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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
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.
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
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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. 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 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
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
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
(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.
By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA
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.
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. We've also turned one into a sorter by cutting holes in the top in the shape of different blocks.
By Alexandra from Virginia
I use the red and green coffee plastic containers in the following way:
When our rechargeable batteries are dead, I have instructed everyone to place them in the red containers. Containers can be marked for the size of battery. Once I have charged them, they go in the green containers. No more guess work involved!
By Flashman from Pinnacle, NC
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"!
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 (and paper filters) are mixed in. In a week or two of turning, we have a nice mound of soil.
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 Lynn from Chico, CA
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
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
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Here are questions related to Reusing Plastic Coffee Cans.
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?
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!
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
By CinnamonRoseCottage 11/09/2011
Folgers website has some free Christmas printable's for the plastic cans!
These would be great for gifting cookies :)
have a great day,
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 Marty Dick 12/29/2013
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 am looking for uses for plastic coffee cans.
By Einy L
By mmwonline 04/16/2012
I use to freeze food items such as homemade chicken broth, home made soup etc. Also these are good to keep dry goods such as pasta, rice.
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.
By P.Rosendahl 12/27/2011
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.
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.
By nancy nunez 12/17/2011
You can try putting in some unused coffee filters. They may absorb the odor.
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
By Grandma J 12/01/2010
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.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
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 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
By Mary, Crown Point, IN
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
Folgers has printable labels to put on the canisters so you can fill them up with baked goods or other gifts. (01/04/2008)
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.