Bread box inserts that fit right into your kitchen cabinet drawers: Mice, begone!

bread box insert Back in they day, they made metal bread boxes to insert right into kitchen cabinet drawers. The idea for these predates fitted kitchen cabinets — these inserts seem to have first been used on kitchen stepback cupboards including the famous Hoosier cabinets. Of course, I had one of these Hoosier bread boxes in my stash — picked up at an estate sale years ago. This weekend, we pulled it out and installed it after, ick, it was clear that mice, or a mouse, had squeezed into a drawer next to our sink and began eating into a bag of gorp stored there. We’ll see if this nifty vintage bread box insert keeps the critters out!

bread box drawer insert

Above: A brochure in my 1949 marketing for Berger steel kitchen cabinets calls this a “bread and cake box”. I am not sure whether these vintage bread box drawers were meant to keep mice out — or whether the metal enclosure is thought to keep bread fresher longer. Any experts out there who know for sure?

bread box insert for kitchen cabinet drawersI am not sure if *my* breadbox insert was ever used. I had it stored in the attic. I think the humidity up there aged it, over time. Still, it is in great shape.

bread box that goes into a kitchen cabinet drawerThe piece is overall, quite lightweight. The easily-removed top slides to open and close and has a bit of venting in it.

vintage bread box sliding top It fit the drawer perfectly!

hoosier cabinet bread boxOf course, we also took steps to plug up holes where we thought our little mouse friend might be getting in. 

Where to find vintage bread box drawer inserts like this: 

  • These are common on ebay. Try search terms like Hoosier bread box… vintage bread box drawer… vintage bread box insert… bread box drawer 

  1. Diana says:

    Two of the drawers in the 1960 home I grew up in were lined with tin. No covers though. Mom kept crackers and cookies in them. Now I just store my bread in the fridge.

  2. Pam says:

    My Mom still has one in her original 1958 kitchen, the house I now live in has one in it’s original 1978 kitchen and in my old house when we remodeled the kitchen in 1987 they were still offering it as an option, so we got one. I just thought that everyone always had one.

  3. judy h. says:

    My grandma had one of the exact drawers in her kitchen in her metal kitchen cabinets! She kept her bread there, but also several varieties of Archway cookies. My sisters and I were NOT to open that drawer without her expressed permission!!

  4. ToniRae Anderson says:

    You can purchase the breadbox inserts for your cabinet base drawers in a couple of different sizes from Rev-a-Shelf

  5. Stacy says:

    I have one of these in my vintage 1968 kitchen. I never knew they existed until I stumbled on mine while cleaning the cupboards and drawers before we moved in. I absolutely LOVE it! My bread stays fresh and I’ve never had a “critter ” issue. Plus, I love that I don’t have to use up valuable counter space with a bread box!

  6. Ranger Smith says:

    I had one of these in my house that was built in 1940 and I bought from the original owner in 1988. I didn’t really see the need for it but kept it because it was part of the house.

  7. lynda says:

    I use OXO pop ups for bread and other items. I also have all food stuffs in plastic or glass containers in the pantry. NO mice or bugs near food. Also, I use that foam spray stuff to close up every hole or crevice in the basement or the garage so they cannot get in house. My husband adjusted the garage doors so they cannot squeeze under the doors. But, the bread drawer idea is a great idea.
    Homes –always something fun!

  8. Kerri Stahl says:

    We had one of those! Our house was a post-war development called Lafayette Estates in Fords, New Jersey. Four of the same house style, then the fifth house was different with a pointed roof (I’ve never seen the style anywhere else), then the pattern continued. As kids, we assumed the pointed houses were more expensive lol. I believe my parents bought it in late 1968 for around $20,000.

  9. CarolK says:

    I’m not an expert so I consulted Wikipedia. It turns out that they were triple purpose: to keep bread fresh, to prevent vermin (mice, etc) from getting to your bread, and to prevent mold.

    There’s nothing quite like picking up the loaf of bread so you can have your morning toast only to find a mouse in the loaf. This happened to a roommate of mine in ’74.

    I have a countertop breadbox, but I’d get a built-in in my new cabs if we ate more bread. I eat a fair amount while my husband eats almost none at all. I love baking bread though

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