| By Amelia Stolarz |
I’m not a big fan of accumulating excess kitchen items – especially those that take up a lot of storage real estate in the house and are not used often.
Since I enjoy baking and have accumulated a fair amount of baking tools, either by purchase or gift, I enjoy finding additional, nonconventional uses for the items so that they can earn their keep (space).
Cupcake pans are some of those fun-but-bulky baking tools. Thankfully, they have plenty of other uses beside the conventional one, so you can enjoy them for more than just baking those sweet little cakes.
Here are some ideas:
- Put cupcake decorations in them. If you have holiday-themed cupcake pans, bake and remove cupcakes, let the tins cool completely, wash and dry them thoroughly. Then, use the pans to hold sprinkles, edible sparkles, mini-chocolate chips, etc. for a cupcake-decorating activity at a party. Set out small spoons to administer the toppings.
- Serve appetizers in them. Use holiday cupcake pans as festive serving platters at holiday gatherings. Fill them with candies, nuts, cut-up cheese pieces, olives and cubed meats. Set out small tongs, toothpicks or spoons for serving.
- Bake savory treats in them. Make small appetizers and snacks in the pans. With a simple online search, you’ll find everything from hash browns and scrambled-egg cups to spaghetti-and-meatball cups made in cupcake tins.
For pans past their food-use days, upcycle:
- Organize small objects. For garage or household projects, employ the pans to hold different nails or screws in an orderly manner.
- Make an instrument. Tape or adhere different objects (golf ball, ping-pong ball, jingle bell) to the inside of all but one cup, give a child a wooden spoon and let them experiment with the different sounds.
- Play kids’ games. Use tins to create counting and sorting games for children. Just add dried beans, beads, marbles or coins. Homemade mancala, anyone?
- Make an artist’s palette. When crafting, fill a pan with different colored paints. Leave a few empty for mixing colors.
What is upcycling?
Upcycling is a way to transform old things and turn them into something new without breaking the product down into its raw materials. Instead, upcycling takes an old object and gives it new life. (Source: Rsidentialwastesystems)
If you found any of these tips particularly helpful or would like to share your ideas, let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
Amelia Stolarz is a lifelong organizing guru, an avid gluten-free baker and a Certified Public Accountant.