Bowls for the trash? Try recycling them creatively instead! 12 ideas for plastic, wood, glass and metal bowls

by Mark Bennett

April 27, 2024

objects made from old, recycled bowls

You probably use bowls every day, especially in the kitchen, right? That said, as time passes, bowls get worn out, chipped, stained, etc. and need to be thrown out, correct? Well, not if you can recycle them creatively! Keep reading:

1. An open-air terrarium


Glass bowls are perfect for turning into open-air terrariums: recreating a  miniature garden inside them with soil and different plants all clustered together, will look beautiful displayed almost anywhere!


2. Potpourri container


As an air freshener, nothing's better than potpourri. Put your potpourri "custom blends" into a recycled bowl to give it a "second life" and perfume your home.

3. DIY giant candles

Making candles  is not difficult, and you can make them in any container. You can create a giant candle with a large bowl and three or four wicks. It will look great when placed in the center of your dining table!

4. Tidy up jewelry


Small ceramic or wooden bowls are ideal for tidying up and ordering small objects, such as jewelery. These bowls are also very handy as "pocket emptiers" when placed at the entryway to the house.

5. An elegant birdbath

Jerri Dawson/Pinterest

Do have a large, shallow bowl to recycle? You could transform it into an elegant birdbath to decorate your garden. If we use a metal bowl for this, however, it is better to place it where it's not exposed to (much) direct sunlight.


6. Treat-filled centerpiece


Sweets, chocolates, cookies and other similar treats: it's nice to have these at the ready for your guests. A cute bowl (perhaps with a stand), serving as a treat-filled centerpiece is perfect for this role!

7. A tailor-made gift basket


Do you want to give a gift basket to a friend or relative? You could use a bowl!


8. A multi-layer stand

If have several bowls of the same style but in different sizes, you can easily make a multi-layer stand. Use it to store your knick-knacks, decorate it with plants or with seasonal ornaments.

9. Alternative storage space

A bowl in good condition can become a spacious and convenient object/knick-knack holder. And a wooden bowl is even better: you can cover the inside of a wooden bowl with fabric and paint/decoupage the external surface.


10. A pot for succulents

It's a Mod, Mod World/Pinterest

If you are confident you can water succulents in non-draining bowls properly, then any bowl can become a planter for them. Better still, however, is to consider using bowls you can drill 3 or 4 holes into to ensure proper drainage. 

11. Unique lampshades


Are the bowls you want to recycle still beautiful and in decent condition? You could consider turning them into original lampshades for DIY light fittings.


12. Makeshift ice chest for parties

If the bowl you have is large and you want something to keep your drinks cold, use it as an ice chest! If the bowl isn't all that beautiful, you could put it in a wicker basket!

Have you found any ideas here for recycling your old bowls?