Reusing Plastic Coffee Cans

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.

Reusing Plastic Coffee Cans, A plastic red container of ground coffee.
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I buy the large coffee jugs, the 33 oz. size. They are made so well, they have a handle on the side, with a good tight seal lid. I just can't see throwing them away. I give them to neighbors that I know, one being an older gentleman that uses them for his screws, nails and other little tools.

I have been cleaning out and organizing things and got out the jugs I was saving. So here are a few ideas I am using myself.

Uses for Large Plastic Coffee Jugs

    Source: My own organizing idea!

    Uses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee JugsUses for Large Plastic Coffee Jugs
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    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

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    decorated coffee containerFoldger'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

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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      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

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      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.

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      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?

      By Kim

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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!

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      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.

      Coffee Can Composting

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      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.

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      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.

      Coffee Container Toilet Roll Holder, covered in decorative tissue paper

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      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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes


      Folgers website has some free Christmas printable's for the plastic cans!

      These would be great for gifting cookies :)

      have a great day,


      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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      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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      I read online how to remove the lettering from the containers, but nothing worked. Any suggestions?

      By JAC

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Have you tried nail polish remover?

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

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      You can try putting in some unused coffee filters. They may absorb the odor.

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      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.

      By Linda

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

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      coffee can easter basketsAn 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


      • empty plastic coffee cans**
      • tissue paper in Easter colors
      • wiggle eyes
      • large pink pom poms
      • orange paper for beaks
      • spray adhesive or double stick tape
      • Tacky glue
      • markers


      1. Wash and dry cans to get the coffee smell out.

      2. Fold a sheet of tissue paper in half horizontally.

      3. Spray adhesive on paper and wrap around the can with the excess paper on the top. Last Minute Easter Egg Basket for Kids (If your paper is really thin, you may want to cover the can with a piece of white tissue paper first). I left the handle uncovered just because I thought it would be easier for the kids to carry.

      4. For bunny: Cut around the excess paper on the top to form two ears, as shown. Add large wiggle eyes and pom pom with Tacky glue. Let them draw on whiskers with a fine tipped marker.

        Last Minute Easter Egg Basket for Kids

    1. For chick and duck:

      1. Trim excess paper on the top of the can with pinking shears.

      2. Add medium wiggles eyes with tacky glue.

      3. Cut out an elongated diamond and fold in half for chick.

      4. Cut out an elongated oval and fold for duck.

      5. Draw on wings with coordinating marker as shown.

    2. Add grass.

    3. Hunt eggs!

      **VARIATION: This idea works well on any can, cut-off plastic milk or pop bottle, oatmeal container, or box such as a large cereal or cracker box. You will need to poke holes in the sides and add a yarn or ribbon handle as shown. You can get creative with the variety of tissue papers now available.

      By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA

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    4. 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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

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      I use the red and green coffee plastic containers in the following way...

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      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.

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