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Reinventing Uses For Vintage Bread Boxes

By Rachel

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I hope you find encouragement here today on reinventing uses for vintage bread boxes!

Fresh, bakery bread is just one of the most delicious foods that there is. Today’s post is all about decorating with vintage bread boxes; what they were all about, how they came to be as well as how you can use them in your home. Join me as I show you some ways for reinventing uses for vintage bread boxes!

The bread box, once a staple in every kitchen prior to the 1980’s, was an extremely useful tool in those years after its invention.

Dating back to the 1800’s, bread boxes were first used to transport bread on wagons and trains and was patented in 1918 by Stanley Walter Krebs.

It may not be the first item on the list of things that you NEED in a kitchen but bread used to be made daily and the use of a bread box made that freshness last much longer. It fell out of popularity once production bread made it’s appearance.

So what exactly is a bread box?

Well, it isn’t exactly a ‘box’ but it’s not very complicated. Most came in at 1.5 feet long and were either oval or rectangular shaped. The lid of the box always faced towards the front; some boxes had hinges, some had rollers, some offered a pull-open door and others had a handle on top to take the lid on and off.

It was often large enough for two full loaves of bread while also keeping pests at bay that might have found their way to the counter.

The bread box has changed over time so many materials have been used to accommodate the looks that people were going for. Wooden bread boxes were often popular and are highly sought after in today’s market. Some of these wooden boxes contain old-style lettering or designs that offer a vintage feel.

Enamel is another popular material for bread boxes, offering the most antique aesthetic. These are made from thin metal and usually have a decorative print on the front. Other materials for bread boxes include plastic, stainless steel and ceramic.

You can use vintage bread boxes in your home today in various ways.

If you are actually going to use one to keep your bread fresh, I would suggest buying a new one because then you can be sure that it is food safe. Some of the antique ones may have lead paint or other chemicals not suited for food.

two loaves of fresh bread

Here are some ways for reinventing uses for vintage bread boxes:

  1.  Use it as a decor piece in your kitchen. They look pretty on top of cabinets or on a kitchen shelf.
  2.  As a vessel to hold flowers, either faux or fresh. For faux, insert a piece of floral foam and then tuck the faux stems into that. For fresh, line it with a large Ziploc bag before inserting the flowers so that the water doesn’t leak.
  3.  Use it as a mail or bill organizer on a desk.
  4.  Drill a hole(s) in the back to thread your cell phone charger through as a charging station.
  5.  Use it as a kitchen ‘snack station’ to hold gum, mints, bite size candy, small bags of chips, etc…
  6.  Organize pony tail binders, clips, headbands, etc..on the bathroom counter.
  7.  Bring it outside on the deck or patio and use it to hold sun screen, bug spray, lip balm and hand wipes.

With so many different options to choose from, a cute bread box can be a staple in your kitchen again or whatever you decide to use it for! Antique stores contain many bread boxes that you can peruse and pick one that pairs nicely with the decor that you already have.

Try out one of the options listed above for a unique way to use antiques in your home! I hope this inspires you today to go about using some of these simple ways on reinventing uses for vintage bread boxes.

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Let me know in the comments below how you would want to use an old bread box!

Read more on inspiration for your home.

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Hello I’m Rachel.

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

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique and vintage. Let’s journey together!

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