Plastic food storage lids come in all shapes and sizes. Rather than throwing them away, find a way to use them around the house. This is a guide about uses for plastic lids.
Here is an easy craft you can do with your kids, and they can play with it afterward!
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I did this when my kids were small, the youngest is now 32. I did it for my older grandkids, and I am now doing it for the younger grandkids and greatgrandkids. I have saved the colored plastic lids off of various bottles, such as mayonnaise, peanut butter, etc. Lids have to be too big to fit in a young ones mouth. I have a couple metal ones but most are plastic.
I keep them in a drawstring bag in basket, I use as a toy box for when the kids visit. They are good to teach colors, to count, to stack like blocks, to pretend, kids favorite is to pretend we are at a restaurant and the lids are food. Put little one between two larger ones and you have a sandwich, etc. Their imagination can run wild. So much fun with no additional expense. The amount of enjoyment for all is endless.
Source: Just me and my kids.
By Knitter926 from Bloomington, IL
Editor's Note: As Knitter926 mentioned, make sure that the lids are too large to be swallowed by children under 3 years old.
When your using your mixer sometime, as you know, everything can splatter all over, especially when kids are helping. Use a plastic lid; cut a hole in it so your mixer can fit in it, then place it over your bowl. Splatters will be reduced. Sorry I don't have my camera for another week to show a picture. I will send one in when I get it back.
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
Let kids use old pill lids and pop lids as Barbie dishes. They can cut out foam to put in the bottoms of the lids.Then use old beads and paint them to look like fruit and other foods.
I am a compulsive recycler and not all of my recyclables go into the pickup bin. I emptied a large container of coffee this morning and discovered that the plastic cover makes a perfect cutting board for a small item. When I get to the point of cutting too many things on it I'll toss it in the bin.
I save plastic lids from margarine or cottage cheese or the same size lids, and when making up hamburger patties (using a tupperware pattie form) I put a pattie on each lid, then top with another lid then another pattie. Freeze in a large plastic bag, when needing just a few patties at one time, it is very easy to separate and take what is needed.
By Joy from Culbertson, MT
I realized this morning, that my coffee can lid, which used to go in the recycle bag, was perfect for going under a flower pot to catch any water. Then I realized that there are different sizes of plastic lids, and some are solid colors. They look just as good as the ones I usually buy!
By julrobs from North Augusta, SC
"Upcycled" Pringles plastic lids make perfect coasters for the right sized glass or cup. You can use plastic coffee can lids for larger cups.
By rythumrat from St. Louis, MO
Save opaque plastic lids of the same kind (peanut butter jar lids are good) and make games for young kids. Hide small treats like marshmallows or small crackers under a few of the lids and lay 10-20 of them upside-down on the table altogether. Have the kids take turns seeing if they can choose a lid with a treat (which they then get to eat). They also like to be the ones to do the hiding and let other children guess which ones have the treats.
You can also make this a matching game. Hide two of some kind of treat under two lids, two of another under two others, etc. until each treat is under two different lids. Have the children pick two lids at a time, check to see which treat is under each, and if a match turns up, they get to eat the treats.
Lids can be stacked to build towers etc. or be used for large tic-tac-toe markers. They can be placed top down to form cups for a marble tossing game with points for hitting certain lids. Older kids can exercise their imaginations by making up their own games using lids.
By Judy from ND
I normally save every plastic bowl that comes my way - empty margarine tubs, takeout soup containers, sour cream bowls, you name it. Lids, too. But invariably, the lids last longer around here, so I end up with, say, six butter lids and only two butter bowls.
When lid storage starts to overflow, I pull out the surplus - but I don't toss 'em. They go in a box on top of the microwave. That way, when I'm nuking something that might spatter, I can grab a lid, poke a few venting holes in it very carefully, and then use them as free 'splash screens'. If the lid gets cruddy, I can toss it or wash it, it's up to me. I'm just happy I don't have to clean tomato sauce spots from the microwave walls and ceiling every other day now!
Margarine or butter container lids make great dry erase boards. You can use washable markers on them or dry erase markers on them. I cut the rim off of the top of the margarine container lid and make a hole with an icepick. Then put a twistie tie through the hole and clothes pin it to the kitchen blinds. I'll probably cut the next one into a square and put it on the bedroom or front door for messages. I may or may not decorate them later.
By Robyn from Hampton
They are perfect for painting projects from young to old! If you don't like the outcome, you can clean it off and start over! You can cut the lip from around it as well, to create crazy shapes with the lid, or to make hearts, etc. for any occasion. The lip can be crocheted around and used as a base for a towel hanger!
By LadyMichelle from Pottstown, PA
I save all plastic can lids to use to protect my cupboards from rust, as in on the bottom of my cleanser cans, also I used them to keep under my honey jar. No matter how much I try after taking a spoonful of honey out of the jar, it always drips. A plastic can lid will finally stick right on the jar and no honey messes in my cupboards.
By Katy B. from Dowagiac, MI
I overheard my husband telling his sister about something I have been doing for a long time. I figured if it impressed him, I should share it. When I open a new can of coffee, I take the plastic top from the old can and put it on the bottom of the new can. The plastic will help to protect your countertops.
I also use small lids to fit over top of drinks in glasses, cups or cans to keep bugs out (especially flies). It helps keep your drink hot or cold longer.
By Andolopolus from Atlantic Beach, FL
I was in the kitchen this morning cleaning a skillet that had been left there all night. I didn't really have a scrubber other than the crochet ones I make myself. I took this little lid that came off of one of the knock off slimfast drink canisters, scrunched it in my hand and used it as a scrubber over the screws that hold the handle to the skillet. Those are hard to clean with a crochet scrubber.
I turned the little lid flat and scrubbed the inside of the skillet with it. What a wonderful little surprise that a little plastic lid headed for the craft bin ended up being a useful kitchen tool! I used the edge of it in whatever way I thought it would work and it works wonderfully.
This kind of discovery brings me a lot of joy!
By Robyn 
If you recycle your Pringles cans, keep the lids.
Most yogurts don't come with them anymore, and most of them can be used for food or crafts. However, without lids, they are great for plants starts but not much else. With the Pringles lid, you can use it for just about anything, even ice cubes for picnic lunches or leftovers.
I have found some plastic picnic pitcher/glass sets that work perfect for the Pringles lids. That keeps the bugs out of your drinks when you are away from the picnic table.
I have started using the plastic tops from coffee cans for pet dishes. The animals love them because their food is very accessible, and I like them because they are very easy to wash. My Yorkie really prefers them because she can transport the food to other parts of the house very easily in her mouth and eat in privacy. The best part of all is that this type of dish is THRIFTY.
By Toni V. from San Antonio, TX
A great "toy" for a toddler: Save all your plastic jar lids (from mayonnaise, peanut butter, etc.) Save different colors and sizes, the more the better. I did this for my kids and grandkids.
They can be used as: Building blocks, to identify colors, to count how many of each color there is, as play food (make a sandwich by putting a larger one between two slightly smaller ones, etc.) Just be sure that you don't use any that are small enough for child to put in their mouth and swallow.
By Knitter in Illinois
The lids from Pringles chip containers fit the Fruitsation applesauce containers perfectly. Great for sending school snacks and way cheaper than the plastic snack containers currently on sale!
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Here are questions related to Uses for Plastic Lids.
Tips for reusing plastic lids. Post your ideas.
By Gloria H. (Guest Post) 01/17/2009
I use the lids of 4 jam jars as a base for the steam pudding jar at Christmas between the base of the pot with water and the glass steam pudding bowl. Traditionally a saucer is used to prevent the pudding bowl coming in direct contact with the heat and cracking but sometimes the saucers crack. Besides, we dont always have saucers these days.
I am a caring clown and go to senior's care facilities. You mentioned making tap shoes from plastic lids. I have Mason jar lids and want to make them for the seniors. I also have elastics. We will put them onto their own shoes and then have fun toe tapping to old songs like twinkle twinkle and old McDonald. Anyway you get the gist I hope.
I have a lot of Starbucks coffee lids (white ones) and would like to use them to make something useable. Any suggestions are welcomed.
By Erika H.
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 comments that were provided then.
Save the lids to the pringles cans, they make great FREE coasters. You can glue felt to the bottoms or do whatever you wish to them.
You can also use Pringles lids to make suncatchers. Give the kids markers and let them color on them, punch a hole and put string through. Hang them in front of a window. Very pretty. (07/31/2005)