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 Staley says:

    Is it possible to buy one of these new? I currently have a metal/tin bread box insert in my base cabinet and it’s looking very rusty and corroded. Would like to replace it with a new one.

  2. beth says:

    My understanding growing up with these or counter bread boxes is that they kept the bread from getting stale as fast however I’m sure the critter repellent aspect was a consideration too.

  3. Jacki says:

    I gave a vintage counter top bread box and it really does keep items fresher for much longer. I’m excited to see your article about the drawer version. I’m planning to start a renovation/update of my 1965 kitchen. I was just thinking I want to have more Lear counter space and would probably sell the bread box, but wondered if there were other options. I will definitely be searching for one. ?

  4. Lisa9000 says:

    I love the bread box that came with the vintage Morton kitchen cabinets I installed. Mine has a lift top however instead of the clever sliding top that yours does. It is where I stash all the bread and chip products. The bread box and the reeded glass doors on my upper cabinets are the things that always catch everyone’s eye when they see my kitchen for the first time. Retro-Fancy!

  5. carolyn says:

    I’m surprised Astro didn’t alert you to the mouse, most small breeds were for mice alarms. Whereas a cat would catch it and lay it on the mat in front of the sink for you (to step on and shriek) to see the evidence they are on the job.

  6. Karin says:

    My grandfather built the house that my dad grew up in. The kitchen had beautiful knotty pine colonial cabinets and paneling. One of my favorite features was the bread box drawer. Grandma kept old pots and pans in there for the little kids to play with.

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