Straining pasta. Martian helmets. These images spring to mind when I hear the word "colander." But the humble colander has lots of other potential uses ... and why not? The steel version does, after all, sport a super-cool classic design that just begs to be creatively repurposed. Check out these ideas!
Handy Household Uses
1. Grease splatter reducer.
Carefully place a colander upside down over frying foods. The heat can get out, but the grease is largely contained.
2. Warm a serving bowl.
I love this one: Set your colander inside a pasta serving bowl, then drain boiling pasta as usual. Instead of running down the drain, the hot water will get the bowl warm and ready for your spaghetti and meatballs.
3. Berry storage.
Fruit keeps better when air can circulate all around, and that's especially true for delicate berries. So keep your berries in a colander instead of a plastic container.
4. Bathtub toy scoop.
Round up those rubber duckies in no time with a colander. A quick shake drains drips easily, and you can store toys in the colander, too.
5. Play accessory.
Kids love to watch anything drain through a colander. I mean anything. Sifting water, small beads, bird seed, sand, or good old-fashioned dirt through a colander works well for keeping kids entertained.
6. Craft template.
Whenever you need to draw a circle for a kiddie craft – or any reason, for that matter – the colander is always an easy way to go. Example: make an almost instant face mask. Cut your circle, then punch holes in each side and attach string. Cut holes for eyes and let your child decorate as they wish.
7. Bug tent.
Colanders can't keep tiny bugs off picnic and barbecue spreads, but they will help discourage large flies
. So if your platter has no lid and you're in a pinch, grab a colander and pop it upside down over your food.
8. Wind chime.
Cleaning out grandma's attic? Don't throw out all those vintage kitchen utensils. As Family Fun
magazine demonstrates, kids can make a very cute wind chime
with them with only a bit of help from you.
Crafty Interior Projects
9. Lamp shade.
An upside down colander makes an eye-catching lamp shade – just be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot metal! An Instructables post shows you how to make a colander into a hanging lamp shade
, while Craftzine demonstrates a table lamp version
10. Holiday display.
Heaps of scented pine cones not doing it for you anymore? Want something a little more unexpected for your holiday party centerpiece? AC's craftsters suggest piling a colander full of holiday lights
. Presto! An easy, yet whimsical table display.