How to Use Your One-Off Pieces of Silver or China

Have you inherited random china or silverware from a family member?  Or have you ever been thrifting and found a single spoon or plate that you couldn’t pass up?  If you’ve ever found yourself in one of these situations and if you are struggling to figure out what to do with those pieces, then today’s post is for you!

polished antique silver

Welcome back to Home Talk Tuesdays!

I’ve been guilty of keeping dishes and silver tucked away in a cabinet because I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  There weren’t enough pieces to use as a set, or maybe I thought they were too nice to use routinely.  But I’ve come to the realization that things are meant to be used and not to just take up space and collect dust!  Today I wanted to talk about how I’ve been using my collection of plates, my mismatched silver spoons, and things like wine coasters in unconventional ways.

Uses For Random Silver Spoons

A couple of years ago I inherited a bunch of random sterling silver spoons from my grandmother and for a while they just sat tarnishing in the drawer.  (I use Tarn-x and a cotton ball to polish them right up.)  Then I realized that by using them I am able to create a few special little moments around our kitchen, even if they’re only used in the morning with coffee.  I now keep one spoon in my coffee jar because’s it’s the perfect size for scooping coffee into our refillable keurig k-cups.  We just keep it in there all the time and it’s a pretty way to make a mundane thing a little more enjoyable.

uses for random plates

I have also designated these silver spoons as my coffee stirring spoons.  I always use them rather than our daily-use eating spoons, and seeing and holding them daily makes me feel closer to my grandmother, who passed away in 2017.  I also use one of the larger spoons as my sugar spoon, and I keep that in my sugar bowl all the time too.  Growing up, my mom always kept small spoons on the counter in a vase or mint julep cup, and that way they’re always easily accessible for coffee, ice cream, or yogurt.  We’re a bit short on counter space in our home so I no longer do this, but it’s a great way to corral and prep them for use for your whole family.

Uses for Wine Coasters

wine coaster to hold candle

You don’t have to save a wine coaster for special occasions!  I have a few sterling silver and silver plated wine coasters, and while I do keep one out on the counter to hold red wine, I also use them to hold candles!  They’re often the perfect size for holding a standard sized 2-wick candle from Target (this one is my favorite).  Just peel off the label sticker from the candle and pop it into the wine coaster and you’ve immediately upgraded your run of the mill candle.

Uses for Random Pretty Plates and Bowls

uses for plates hang on wallplate wall - plate gallery wall - blue will plates - christmas plate wall - holiday plate walltropical fall decor

I’ve always been a big fan of hanging plates on the wall, and this is such a great way to display your collection and use those random plates you may have collected over the years.  Pick your prettiest or favorite plates, get a plate hanger (I prefer the brass ones with springs because I don’t trust the adhesive ones) and hang them on the wall with a nail!  Some of my arrangements from over the years are pictured above.

uses for pretty plates

I also like to use oblong plates as trays, and I’m currently using one to hold our frequently used kitchen things, like salt, pepper, olive oil, and crushed red pepper.  That silly toothpick holder is a wood carving from Germany.

I like to use wide but shallow bowls to hold our paper napkins, and I also use them as my lunchtime salad bowls.  They also make great decorative bowls for holding shells, match books, strands of beads (as seen above), or other pretty objects.

blue builtins - blue shelves - blue fireplace builtins - living room built-ins

Another way to display a plate is to get a plate stand and place them upright on a bookshelf or table top.  They’re great for filling voids or adding a little height.  They’re also nice just placed on a table top.

uses for plates

In a bedroom or bathroom I like to use them to hold jewelry, cufflinks, or hair accessories.  I also use a small dish to hold the bar of soap that I use every morning!

Have a plant with a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot?  Place the pot on a pretty plate to catch any water or dirt and protect your table!

Do you have any other creative ways to use these random items many of us have?  Please share in the comments if you do!

Katie Vail
Katie Vail

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Sarah
    February 7, 2023 / 11:45 am

    These are such great ideas! Thanks for sharing ways to integrate unique touches into the home.

    • February 7, 2023 / 3:04 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I appreciate you taking the time to read! I love how these little uses can help make a home feel a little more special!

  2. JLS
    February 7, 2023 / 12:17 pm

    I love the idea of the wine coaster with candles! I can now take my coasters out of the cupboards and use them! Thanks!

    • February 7, 2023 / 3:06 pm

      So glad it was a helpful idea! I think it’s so nice when you can find a way to use something more often, especially a pretty wine coaster!

  3. Holly
    February 12, 2023 / 1:42 pm

    The wine coaster idea? BRILLIANT! Love your style and the work you put into your posts, Katie!

    • February 14, 2023 / 9:57 am

      Thank you, Holly! I appreciate you taking the time to read!

  4. Megan Mae Joseph
    March 3, 2023 / 11:20 am

    I love the idea of using silver spoons for every day uses.

    • March 9, 2023 / 12:02 pm

      It’s such a simple way to elevate an every day moment!

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