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Uses for Metal Coffee Cans

Category Reusing
These containers can be used for storing things and a variety of crafts. This guide is about uses for metal coffee cans.


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By 2 found this helpful
March 14, 2011

Re-use metal coffee cans and lids. My grandfather used coffee cans to store nails, bolts, small screw drivers, and other tools. The cans kept the moisture out and kept things organized. They can also be used to store small containers of oil, etc. and sandpaper.

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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June 12, 20111 found this helpful

Coffee Can Bird Feeder

Get a coffee can with a plastic lid and clean it thoroughly. Any size can be used.

Make three or four evenly spaced holes in the sides of the can, near the bottom. You may use a bottle opener for this.

Drill holes (or use the bottle opener again) to make two holes across from each other at the top of can...thread a wire or string through so you can hang feeder. Fill with seed, put plastic lid back on and hang! Chickadees love mine! I'm sure you could also attach a tray at the bottom somehow to catch falling seeds.

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January 19, 2012

Coffee cans make really cute drums for the toddler and preschool set. I spray painted mine with leftover plastic paint, cut 2 vertical slits , one on each side and inserted a man's belt through the slits and buckled it on the inside. Then I popped the lid back on, added 2 dowel sticks or wooden spoons. The belt goes around the back of the preschooler's neck (like the Fisher Price toy drum) and the drum hangs in front in easy banging distance. The drum can be decorated with stickers, colored tape, etc.

Source: Desperation! One grandchild had the Fisher Price drum and the other wanted one, too. So I made one from a large plastic coffee can I had.

By PollyG from Turtle Creek, PA

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By 0 found this helpful
February 7, 2007

I save large tin coffee cans to use as containers I give my baked treats away with. This is the Christmas theme I used. I am not camera savvy, sorry.

I used ribbon in different sizes and types wrapping the cans and ending with large bows in the back. (before I did this step I cut a small matching piece to glue along the seam of the can to better hide the seam).

I cut slits in lids and ran curling ribbon through, tied bells to that before I curled the ribbon as a finishing touch and placed a bow over that. Most cans I used 2 colors or designs of ribbon. One can I covered in wrapping paper then used ribbon. The possibilities for decorating ideas for these are endless and you're recycling.


Tip: Go to a few different stores after each main holiday to catch the sales and you will get a great assortment of ribbon and decorations at a huge discount to use for the next holiday. For most of mine I paid between 75 to 90% off the original prices.

By Freedom059 from OH

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 8, 20070 found this helpful

If you buy Folger's Coffee it comes in Green and Red Plastic Cans. That would save you painting the can and ready with Christmas colours. I love your idea anyway.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 27, 20000 found this helpful

I have many 3 lb. coffee cans that I hate to throw away. Does anyone have any clever and practical uses for them? Thanks.


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By guest (Guest Post)
January 19, 20050 found this helpful

I take 3 large cans and make toilet tissue holder in bathroom. It will hold 4 rolls of paper. Cut bottom out of two of them and glue all 3 of them on top of each other. Cover with fabric or towel of your color choice. I use super glue to do this. Take one tin lid and cover with washcloth. Take rubber band and gather excess. Have fun.

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July 6, 20050 found this helpful

There's a company selling durable coffee can lids in multi colors. This makes it possible to toss that old flimsy plastic lid. Then you can paint the can the color of the lid that you buy and craft the can say with a glue gun and trinkets in any theme you want. These make great personal gifts. Makes great projects for kids like boy and girl scout troops, etc.

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

You can put a small coffee can with 1/2 and 1/2, vanilla and sugar (ice cream mix) in it, lid on tight inside a big coffee can with ice and salt packed in around it to make ice cream. Tape the large lid on, and roll the can around for 20-30 minutes, then check to see if you have ice cream. Kids love this, and moms look really silly playing "kick the can" in the street. Great fun!

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September 15, 20050 found this helpful

I need 10 of them, how can I purchase, rds2301 @ (remove spaces)

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 9, 20050 found this helpful

I have many 1 and 3 lb coffee cans with lids if any one wants them. All they have to do is pay the actual shipping costs. please email trinkys2 @ (remove spaces) and list coffee cans in the subject line.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 27, 20060 found this helpful

I found always found it usefull to use old coffee cans to put cigarette butts in.

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November 16, 20080 found this helpful

Try this site [ ] this will give you some ideas of what to do w/those old 3 lb cans. And a 3 lb coffee can is also the exact same size at the large #10 vegy cans. Dave

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November 14, 20110 found this helpful

I use my old coffee cans to dump old coffee grounds into. I hate pouring them directly into the trash can liners as I've had too many rip on me and out come the grounds. When can is filled, cover with the can's lid (save that too), and put the whole thing into the trash.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 14, 20110 found this helpful

Uses for coffee cans. Post your ideas.


Using Coffee Cans

I use empty coffee cans (well washed and thoroughly dried, of course!) to store pasta, etc. Keeps bug out of the cabinets!

By Becki in Indiana (01/24/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Uses for Coffee Cans

I bake bread in coffee cans. When fully baked the bread takes on a look of a mushroom. With the bread being round, it's perfect for a sandwich. I hope you too will enjoy this use. (01/24/2005)

By Rio Lady

Uses for Coffee Cans

I have a lot of animals (birds,, squirrel). I use the coffee cans for their food so that other animals can not get in them and I don't have bags of food sitting all over the place they can be placed on top of each other for easy storing. The others are used by our child to keep small toys in them so the dogs can not choke on them after he is through playing with them. (01/25/2005)


Uses for Coffee Cans

Coffee cans are great for picking berries and cherries. If they are allowed on a beach, you got youself a sturdy sand bucket, complete with scoop.

you can use coffee cans for small home repair projects like cementing, plastering or painting. And it's a nice way to clean tools and brushes up afterwards. Also think of the possibilities of decorating these containers to use in the house (02/05/2005)

By Mr. Thrifty

Uses for Coffee Cans

I use mine as a cantenna to access wireless internet! You can do a google search to find out how to make these cantennas. The largest size coffee can actually works! (02/18/2005)

By wheelbarrow_1

Uses for Coffee Cans

I put the dog do do in it from outside. (02/18/2005)

By thunderbabe

Uses for Coffee Cans

I cut a whole in the plastic top and line the can itself with a plastic grocery bag and then place the plastic top back on. I place one in the front and one out back for when smokers come over so they have somewhere to put the butts from their cigarettes and I don't have to run around the next day in the lawn picking them up. When they get full I just remove the plastic bag, tie it, toss it, and put in a new one. (02/18/2005)

By Suzanne S.

Uses for Coffee Cans

Make a birdhouse with them. Cut a small hole in the plastic lid - about 1 inch in diameter - slightly below center. Add a perch, if desired. Insert an opened and straightened wire hanger, rope, etc on both ends to hang with. You will have to puncture the bottom end of the can to insert your choice of hanger as well as another tiny hole on the plastic lid. The lid can then be removed at the end of the season to clean out the house if needed. You might want to paint the can with non toxic paint as birds sometimes are frightened by shiny metal. (02/22/2005)

By Elizabeth

Uses for Coffee Cans

When you're camping, for making toast over a gas or coleman stove: Cut both ends off a metal coffee can, peel off the plastic coating on sides, cover one end with foil, place a small grill from a toaster oven over top, slice some holes/strips in the tin foil and put your toast on top (one or two at a time) Turn your stove on to medium and turn the bread with a fork until it's nicely toasted. Unless you don't watch it, you'll have perfect toast.( (07/12/2005)

By gouligann

Uses for Coffee Cans

I have three horses and have found that the smaller coffee cans are great for hanging halters and bridles on, Getting a nail into the can is a challenge but I used a screw driver and a hammer. It works great (11/06/2005)

By maryjane

Uses for Coffee Cans

I keep an empty coffee can in the cabinet over the washing machine. As I clean out my husband's pockets, I put his change in the coffee can. Then you kinda have a secret stash for something you want later! (03/31/2007)

By Stephane in Millington,Tn

coffee cans

I use to put paint in when painting. (05/26/2007)

By Donna in mo.

Uses for Coffee Cans

We cover the outside of the coffee can with various Christmas wrapping paper, fill them with, goodies, and give them out as Christmas presents, the kids love to get involved with this activity. (09/30/2007)

By Charles

Uses for Coffee Cans

Coffee cans are great in the garage. Use them to separate and store all your nuts, bolts, screws and nails.

They make great storage for all your hair accessories.

Add sand to the can and put it on your porch for an ashtray.

Clean out your junk drawer!

Put one by the sink for scraps and compost. (11/13/2007)

By Guru

Emergency Car Furnace For Winter Travel

Put a few candles and matches in a clean can, no label. Store with the lid on in your vehicle. If you are stranded in snow and need heat, put one candle in the center and light it. Take safety precautions like having one window open slightly for oxygen - make sure you're receiving oxygen through that window and it isn't covered by snow. Having the tin sitting on something burn-proof would be best, etc. (11/13/2007)

By 4libros

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