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Creative Uses For Antique Salt Boxes

By Rachel

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Last Updated on November 6, 2021 by Rachel Granholm

Old salt boxes are such charming pieces and look beautiful as home decor. This post will help you learn some creative uses for antique salt boxes!

Salt is so important in kitchens all over the world, not only for cooking, but for practical purposes as well. Today’s blog is all about salt boxes; where they came from, what they were used for, and how you can use them in your home today. Follow along for some inspiration on creative uses for antique salt boxes!

Salt boxes, sometimes referred to as ‘hanging salt boxes’, were used in kitchens in northern Europe and colonial America, always on the wall next to where the cooking happened.

Salt boxes were an extremely important tool for settlers in North America as well. They would pound large lumps of salt with a mortar and pestle to ready it for use in the kitchen. Salt was important for preserving food as well as cooking with it and, since salt absorbs moisture from the air, the salt was stored in these boxes to be kept dry.

In those olden days, the salt box was a warm welcome into a home. It was full of significance and a symbol of hospitality in Germany. In Britain and Ireland, the salt box suggested a ‘well-run’ and comfortable home. The salt box and the salt itself may not have been too noticeable but it was an essential part of every home.

Salt boxes might look simple but were usually very well-crafted.

Most of the salt boxes in colonial times were made out of wood and came with a hinged lid. In antique stores today you can find them in enamelware, earthenware, silver, pewter, or ceramic. They also come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes. You will see them with or without lids depending on the age, material and origin of the box.

As far as pricing, there have been a handful that passed through Antiques Roadshow and one was appraised for $20,000! But, at most antique stores today, you can find them for under $100.
In your home today you can use salt boxes in a variety of ways.

Here are some creative uses for salt boxes:

  • as a wall decoration in the kitchen
  • if there is a collection of salt boxes, you can display them in your kitchen across a shelf or on top of cabinetry
  • you can use it as a vase or planter for fresh or faux flowers
  • it is a handy container for lotion or other bottles in your bathroom and can also hold hair ties or headbands
  • it makes a pretty wall vase for trailing greenery
  • it’s a cute container to hold easy snacks on the kitchen counter such as granola bars or fruit snacks

Salt boxes are such pretty vessels and are practical for any home. The variety of colors and materials make it easy for you to find one that you love and incorporate into your space. This simple piece of decor ushers in a vintage feel to any spot in your home and blends easily with more modern pieces. Take the journey of finding an antique salt box and give it new life.

I hope this post encourages you to seek out a salt box for your home and that these creative uses for antique salt boxes were a help to you!

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Let me know in the comments below which of the creative uses above you would use in your home!

Check out more inspiration for your home here!

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Christa Blaise
    January 18, 2024 11:45 am

    I’m so glad to have found you, your intro speaks me to a T ! Surprised that I just discovered the salt crock when seeing quite a few at the recent antique mall stroll I had taken. I looked it up and opened your explanation and now I think I might need to find the perfect one for myself!

    • Rachel Granholm
      January 18, 2024 12:04 pm

      Hi, Christa!
      I’m so happy to have you!! Thank you so much for the lovely comment…I’m so glad that this was helpful for you!
      If you need any more help or vintage resources, you can always send me an e-mail. I’d be happy to help! Hope you come back soon. Have a lovely day!


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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

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