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Before you do anything with old cutlery, it's a good idea to brainstorm the different options based on its condition and usefulness to you. Helpful categories to keep in mind are other tableware applications in which you could use it as well as craft, selling, charity, and give-away possibilities. Whether you have inexpensive flatware or sterling pieces you don't want to use for your dining tableware, thinking about all of your options can help you come up with the best way to dispose of the old cutlery.
If the old knives, forks and spoons once belonged to a now deceased relative, giving them to someone in your family who was close to the person can be a welcomed gesture. Keeping items in the family can be important to people who are sentimental and appreciate having even small things that remind them of loved ones. Even if the old cutlery doesn't have a family history, you could give still give it to a relative on a low income. Donating the flatware to a local charity such as a homeless shelter or group home can be another good option. You could also list it for pick up in the "freebies" section of an online or print neighborhood classified ads publication or drop it off yourself to a local secondhand store.
Old cutlery that is sterling silver or in demand as a collectible could be sold to a consignment shop in your area that will then give you some of the profit if and when a customer purchases it. You could also list it for sale in your local classifieds or on a worldwide auction website. If you were thinking of holding a yard or garage sale anyway, you could sell the cutlery there.
For those creative individuals who love making crafts, hanging the flatware pieces with clear fish line and decorative beads and attaching them to an old cheese grater to create a whimsical wind chime can be a fun idea. Old cutlery can also be ideal for working with clay pieces to form all kinds of interesting shapes and textures for jewelry or other craft designs. If the utensils aren't too sharp, older kids could use these for crafting with modeling clay. Mismatched but still usable old flatware can be quaint and charming, as well as practical, when used at a summer cottage because there's no need to worry about ruining a matched set if any pieces are lost.