong German rye bread, various flatbreads, hand-formed bagels and the like). I would also like to say that I am not alone in the West in having fallen in love with North African and Middle Eastern flatbreads. In spite of there being a wide variety of popular bread shapes on the market-- and a trend among people who eat "Paleo" to eschew grains, and therefore, especially flours, I don't think all the currently-used bread pans will be ending up as display shelves and herb gardens.

What Is Shabby Chic?

Shabby Chic Repurposing

Have you heard of Shabby Chic before?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Cynthia


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      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        16 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Very welcome Thelma Alberts! Keep those old bread pans out of the landfill and do creative things with them! All the best!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        16 months ago from Germany and Philippines

        Great ideas. I have to check if I have baking pans which I need to recycle. Thanks for the tips.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        And thank YOU for reading and commenting!

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        This is such a great hub about re purpose and reuse old bread pans!

        Your ideas are excellent and useful for environment. Who would have thought that old bread pans can make such useful and attractive utility items!

        Thank you for sharing. Loved your great ideas!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        poetryman6969-- you're a pretty comical guy! Thanks for dropping by and commenting on this hub-- I much appreciate it! ~Cynthia

      • poetryman6969 profile image


        4 years ago

        Kind of cool. As long as I don't have to try to use a muffin tin to hold household supplies I am probably down with it.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Hi DeborahDian- welcome! I'm happy to hear that you want to give this a try! I'd love to see what you come up with! All the best, Cynthia

      • DeborahDian profile image

        Deborah Carr 

        4 years ago from Orange County, California

        These are great tips. I have a couple of pans I could repurpose!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Thank you Besarien for your comments. I appreciate your point of view! I love the magnetic spice jars and have seen where people use their fridge faces to mount them as well... but I guess that wouldn't be shabby chic, would it? ~Cynthia

      • Besarien profile image


        4 years ago from South Florida

        Great hub with very good ideas here! I wish I had some old ones to repurpose. I'll have to keep my eye out at yard sales- because I absolutely need that magnetic spice rack. Coolest thing ever!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Dear Roberta-- thanks for stopping by and commenting! Yes, some of these ideas are not exactly jaw-dropping, but I'm sure it is healthy for our brains to come up with solutions for our junk that doesn't involve the burgeoning landfills. Hope you are enjoying pleasant Fall weather where you are! ~Cynthia

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        Love all these great repurposing ideas. They are also good for helping us think outside the box on how to use other items in unexpected ways.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Dear teaches, thanks for dropping by-- interesting to me how so much of what I dispose of as 'junk' becomes useful down the road! Many blessings, Cynthia

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        5 years ago

        Who would have thought bread pans could make such pretty household décor? I wish I would have kept my old pans now. Great share and so well put together!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Bridget F- thanks so much for dropping by! Exactly right-- who knew what to do with the old pans except to just shove them to the back of the cupboard?

      • Bridget F profile image

        Bridget F 

        5 years ago from USA

        Great ideas! I never know what to do with old pans!

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        FlourishAnyway, thanks for stopping by! Your comments are appreciated! ~Cynthia

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        5 years ago from USA

        Very cute ideas. I don't remember the last time I made bread! I have some old pans myself.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Thank you dear Faith Reaper! I'm pretty interested in those magnetic spice jars myself! And I appreciate your voting, tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing... wow! (and not least of all your blessing!!) ~Cynthia

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        5 years ago from southern USA

        Brilliant idea for a hub! I just love all of these fabulous ideas here you have shared, and I do have plenty of old bread pans too ...Yay! These are some cool ideas here, especially the magnetic spice jars.

        Wonderful hub. Voted up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

        Bless you

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Dear AliciaC-- thanks for looking over the hub and for your lovely comments!

        Dear MsDora-- I appreciate your encouraging remarks! Thank you!

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        What a unique article! Voted Up and More for all these beautiful modern look suggestions using old pans. Great content and presentation. Thank you.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        These are great ideas for using old bread pans, techygran. Thanks for sharing them.

      • techygran profile imageAUTHOR


        5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Hi Sallybea-- thanks for dropping by with your comments-- yes, I love the re-purposing concept in general, as well. I have quite a lot to work with around here ;) Have a lovely day!

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        5 years ago from Norfolk

        techygran - I especially love the herb garden but then, I really love the whole re-purpose thing - enjoyable hub, thank you.


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