How to Reuse Old Cookie Sheets

When my husband and I got married he brought with him some coated non-stick cookie sheets. As most things with coated surfaces, the non-stick has begun to wear away. Rather than keep using them, I came up with some ways to reuse old cookie sheets.

Why is it bad when non-stick coating flakes away?

Typical non-stick coating will be made of Teflon, which is a nearly indestructible compound, pfoa. According to Good Housekeeping, “PFOA is associated with tumors and developmental problems in animals, and experts are concerned about its possible effects on humans.”

There are a whole host of issues with Teflon’s safety, especially when it comes to the manufacturing process. There are entire academic articles on that topic so we are just going to skim the surface.

Teflon itself is actually stable and safe (depending on your definition) by the time it gets to your kitchen. The issue comes when it is overheated (upwards of 500 F). At that temperature the coating begins to break down and can release toxic chemicals into the air.

Unfortunately some non-stick coatings have been found to start breaking down at temperatures even lower than that. Additionally, it is pretty easy to overheat a pan if you are multi-tasking in the kitchen or searing meats.

As to flakey bits that might come of over time, they are apparently not a huge risk. According to the FDA a small piece would “most likely” just pass through our bodies.

Personally, I’d rather not risk it and just find new uses for what non-stick bakeware we do have, and not add anymore to our kitchen equipment in the future.

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Can I recycle old cookie sheets?

If you aren’t in the mood for a DIY project it might sound more appealing to just throw out the cookie sheet.

It’s hard to say if your local recycling center has the ability to process the metal from bakeware. Best thing to do is give them a call and ask.

If they can’t recycle it, here is a possibility the baking sheet can be dropped off at a scrap metal facility.

Ways to Reuse Old Cookie Sheets

Mobile Chalk Board

Our daughter loves to draw, especially places she shouldn’t. You can easily create a mobile chalk board with your old cookie sheets for the price of chalkboard spray paint.

Before you paint the sheet, give it a good sanding down to remove any excess non-stick coating or other goop.

Wash it well, then let it dry.

I set my cookie sheet in the grass and gave it two coats of chalk spray paint, waiting about ten minutes between coats. Voila! A clean chalk board surface ready for my daughter to haul around the house or yard.

cookie sheet chalk board diy rough and tumble farmhouse

Magnetic Board for Kids

What toddler doesn’t love fridge magnets?? Cookie sheets work great as a mobile magnetic board that kiddos can take anywhere.

You can keep it super simple and just use the cookie sheet as is. Or, you can paint it with chalk paint as mentioned above and have it double as a magnetic board/chalk board.

You can also paint it with whatever colors you like. If you are especially crafty, you can paint it to match a magnet set. Say you have farm animal magnets. Paint a barn, fields, etc. Woodland animals? Paint a big tree or forest on there and let them create their own stories to go with it.

Fridge Chalk Board

I’m one of the last people to come up with cute ideas for home décor. I’m typically more of a follower in that regard.

Still, after making a mobile chalk board for my daughter I was struck by how cute a cookie sheet would look up on the fridge. This would be perfect for shopping lists, notes, or even turning into a more permanent calendar feature.

To make a fridge chalk board you’d need chalk spray paint and some sticky backed magnets. Super easy!

cookie sheet upcycle ideas rough and tumble farmhouse

Plant Tray

In addition to some old cookie sheets we also had a few baking dishes that were starting to get scuffed.

These work PERFECTLY to hold collections of small potted plants or even a larger house plant. Who cares if the metal gets a bit rusty? It just adds to the farmhouse charm.

Again, you can easily spruce these up with a little paint of whatever color you want or can simply be used as is.

diy garden tools rough and tumble farmhouse

Decorative Sign

With some paint and stencils or a cute vinyl cut out, you can make a cute sign for your kitchen, garden, or even your barn using an old cookie sheet as the canvas.

diy cookie sheet wall art rough and tumble farmhouse

Tray for Pet Food

Messy cats and dogs? Use the cookie sheet or baking tray as is or spruce it up with some paint to make a containment tray for kibble and water. You can even put a sticky magnet on the underside of their food and water dishes to keep them from sliding around the tray.

Now that you’ve found ways to reuse old cookie sheets, here are some more easy DIY home décor ideas.

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ways to upcycle cookie sheets rough and tumble farmhouse

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