Ground coffee can now be found in reusable plastic containers with a tight fitting lid and handle. They are perfect for storage and crafts. This is a guide about reusing plastic coffee cans.
As a former teacher I am very much aware of how many out-of-pocket expenses teachers have. One big request is tissues, especially this time of year. I have made a clever tissue holder for my grandson's teacher. I'm sure she will appreciate not having to add boxes of tissue to her need-to-buy list.
You'll need a large empty coffee can with a snap-on plastic lid, contact paper or wallpaper, non-slip drawer/cabinet liner, Elmer's glue, and a roll of toilet paper.
Remove the plastic lid and cut a round hole (about and inch and a half in diameter) in the center of it. Make four small cuts at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock to "grab" the tissue as it's torn off. (Think about the cuts in the top of a container of wipes).
Measure the height and circumference of the can. Using these measurements, cut contact paper or wallpaper to cover the can. Contact paper should stick on its own. Use the glue if it doesn't or if you choose to use wallpaper. Apply stickers, stamps, draw designs, personalize it with the teacher's name or decorate the can however you choose.
Set the can on a piece of the non-skid rubber liner and use a pen to draw around the can to show where to cut. Cut out the circle and glue it to the bottom of the can. (Keeps the can from sliding around while a piece of tissue is being pulled out).
Pull the cardboard roll out of the center of the roll of toilet paper. Start pulling the tissue from the inside of the roll of toilet paper and thread it through the hole in the center of the lid. Snap the lid in place on the top of the can.
Now the teacher has a convenient dispenser from which the students can pull off as much or as little as they need. An added benefit for the teacher is that the school supplies toilet paper but not boxes of tissue. To refill all she or he needs to do is to pick up a fresh roll from the janitor.
Go ahead and get busy. Those teachers could use a little lift this time of the year. Next year make one for your child's new teacher and send it in along with supplies on her start-of-school wish list.
By Sandy from Elon, NC
Save one of the new kinds of large plastic coffee cans to make a quick counter top compost bin! Label clearly so everyone knows what it is. When it's full, empty it into a corner of your garden until ready to use it!
By melody_yesterday from Sedalia, MO
An empty plastic coffee can with the handle on the back is best for this last minute basket for the Egg Hunt.
Choose bunny, chick, or duck! Grade school kids could do the whole project themselves, but for my preschool story hour kids, I covered the cans and just let them put on the faces. I made about 20 of 'em in an hour!
Approximate Time: 10 minutes or less
By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA
Foldger's has lovely holiday templates on their website for you to decorate their red canisters! There are even instructions. I can think of many more ways to use that clip art, myself!
By Pam from Los Angeles, CA
This page is not on ThriftyFun, but we had to share it. Be sure to come back and rate it.
I use the large coffee containers as a trash can to collect lint from my dryer. It is large enough to collect a lot, and allows the lint to compress without breaking the container. The plastic does not scratch or make noise if the dryer vibrates, it has a sealing lid, and when it is full you can either dump the lint into the trash can, or use another coffee container.
It also doubles as a place to contain items which are pointy or sharp that would normally cut through a trash bag. (razors, tooth picks, used pencils and the like.) I do not normally purchase the large coffee size, so I use the coffee containers from church which are abundant. Also with the sealing lid I can mix coffee I prefer with the cheaper coffee. This keeps me from finding another container to place the coffee in.
By Redbeard from Tampa
This is one from my hubby. He has me keeping all of the 2 pound plastic coffee containers with the handles on them for future use in his shop. He builds houses and remodels them as well. He says these containers are perfect for holding paint while working on a house. He can hang on to it easily with the handle an they are very sturdy.
If you buy coffee in the large plastic canisters, you can go online to the Folger's website, and print off holiday templates to glue over the existing labels. These frugal containers can be used for homemade cookies, candies, or even as a gift box. You can print colored templates, or a black and white one for the kids to color. Not only is this frugal, but it is good for the environment to reuse these containers.
What are some good ideas for recycling the Folger's and Maxwell House plastic coffee cans/jugs? I use mine to keep compost in before taking out to the compost bin, but are there any other ideas?
April 7, 2013
Our golden retriever loves to play catch only the ball gets so "slobbery". My grand daughter taught him to drop the ball in the can! Then she doesn't have to touch the slobber and can easily throw the ball for him holding the handle. Works great!
I also use it to hold yarn balls for knitting. I cut a round hole in the top for the yarn to come through. It works perfectly. And, my big dog isn't tempted to chase the yarn!
When I empty my plastic coffee containers, I paint them with paint for plastic found at your craft store or any paint store. I use these containers to store rice, beans, or any dry food product. I make labels or sometimes I use laminating plastic. When I use the laminating plastic I cut out a 3-inch square and cover it with the laminate then I can see what is in the canister without guessing. You can paint designs on them also.
By Electa from Dodson, LA
By Lucy Jean 1
I have lots of the big red Folgers coffee containers and I decided to use them to make a toilet paper storage unit for the bathroom. I took 3 large containers, cut the bottom out of two of them and stacked them on top of each other. I applied some hot glue around the edges to hold them and then cut two small holes on opposite sides and added a zip tie to secure them together.
I then ripped small pieces of tissue paper in the colors of my bathroom and decoupaged them on the cans. I let it dry and then added another layer of decoupage glue to seal it against the moisture in the bathroom. I then glued one lid to the bottom to keep it up off the floor to keep it dry. It has been wonderful to have extra paper close by!
By Lucy Jean from Branson, MO
I hate throwing containers away, but what else can I do with all the blue plastic Maxwell House and red Folgers coffee containers, besides hiding craft supplies in them?
By Gretta from Wayne, OK
November 9, 2011
Folgers website has some free Christmas printable's for the plastic cans!
These would be great for gifting cookies :)
have a great day,
The plastic Folger's coffee cans really made me mad when they were first introduced. I have always been a huge fan of the metal cans. However, these plastic cans are just wonderful! Here are a few uses I have tried so far:
Before Using: fill empty can with cold water and 1/4 cup vinegar and let sit overnight to remove coffee smell. I learned this one the hard way! My poor baby's wipes smelled just like "Cafe A La Baby"!
I have been using my empty plastic coffee containers for organizing my kitchen lately. I have one full of cookie cutters, one contains my decorating supplies, etc. The small ones are also wonderful for the kids' tiny toys, like plastic dinos or army men.
By Cynthia from Pittsburgh PA
How do I get the coffee smell out of the Folders coffee canisters? I have tried baking soda and putting it in the sun for a few days, but the coffee smell always comes back. I want to use these for Christmas treats and I don't want them to smell like coffee. Please help. Thank you.
By Lana W.
December 17, 2011
You can try putting in some unused coffee filters. They may absorb the odor.
The 34 oz. plastic coffee cans that come with the nice plastic lids are great to store the 1.75 qt. round ice cream containers in your freezer and prevent freezer burn or crystallization of the ice cream.
By J4Jim 1
My grandchildren and I are making birdhouses out of used Folger's 11.3 oz. plastic coffee cans. They are handpainted and really awesome looking. We are selling them and all proceeds go towards helping with health care and infrastructure in the country of Mali, Africa.
I didn't anticipate how dificult it would be to find these cans in large numbers. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
July 27, 2015
You might approach org. like the Order of Moose, Elk or other Fraternal groups. Even if you are not a member the will often assist in gathering supplies for you through a drive at their centers. Then you would just need to pick them up.
We use the empty coffee containers, without the lid, to store our used grounds from the coffee maker each morning. When yard clippings and leaves begin to build up, the grounds are mixed in.
By sandy 1
I have several of the red plastic coffee containers from Folger's coffee. Does anyone have a good idea for use of these for crafts, etc.?
By Sandy from Bedford, PA
December 1, 2010
If you have a lot and won't be using them, leave a note in the church bulletin, radio trading post, freebie section of the paper. Many garage clean up time begs for these. Workshops, retired guys trying to keep their wives happier with cleaned up nuts/bolts, etc.
By alexandra 3
Coffee Containers As Toys. We re-use those plastic coffee containers as frugal toys. They are fun for toddlers to stack and store things. My 15 month old loves to put things in them, and take them out, and put the lid on and off.
By Randy 1
I use the red and green coffee plastic containers in the following way...
By Punkin31 1
I have quite a few empty Folgers Instant containers, in different sizes. I just love the shape.
I'm looking for suggestions on different ways to decorate and utilize these containers. I will share photos during the process.
Thanks guys, you're the best.
December 29, 2013
They would make great banks. If you have more than one child you can decorate them and put each person's name on the tops.
I use them to store sewing stuff.
I need some ideas for what to do with large plastic coffee cans. They are very sturdy and it seems to me there have got to be good uses for them.
December 27, 2011
Two suggestions. On the search on the site type in "coffee can" and hundreds of uses will show up. As for me I use the coffee cans for several uses. One can I keep on the dryer to use as a trash can for the lint from the dryer. Another item I use them for is any trash which has sharp edges which would otherwise tear a plastic trash.
I read online how to remove the lettering from the containers, but nothing worked. Any suggestions?
I am looking for uses for plastic coffee cans.
By Einy L
|I would like any ideas on recycling the newer plastic coffee cans.|
Thanks in advance
P.S. I'm new to the site but love all the creative ideas!
|Planters and Storing Cookies||10/27/2004|
|I use them for planters and storing cookies.|
|I use them for holding cookies, granola bars, pretzels and other snacks.|
|Storing Bird Seed||10/28/2004|
|I use them for storing wild bird seed, no more bags to flop over and dump seed all over the garage. Plus, it's easier to pour out of than a bag.|
|By Marilyn E.|
|RE: Recycling Plastic Coffee Cans||11/03/2004|
|Here are a few uses I have tried so far: |
YOU GET THE IDEA! They are microwaveable and are just like Tupperware to me and at $4.96 at Wal-Mart for the can of coffee... it's almost like FREE Tupperware!
BEFORE USING: fill empty can with cold water and 1/4 cup vinegar and let sit overnight to remove coffee smell.
|By Reba Gayle Shurden|
|I use one for my kitchen compost - egg shells, fruit peels, vegetable pieces - you get the idea. When full I take to the compost pile.|
|Catching Rain Water||01/19/2005|
|I use my plastic coffee cans to catch rain water and gather fresh snow in. It melts and I have rain water or melted snow for my plants, my soaps and lotions I make etc.|
|Dog Food Scoop||01/19/2005|
|A lady I used to work with, who breeds fairly large dogs, uses them to scoop up dog food when she's feeding the dogs. She says the handles make it easy to scoop and go.|
|Hot Chocolate Container||01/19/2005|
|I make my own hot chocolate mix and I use a plastic coffee container for the hot chocolate. I also use them to water my indoor plants.|
|Toilet Plunger Container||01/19/2005|
|I cut a slit in the top and put my toilet plunger handle through it and use it as a toilet plunger container!|
|Throwing Away Broken Dishes||01/20/2005|
|I keep one on hand at all times empty so that if I break a plate or glass I can put the pieces in it to throw away so the shards won't slice the trash bag.|
|I had a large box of colored pencils get spilled yesterday and the box that they came in got ripped. I just got out an old plastic coffee can and put the pencils in it tip side up. I'm sure I'll find a hundred more uses as I have an in-home childcare and have just started using the coffee out of plastic cans.|
|The small plastic containers that contain coffee (approx. 13 ounce size) are great for painting. They are small enough to handle easily and have a cap to cover any paint left if you have to stop painting for awhile.|
|I have cut a large hole in the top, covered the inside and outside of the hole with strong clear tape (like packaging tape). This way I know what is inside and then they are used to contain large amounts of pasta, raisins, different kinds of flour (like soy). I would like to try to use them for container gardening but haven't done this yet.|
|Cover With Contact Paper||08/20/2005|
|Before I use them as canisters I cover them with pretty contact paper that goes with the lid. I use a black marker to mark what's in them. Simply write on the side or the top of the can.|
I put bird seed in them, tea bags, coffee stored in the fridge and I use them under the sink for compost. Then empty weekly into my compost pile outside. They are great for paint. Pour what you need in it and you can put the lid on when you're finished for the day.
|If you want to cover the labels on plastic coffee cans, cut out pieces of craft foam the same size as the label area. The kind that is about 1/8 inch thick and comes in lots of colors. There are even letters and symbols available at craft stores. Just glue it on and you're done.|
|I use my extra cans in my driveway salt barrels. They seem to withstand the extreme cold temperatures without becoming brittle and breaking and, the molded handles help when using gloves. I'd like to see more suggestions along the lines of school use - if anyone has any ideas.|
|By Ed in WV.|
I have a good source of large, used plastic coffee canisters with lids. I wanted to use the canisters to store other dry goods I buy in bulk, such as flour, oatmeal, beans, sugar, etc., but I can't get the coffee odor out of the plastic. I had some oatmeal in one, and it definitely gave the oatmeal a coffee flavor.
I've tried washing in vinegar, putting baking soda and newspaper in them, then leaving for a few days and then washing again afterwards. Right now I have a little activated charcoal in one to see if that will work. Any other suggestions on how to get the odor out?
Thanks for all your help!
Sarah from Indianapolis, IN
I have tried, with success, pouring in 1/2 c. vinegar and placing the lid back on the container. Then, I let them sit for a few days, giving an occasional shake when I walk by them. I haven't found much else that works. Good luck! (02/22/2006)
Fill coffee canister with a couple tablespoons of bleach and fill with hot water. Let it stand in sink for about 30 minutes. Rinse well with cool water. Let air dry. (02/22/2006)
I have found that the plastic coffee containers you get are great for different uses. I have used them to transport transplanted plants as gifts, storing dry foods such as rice,pasta ect... I have one that I use only for my composting pile. I keep the lid on it and as I accumulate food scraps I just put them in the container and then when it is full take it out side. The snap on lids are great for placing under flower pots and I have also used them for children's snack plates. What other uses have people found for these great containers?
Jonnie from Owensboro, KY
I strained all of our old paint into the coffee cans (with a piece of panty hose stretched across the top of the coffee can). Then took stretch wrap, sealed the top with that then duck taped the lid on over the wrap. Eight months later, the paint was just like new! Put a dab of the color on the lid and on the can, so you will know exactly which color it is, I also use masking tape on top of each can with the Brand, date and color, so you can have it matched if you need to. No more rusty paint cans! (06/22/2006)
By Mary, Crown Point, IN
My son's cub scout troop made bird feeders out of them. They cut out square shapes on 2 sides about and 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. Then poked holes in the sides on the top to hang with a bent coat hanger. (06/23/2006)
I sometimes use my plastic coffee containers for "quicky" sewing kits. I keep needed mending supplies in a near by container. I also store art supplies and extra school supplies. I always label them so there is no confusion. I also use one for my "throw away" grease after it is cooled. Then throw away the container with lid on it after it is full. They are also great crayon or marker containers for little hands. (06/23/2006)
I made a scissors/string kit with one of my coffee containers. I just cut one small hole in top for the string to come through and another larger hole for the scissors to rest in, small enough that the handles of the scissors still are accessible. It has been so convenient. I am about to dedicate a few of them for storage of cat food so that I won't have the messy cat food bag in my way. (01/07/2007)
I have lots of the plastic coffee cans (containers). Folgers and Maxwell House seem to have gone to plastic instead of metal cans. What can be done with them?
Rachel from Buford, GA
I teach preschool and I use mine as storage cans for scissors, buttons and glue sticks and all the craft things like poms and feathers. This way in my craft cupboard it is all together. I cover the cans with paper either wall paper or craft paper and label them! You can make some crafts too by painting them snowmen and santas at holidays or you can decorate and use as a tin to give a gift etc! (01/03/2008)
It's a little late for Christmas gifts, but maybe this can help out for next year...
Folgers has printable labels to put on the canisters so you can fill them up with baked goods or other gifts. (01/04/2008)
Here's what became of one of mine! (01/04/2008)
<img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=82361969" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers">
I like to buy a lot of stuff in the bulk food section of the grocery stores, such as rice, pasta, oats, couscous, cream of wheat, cornmeal, icing sugar, dried lentils, chocolate chips, etc. So instead of all the stuff sitting in a plastic bag I put it in an old coffee container and label it with the name of what is inside.
We had a lot of neighbors over for a summer picnic and I put the steak knives point down in one canister and the same with the forks. It's extra silver ware I have so it is easy to put away and get out again for another picnic. (01/04/2008)
I have found they are great to store chopped or cut onion in the refrigerator. The odor is contained and doesn't seem to permeate the plastic. (01/05/2008)
I keep one under the sink in the kitchen and use it to drain grease into after frying hamburger, etc. (01/06/2008)
By Cindy S.
I'd like ideas for making crafts out of the plastic coffee cans. I'd like to make useful items to sell at a bazaar. I have so many of these containers. It seems so wasteful to throw them away.
Artlady from Edmond, OK
I wash, dry and save egg shells all winter so that I can spread them around my Hostas in the spring. This keeps the slugs off your plants and the canisters are a great place to keep them. After using an egg, rinse out the shell, let dry on paper towels and then crumble in the can. (06/17/2008)
We use them for piggy banks. My youngest 3 are 5, 4, and, 2 1/2 and it is hard to find any that are not ceramic. Use felt, wrapping paper, construction paper, along with stamps, crayons, stickers, and markers to decorate. A pair of scissors and a slim metal file makes a good hole in the lid and the file smooths out the rough edges. We superglue the lids on the younger 2, but my 5 year old likes to count the money daily. They make them about once a month (even when their other isn't full yet). (06/18/2008)
I saw some Halloween decorations made from them somewhere online. The cans were spray painted black on the inside and orange on the outside. Then the eyes, nose, and mouth were cut out of the can. With a tea light placed in them, they were very cute and professional looking. This kind of decoration idea can be done for other holidays, too. Paint green and punch holes in shape of tree, yellow and punch holes in shape of star. They look great lined up down a walkway. (06/18/2008)
The containers could be used to make a string of lanterns. Spray paint the coffee can, lid and all, attach it to a string of lights (the icicle Christmas lights). One lantern per little icicle. Of course, the lantern has little holes cut out. Star shaped, circles, your choice. This lantern would protect the lights from rain and snow.
They could also be made into luminaries. They would lie on the ground and would line a walk-way, wall, or path. Spray lantern and the wire any color. They could be sprayed orange in the fall for a pumpkin party. (06/18/2008)
I have seen them painted and decorated and filled with different items to be sold at church jumbles. I have seen art kits, first aid kits, sewing kits, gardening kits, and so on. (06/19/2008)
I remember a website last Christmas that said if you go on the website of the coffee company, they have ready made seasonal stickers you can cover the cans with. They fit perfectly over the Folgers labels. Look up the website and see. (06/19/2008)
Try using it to hold your under sink items, such as that wet brush after scrubbing pots. (10/21/2008)
By By Kelly
Here's a really neat project I found for coffee cans. I will be posting all the details on this later. But, for now, here's a picture. It's a birdhouse made out of a plastic coffee can. (11/28/2008)
<img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=18215291" width="400" height="533" alt="RE: Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers">
I've done this once and plan to do it several more times. I taped off around the label part of the plastic can and spray painted the label with "Chalkboard" paint available at the local Walmart or home improvement store. Then I can use the can for whatever I want, by writing on it with chalk. So far I've used mine for raffle and door prize drawings for our PTO meetings and functions.
I use them for when someone is sick. The kids use them for sand toys. The hubby stores tools in them.
They are good for keeping toilet paper dry when camping. I also, put all the sandwich meats and cheese in them to keep them dry in the cooler.
I also use mine as compost buckets as Melody has and find that odors do not waft out, because of the tight seal. These are perfect as paint buckets, small toys, and blocks organizers. I told the kids that the coffee odor was the smell of "magic". (05/14/2009)
I am going to have some fun. I have collected a lot of the Folgers plastic coffee containers. I think I will go to the store and purchase some paint for plastic and design my own flower pots; punch holes in the bottom and use the lid to catch drainage. (07/12/2009)
I use the red plastic containers for the "dead" batteries that are in need of being charged. Once charged they go into the green containers and are ready for use. (08/01/2009)
A butt can for those who smoke on the porch. Add a little water to the bottom and they can put their cigs in them when done. (08/01/2009)
I have a limited space for all my crafting supplies. So I store my supplies in them and also I save several back to use for the small projects I am working on. We have to drive almost 100 miles to our doctor's office so I will pull out a couple of things to work on 1 for the ride up 1 for waiting room time and another for the ride home and by the time we are home I have 3 projects almost finished. (10/04/2009)
I buy coffee from the warehouse store in very big plastic containers. I'd love to re-use these containers for food storage, but even after I wash them on the top shelf of my dishwasher, they still smell like coffee. I'm afraid that anything I store would pick up the coffee smell. Any idea how to get the smell out of the plastic container?
Sharon from Yulee, FL
I agree with the previous post. Use WHITE VINEGAR, but if your containers are really large, you may need to use more vinegar than stated, maybe even 2 cups then soak overnight.
Vinegar and Lemon Juice are natures disinfectants, and odor removers. (09/13/2006)
Dawn Ultra dish detergent has a new product to erase odor in dishes. It is a splash of lime odor eraser. (09/14/2006)
Try stuffing it with lightly crushed newspaper and putting it in the sun for a few days. (09/14/2006)
I use white vinegar about 1/2 cup or less and let it set out. It has worked or I used baking soda alone
and just shake it once in a while and it also works.
good luck (09/14/2006)
I have not tried this but try placing the can in the sun for a day. This is supposed to remove tomato stains from plastic containers and odors from plastic containers. (09/15/2006)
Add 1 tablespoon of liquid household bleach to a gallon of cool water and pour into the container.
Let the solution remain in the container for 10 minutes, then pour out.
Rinse the container with purified water. Pour out the rinse water and let dry. Do not wipe dry with paper towels, hand towels, etc. These may harbor germs which will leave bacteria in the container.
You now have a completely sanitized container!
NEVER use hot water! Hot water weakens plastic and may cause it to warp or become thin in some areas.
Never reuse "one-time" use containers such as plastic water bottles, party cups or plastic cutlery, unless the label says "safe for reuse!" These items are not designed to be be reused, nor can they be completed and safely cleaned since they cannot withstand a hot enough water temperature to be sanitized. They have been manufactured with small imperfections (ridges, rims, inconsistent surfaces) which harbor germs and can make you sick! (03/01/2007)
I have used bleach many times it does not work well. I will try the vinegar now. Will let you know if it works. (02/08/2008)
I have to trim the cone coffee filters to fit my little maker so I use the trimmings to keep odors out of everything! I'm sure any kind of coffee filter would work=I always put em in my tupperware with the lids on and don't have that plastic smell when I go to use them. Of course I'm lucky enough to have the space to store em like that. No more searching for lids! (01/10/2010)