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Uses for saltshakers

By on November 5, 2012

Saltshakers are plentiful at thrift stores, or you may have a few spares around your home. These handy little containers can be used in a variety of ways. Many of these uses will work for plastic Parmesan cheese shakers, too.


Cinnamon and sugar:

Combine cinnamon and sugar into a shaker and you’ll have it ready for toast or French toast, oatmeal, hot cocoa or coffee.
Glitter: Add glitter to shakers for craft projects. You can add colored sand to them, too.

Easy ornament:

Clear glass salt and pepper shakers filled with candy make great gifts or Christmas ornaments. Just slip a thin satin ribbon through the holes on the top, tie closed and use the ribbon as the hanger.

Stop splattering grease:

When cooking eggs, grease often splatters. Keep a shaker of cornstarch ready and sprinkle a bit in the pan to stop the splattering. Or fill the shaker with flour and use whenever you need to dust your counters or for pans when baking.

Air freshener:

Add a cotton ball soaked in vanilla or essential oil, or fill with coffee grounds, baking soda, vinegar or potpourri. The holes in the lid release the scents and help draw in any odors.


Add tiny plants, soil, small pebbles and moss to a clear glass saltshaker and you have a cute mini-terrarium.

Colored sugars for baked goods:

Put a drop of food coloring in a container that has a tight lid, add a couple of tablespoons of sugar and shake. Spread on a plate and shake again if it clumps. Store in an airtight container. Save spice jars with the shaker top or reserve a saltshaker to store the sugar.


Group various shakers and use them as miniature vases for wildflowers. They fit perfectly on a window ledge.

Photo stand:

Use a saltshaker as a base to create a photo stand. Coil 20-gauge craft wire. Insert the wire into the holes in the lid. Use sand, salt, buttons, beads or any small items and fill the shaker to stabilize the wire so it can hold a photo. For a tutorial, visit


Fill the shaker with fabric scraps or buttons. Add fiberfill or a piece of wool at the top and put the lid back on. Pins go into the holes and are secured by the wool or fiberfill.

In the garden:

Use a saltshaker to dispense tiny seeds evenly when sowing. One reader, Susie from Minnesota, shares another idea: “Getting seeds to sprout can be difficult. I use gelatin to help fight disease. I sow my seeds and add gelatin to a saltshaker and sprinkle the gelatin over the seeds. Then I mist the seeds and cover with wet paper towels. Once the seeds have sprouted, I remove the paper towels. When watering, I add a teaspoon of gelatin to a gallon of liquid fertilizer, too.”
Popcorn seasoning: Create your own popcorn seasoning mix and store it in a large saltshaker. Sprinkle it on your freshly popped popcorn. For popcorn seasoning recipes, visit

photo by spduchamp


  1. Marjie

    1/21/2013 at 2:36 pm

    Luv your ideas

  2. Yvonne

    7/24/2013 at 1:40 pm

    Dear Sara, I have several little brown medicine bottles and I have used them for everything from seedlings to dried spices and pins and needles and nails etc. Do you have any other unique ideas for these little bottles? I have three different sizes. Thank you. Yvonne

  3. steve

    7/1/2014 at 9:10 am

    how do you stop moisture from getting in to the items in the salt shakers?

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