I have many cans (formula cans, coffee cans, slim-fast cans). I would love to do something using the cans with my 2 1/2 year old son. Some are metal and some are the foil covered cardboard. I also have kept baby food jars? I would like ideas for him to make and be able to use and that he could make for gifts.
Thanks - Lisa
About the cans, you can cover them with colored paper and make flower vases out of them also for the baby food jars get some stickum and put little artificial flowers in the lid fill them with water and put lid back on tight. Then turn them over for a cute little nick nack. (02/17/2001)
For metal cans, hammer them down and paint. Then hammer one hole in each one, string up at different lengths with fishing line or whatever you have. This will make many nice wind chimes especially if you paint geometric shapes on them. Glass jars can be made into a single bath soak. Clean out a 2 liter plastic bottle. Add epson salt, a few drops food color, and a few drops scent then cap and shake. When it is the nice pastel color, you want pour into the baby bottles and attach a ribbon with a colorful card that directs the receiver to relax in a hot bath. (You can find epson salt at any Walmart and some grocery stores in with the cold medicines and sore muscles supplies. And I use the scents that go onto potpourri. Cardboard cans can be made into holders for different things by covering the sides with paint, paper or glueing little stuff to it. (02/17/2001)
Uses for baby food jars and formula cans: One year for Christmas I gave home made baskets of powdered hot drinks- i.e.. hot chocolate, friendship tea. I put them in the empty, clean powdered formula cans (I even kept the same scoop). Put them in a basket with a batch of cookies. Cute gift. For Baby food jars, last year I cleaned the labels off and tied a cute ribbon around the top and dropped a colored votive candle into each one. Put them all over the house. You can even add some glitter glue and stickers so that your son can help too. - Julie (02/17/2001)
With coffee cans, one can make stomper stilts: Turn the can open-end down. Make 2 holes, opposite each other, near the closed end of the can. Run a piece of rope, about 2-3' long, depending on child's height, through the holes and tie the ends together. Child can stand on the closed ends of the cans, and use the ropes as handles, to keep the cans snug to his feet as he lifts them to step.
To make a coffee-can roly-poly, make a slit about 1/2" long in the center of the lid, and in the center of the can bottom. Run a strong rubber band through the bottom slit, so most of the rubber band is inside the can. Secure it by putting a piece of popsicle stick, pencil, stiff card, or some such, through the small loop of rubber band, on the outside of the can, and pulling the end of the rubber band that's inside the can. This will keep the rubber band from simply pulling all the way inside the can through the slit. You can tape it if you want. Tape a few washers or some other kind of weight to the center of one string on the part of the rubber band that's inside the can. Put the other end of the rubber band through the slit in the can lid, secure as before with a piece of card or whatever, and fasten the lid to the can, making sure the rubber band isn't twisted against itself. When you roll the can away from you, the rubber band will get wound up because of the weight, and will come back to you as the rubber band unwinds.
I use cardboard cans for storing plastic grocery bags. I cut an "X" in the flexible plastic lid, and just stuff the bags in or pull them out as needed. I keep these in the trunk of the car for fruit picking or car clean-up or wet-clothes/diapers containment. I also keep them in the kitchen for waste basket liners.
If the cans don't have sharp edges, you can fasten several together to use as wall cubbies. Put a can, open-end up, on a table. Surround it with 6 more cans of the same size, also open end up. This will give you a flower shape (one can in the center, and 6 "petals"). Of course you can also make pyramids, parallelograms, whatever. Fasten them together with hot glue, duct tape, what-have-you. Mount this artwork to the wall for cubbies. The "flower" shape works well in the shed for storing hoses in winter without getting a kink in them, just wrap the hose (or extension cord, or...) around the outside. For a kids' room, you could mount the "flower" cubby on the wall, then paint a stem and leaves on the wall below it.
Baby food jars can be used to make "snow globes". Fill jar with light corn syrup, add some glitter, glue a trinket to the inside of the lid (remember the lid will become the base), and glue the lid shut, or simply close it very tightly.Baby food jars can be used to contain all kinds of small things: spices, thumbtacks, touch-up paint, garden seeds, those curling-ribbon "eggs", small game pieces. Some people fasten the lids to the underside of a shelf, and screw the jars into the lids so they can easily see/retrieve the contents. - MC (02/19/2001)
I use baby food jars to make Christmas trees as gifts. It takes 17 of them. Shape them into a tree and glue them together. Then I glue the tree to a piece of flat wood for it to stand on. I punch holes in the lids and paint them green. Inside each jar I put little pieces of tinsel and sometimes other small goodies. I then screw the lids on. Then I take a small strand of lights (35 I think it is) and tuck 2 into each hole. After that. I take wide ribbon and glue it around the outside of the tree. I also use those decorative strands of small balls that you would use around your tree, and I decorate the front of the glass tree, glueing them on. Sometimes I also take little fuzzy white and silver balls and glue them into the spaces between the jars. It makes the look like ornaments. Plug it in and you're ready to go!! You can be creative, sometimes I'll use red tinsel and white lights, etc. Depends on preference. Makes nice, inexpensive Christmas gift!! (02/22/2001)
Here is an idea you might like. File down any sharp egdes, paint the cans various colors and drill a hole in the bottom of the metal can, big enough to put a light from a string of christmas outdoor light through it. Use an over sized metal washer, with the opening of the wash no bigger than the light socket(to prevent the light from slipping through can after being hung). Hang the string of lights and plug in. Great for patio parties. (03/13/2002)
With large coffee cans you take three of them and cut off the bottom of two then stack them on top of each other with the one that has it's end on the bottom and glue or duck tape them together. take one regular size bath towel and cut to fit around the cans glue in place. Decorate with some flowers on the front of the towel covered cans. Take a matching wash cloth and cover lid to one of the cans gluing in place and then decorate with flowers. you now have a toilet paper holder with a lid that matches your bathroom colors. (09/28/2004)
By Dannielle Jenkins
I have made a foot cushion out of juice cans like juicy juice and it requires no sewing. I'm sure you can use coffee cans. You'll need and odd number of cans. I used seven. Cardboard of some type (you can use a box if necessary, just as long as it's thick enough) to cover the top of the cans so any holes are covered up if there is not a lid. Trace the top of the can on the cardboard, cut it out and place on the top of the can, secure with tape. Either a round thick foam where the circumference is a little bigger then the cans or polyfill. You can find the circumference of the cans by putting the cans in a circle as best as you can and measure in a cross motion or you can take a towel or large piece of paper and lay it gently over the cans and measure in a cross that way.
Finally you will need some fabric. Cotton blend is best. However you can use the material of your choice, both design/print and texture. 1 to 2 yards of fabric should be more then enough. It's a trial and error kind of project but well worth it when finished and it's really rather easy to make.
Again those materials needed are
How to do it: Once you have placed the cans in a circle, open end facing up (cover with lid or cardboard cut outs), secure the cans together with either duck tape or rope of some kind (eg. twine, yarn, etc.) or both. To use the string just wrap around each can in a figure 8 design so to speak making sure that the string goes around each can at least once until all are strung together. You can use tape to secure the string both at the beginning and the end. Then apply the polyfill or put the foam on top. With the polyfill, you will want to put enough to form a comfortable cushion when finished. Place one end of the fabric halfway on the bottom of the cans and wrap up to the top and continue over until you need to carefully flip the cans over to meet at the bottom matching up with the other end you started with. With the cans still in the flipped over position, trim any extra fabric left over.
Secure with duct tape or any other strong tape. Flip back over and enjoy your foot stool. There you go. Hope it's not to hard to follow my instructions. I am better at showing then explaining sometimes. :-) Sorry if it is hard to follow. You can make a pin cushion by using the same method of a much smaller scale with old medicine bottles of any kind but same height or old film containers. (03/11/2005)
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