Put a sheet of newspaper inside your refrigerator and close the door. This works just like baking soda to keep your fridge smelling fresh. Change it as needed, and if you actually read the paper, it’s a freebie freshener!
There are so many things that you can do with large cans. They’re great for organizing, storing, building blocks for children, crafts … There are so many things that you can do with large cans that we wanted to start this page to give our readers some ideas. If you have a project or idea for using large cans that we haven’t listed here, please feel free to leave a comment.
Decorate Your Recycled Can
You can cover the outside of your recyled can using any of the items or methods below:
- wallpaper sample or scraps
- decoupage pictures
- decorative napkins
- aluminum flashing
- mosiac using broken dishes
- mosiac or glue on buttons
- mosiac tiles
- paper mache
- gift wrap
- construction paper
- book cover
- decorative contact paper
Cut a thin rectangle out of the lid using a craft knife. Decorate your new bank however you like.
Store craft & sewing supplies in large cans with or without a lid. Use labels or pictures to identify what’s in each can.
Set a jar or water glass into a decorated can.
Paint or decoupage as many clean aluminum cans as you will want for vases. Punch a hole near the top of the can with a nail and fill half way with water. Hang on picture hooks and place flowers or greenery in each can.
Kitchen Utensil Holder
Prepare plaster-of-paris or cement according to package directions. Pour 1 to 2-inches of plaster into utensil holder to make it more stable. Allow to dry before adding kitchen utensils!
Use a can opener to remove both ends from a large can. Cover the sharp edges on both ends of the can with strong tape such as duct or masking tape to protect your child and prevent the plastic wrap from tearing. Stretch plastic wrap over one end of the can and secure with a rubber band, then wrap tape around the can to secure the rubber band. Tip: to get a better view line the inside of the can with anything black, such as black paint, craft foam or construction paper.
Dip the covered end of the can into the water and look into the can from the open end. The pressure of the water against the plastic wrap curves it, making it into a magnifying lens!
To make your waterscope more fun place objects in the water to view or take your waterscope to a tide pool.
Make Life Easier
Keep your small survival items in a large coffee can stored in your trunk and/or in a convenient place in your home.
As a campfire cooking utensil you can boil foods in the can and place the aluminum lid directly on your coals as a fry pan.
Store candle stubs.
Use cans for mixing custom paint colors then just snap the plastic lid on to store. Don’t forget to dab a bit of paint on the outside of the can to make finding the color you want easy. If you’ll be storing your paint for longer than a week or two seal the lid with tape to make it airtight.
A plastic lid from a large can will make your next painting job less messy. Cut a slit in the center of the lid and pull the paintbrush handle through the slit so that the brush is on the side of the lid with the lip. Dip your brush in the paint and slap away at the wall just like you normally would only this time there won’t be any drips down the handle of the brush or splatters on your hands or eyeglasses.
Store opened dry goods in cans that have reusable plastic lids such as empty coffee cans. Leave them right in their paper or plastic bags, just drop into the can & label, or pour into can, cut label off original container & tape to can.
Glue a few of the original potato chips to the inside lid of the can. Keep it in your pantry as a safe place to store valuables. Few burglars will even bother to glance twice at the can, but if they do they’ll see the potato chips through the lid and hopefully won’t bother to open the can. As further insurance instead of gluing chips to the lid you can put your valuables inside, then stack chips on top of them. It will be harder for you to retrieve your goodies when you want them but they will be safer from prying hands since the can will look and feel more like a real potato chip can.
Tip: don’t use this method to store heavy valuables as the can will feel too heavy and be a dead giveaway that there’s more than potato chips in it.
Use an empty container with its original lid to mail cookies, other baked goods and breakable items. Just fill with goodies, securely tape the lid in place, wrap in plain paper, address and mail. Don’t forget to label your package “Fragile”, although I label all my packages “Breakable” and “Glass” to ensure they are treated gently.
Turn two 1-pound coffee cans upside down so that the plastic lid is on the bottom. Leave the lid on as it will help to protect your floors. There are several ways to attach foot or hand holds:
Spread epoxy glue on the bottom of two old shoes or sandals that are large enough for your kids to put their feet into. Attach shoes to the metal top of the now upside down coffee cans. When epoxy is dry your kids can put their feet inside the shoes and take off.
Using a nail poke two holes, one on each side of the can about half and inch from the top. Thread several strands of ribbon or string that have been braided together, or some rope, through holes in cans. Tie a knot inside the can. Kids can stand on the cans and hold onto the rope handles. They’ll need to practice lifting each foot with the corresponding rope to be able to walk in their stilts.
Cut an old belt into six-inch lengths so that you have 4 lengths for each pair of stilts. Nail one end of each length to the top of each can so that there are two straps on each can that are spaced so that a child can slide his/her foot into them. You might want to start by having your child stand on a pair of cans while you position and mark the straps. After nailing the straps in place (without the child’s feet in them!) turn the cans over and bend the nails down.
This project can be made using aluminum or cardboard cans. I used a mix of coffee canisters and oatmeal canisters. Give them a rinse. Spray with three coats of paint. Let dry completely.
Use just a bit of tape at the mouths of each canister to connect three canisters together for the base. Do the same with two cans for the second tier. Glue each row of canisters together with clear silicone or any other strong glue, then glue the row of two cans to the row of three cans and top the two can row with one can. When glue is dry, remove the tape and you have a wine rack for FREE – whee!
more great recycling ideas
I have a stack of old cookie trays that are way too grungy to use for baking but I like to use them for messy crafts like making beeswax candles and arts and crafts painting projects. One day when I was using a tray for a magnetic kids game (to keep all the pieces from getting spread out all over the floor) it occurred to me that I could at least make the tray pretty by covering it with some left over contact paper. All I had was plain white contact paper which after covering one side of the tray with it I accidentally discovered that the white contact paper worked great with dry erase markers. The kids could write directly on the contact paper, wipe it off and start all over with a new design. This opened up a whole new idea for me – Kids Crafts Trays!
Then I remembered that I had some chalkboard paint leftover from a home office project, which I then used to paint the other side of the cookie tray. I’ve since discovered that there is also a chalkboard contact paper that you can use if you don’t want to bother with painting on the chalkboard surface. Now I had a tray that the kids could use with dry erase markers on one side and chalk on the other side, and of course the tray itself works great to take along in the car, on the plane, in hotel rooms for childrens craft kits, craft projects, magnetic games, etc.
Don’t dump leftover coffee down the drain! It’s perfect for homemade granitas, popsicles, smoothies, and iced lattes. Add cream, flavoring and/or sweetener as desired & you’ve got a practically free dessert or snack.