Creative uses for empty formula containers as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Post your own tips here.
I used them as centerpieces for my son's 1st birthday party. For the larger formula cans, I taped gift wrapping paper to the outside. Then I taped candy and cellophane to a skewer and poked them into foam that I put that into the bottom of the can. Cute candy bouquets centerpieces!
Grease Can or Container
I paint them, after you remove the paper and you can put all kinds of items in them. Also, punch holes in the side in a pattern and place a candle in the can.
I also use my empty cans for the gas grill to catch the grease from the food.
Several Great Ideas
We use our old formula cans for many things. I had some cute metal buckets I wanted to put flowers in, but didn't want to ruin by filling with dirt, so I used formula cans to fill with dirt and plant my flowers and I sat them inside of the buckets.
My husband used a ton of them in his garage to organize all of his things. He put bungee cords in one, electrical tape in another, etc.
We were able to help out a teacher one year that did an arctic survival lesson every year with her students. They put together their own survival kits in coffee cans and then took them on a field trip and were taught different lessons of survival if you are stuck in the snow and winter weather. For some reason that year, very few of the students could come up with coffee cans so we donated a lot of the large formula cans.
They are perfect height to store watercolor brushes in or markers, crayons, etc.
I recently saw an old article of a magazine that was showing how they had spray painted old coffee cans (formula cans would work) and showed how you could stencil decorations or whatever on them and then you screw two or three of them to a piece of wood and then hang the wood wherever you want the cans. If you use them to store your dog brush, leash, treats, etc. in you could paint paw prints on the cans and dog bones, etc. You could hang it in the garage or by the door for easy access to walk or care for your pet. Or you could hang under a window as a window planter, etc. If you use for a window planter, use an ice pick or hammer and nail to make several holes on bottom of can to drain water.
WARNING: If children are using the cans be sure that they do not have a sharp edge where formula lid was taken off. I wrapped duct tape around the lip of mine that I used for markers and pressed it tightly. The plastic lid still fit on the can well.
Keep Plastic Cutlery
I put pretty contact paper around them (including sharp edges) and store plastic knifes and forks in them. It is handy to just grab them out of the cupboard for picnics.
Dallas Cowboys Light Covers
We did a Dallas Cowboys theme room for our game room. I bought scrapbook paper and put blue stenciled stars on the outside. Then I poked a hole in the aluminum and made it about an inch and a half wide. I put the big tacky white Christmas lights in it, hot glued them on, and made lanterns to go around the top of the room. Super cute and cheap.
Baking Kits Or Baked Goods
I've used formula cans and cans from hot chocolate as containers for my holiday baking. I clean out the cans and then decorate them by covering them with wrapping paper. wall paper, painting, or even fabric. Then I fill them with cookies.
For the large formula cans I did a similar thing, but instead of cookies I filled them with materials for kid gifts. I put in the materials and instructions for a craft, or the ingredients and recipe for a baking kit, or once I put in all the accessories for making a snowman - hat, scarf, buttons, etc.
You could cover the cans in Christmas themed paper and fill the inside with baked goodies or candy. Put a bow on the lid and there you go!
For Halloween, take them and paint them orange. Cut out eyes for a jack-o-lantern face. Place some sand inside them just enough to give the bottom stability and place a tea candle inside each one in the center and set them all up your drive way, on each side, so far apart and let them light up your path for the trick or treaters and add real Halloween decor to your home. Also you can use the same idea for any holiday, Christmas, snowmen, Easter bunnies, painted on, etc., and use the lids to cut out as stencils, they work great for that.
I am a daycare and we used all the cans and laid them flat and glued them together and built them a play house. No photos of it for it only lasted a week. Other things: we put construction paper around it (or clip out pictures to glue to them) and decorated them for pen holders or money holders and the kids personalized them. Also if you have babies you can put a small toy inside of a Gerber fruit plastic container and take your glue gun and glue it shut and that makes blocks with things like cheerios or buttons in the for the babies to look at.
Back to the formula cans: in the spring we planted grass or a tulip in them and the kids decorated them. Thanks.
By Chris at Here we Grow Daycare
Store things like Christmas stuff: strings of lights, tinsel, things that are always hard to find when you need the Christmas ball hooks. Also things to decorate your Christmas packages like name cards, ribbon, stickers, and whatever. That goes for storing away for any holidays.
Imagine finding the Easter basket grass in one place for a change (lol) or all your Halloween make up in one can? If you do not decorate the can, then mark them clearly. You could store all your different holiday stuff in just one area (time saving).
I made this snowman out of empty formula cans and an empty pudding cup. I took empty 12 oz. and 25 oz. formula cans and painted them white. I painted the top of the 12 oz. black and the pudding cup black. I glued them all together and used tree branches for the arms. I then made a quick scarf out of scrap yarn and glued on the buttons.
For thrifty gifts this Christmas, I decided to make cocoa for several people on my list. Instead of buying glass containers, I saved my baby's formula cans and peeled off the labels. I measured the length and diameter of the can and cut wrapping paper to fit. I used clear tape around the top of the can to prevent ripping when the lid was taken on and off and down the length of the can to hold the paper securely. To finish off, I will fill with my cocoa mixture, tape some mini candycanes and a bow on the lid.
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Here are questions related to Uses for Formula Cans.
You can cover them with fabric and glue, cut a slit in the top and make it a bank.
Or just take the paper off the can and paint it a solid color and accent with glitter pens, stickers, puffballs, etc. with glue to make a personalized bank for your child.
Or as a container for household things like; pens & pencils, safety pins, scissors, rubber bands, a container to hold pacifiers, Q-tips, buttons, hair accessories, etc.
You can also just throw it under the sink to keep Brillo pads and scouring pads in.
You can fill it with sand to make a doorstop.
Pack valuables inside the can stuffed with paper or Styrofoam peanuts. You can also tape 2 or more cans together with electrical tape.
You can also cook with them....
pour bread baking batter in as a mold and place in oven,
cook your Thanksgiving dressing by spooning in into the can (or cans) and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours at 350*. Store leftovers by sealing can with original plastic lid.
Don't ruin a good pot on the grill, use the can to make bratwurst in beer. You can do all of the above with Coffee cans also. One way to save money is to use your imagination! Good luck to you! (01/06/2005)
We use them as grease cans and put our bones in them because our dogs like to get them out of the garbage. (01/06/2005)
RE: Uses For Formula Canisters
Paint them a neutral colors such as white or light blue. Stencil things like cows or bears on them, paint and fill for fun gift containers (candy, cookies, small things, etc.). Paint to match what your colors are and use for q-tip holders, matches for lighting candles or fires, tooth brushes or other extra little things you will need to keep organized. Place them in a closet cupboard or drawer with the front labeled so you know what is in them. Good for taking on trips for children to keep crayons and other smaller items in. (01/06/2005)
RE: Uses For Formula Canisters
We have a travel trailer and I use these canisters (after decorating them) for storing flour, sugar, pancake mix and other food items needed for a trip. Since I am a bulk shopper it makes sense to use smaller quantities and I don't worry about things spilling when we get on the bumpy roads to camp! (07/20/2005)
"JANUARY 21, 2008: Bisphenol A, a chemical found in many children's and infant products, is the subject of a congressional investigation.
Recently, a study found baby formula companies used cans lined with a resin containing bisphenol A, a chemical linked to hyperactivity, reproductive abnormalities and pediatric brain cancer in lab animals as well as suspected of causing breast and testicular cancer." (08/08/2008)
If you crochet without the need of a pattern, why not? Measure the circumference and make a vibrant colored crochet cover for them and use them as plant pot containers. The plastic lid can be wedged down in the bottom so that it won't rust and an old saucer or round plastic margarine container put on top of the lid to catch any water from the plastic or pottery pot which holds the plant and soil. It would look pretty with herbs growing in them sitting on a window sill. (08/14/2008)
Hi Pat, My Mother-in-law made me a 'toilet paper roll caddy'. She used kitchen towels to cover the cans instead of crocheting or using canvas. I think canvas would be the best material to use because you can better personalize it and it would also be easier to hand wipe clean. She cut the bottom out of the bottom can, cut both top and bottom out of the middle can and cut the top out of the top can and kept the plastic lid to keep the rolls covered. She kept these together by using duct tape.
The ideas are endless when your creative juices get flowing. For a kid's bathroom you can 'glue' a stuffed animal to the lid, boy's bathroom a race car or truck, man's bathroom, a 'TO DO LIST' with tools :)
4 Formula cans makes a Rapunzel castle for your little girl
I used 4 formula cans to make this Rapunzel or princess in a castle project for my little girl. You will need a tool to cut open a window on the top can. I used a drill to open a couple of holes and snipper pliers to cut out the window piece. Make sure you bent the sharp edges inward, clamp tight with pliers and cover with duck tape to protect your little one's fingers.
The materials you need to complete this project are very simple: 4 formula cans, 5 pieces of the regular 11"x8.75" (A4) white papers with brick pattern printed on them to cover the castle outside walls and the inside walls and ceiling of the top can as you can see it through the window.
I just use the Image Search on Google and obtained a brick pattern and duplicate it until it covers the full page. Even a black and white printer will do the job nicely. Then you need to make a cone top for the castle with a circular pattern measuring 6" radius. You also need a toothpick to glue the little flag on to place on top of the castle. You will also need duck tape to tape the 4 cans together, with the top can positioned upside down with no lid. This will allow a long enough chamber to house a Barbie size doll in the top 2 cans, while you cut a hole through the plastic lid of the 2nd can so you can fit the doll legs through.
They will be slightly bent to fit in. Finally, you can place your favorite princess doll inside the window upon completion of the castle. You can also paint a couple of vines climbing on the castle wall to decorate it. (10/15/2008)
RE: Make educational toys
I use my formula cans to make some simple educational toys for my baby. First decorate the cans with gift wrap, then I cut out square and round shapes from the lid to fit her toys through. You can also save up tops from canned bread, thin or thick bottle lids of different sizes for your baby to slide through the lid of the formula can. So it serves as storage for small toys and also allows your baby to play with objects of different shapes and sizes. (10/15/2008)
You can make phonics containers. Put a letter on the can and place small toys/objects/pictures of items that start with a particular sound. Example, T, turtle, toe, tee-pee, triangle, toy etc. If you have several letter/sounds, the child could sort by initial sound. :) (12/03/2008)
RE: Uses For Formula Canisters
I'm so excited that you mentioned crochet, I've been pondering the same dilemma for months. I put a grommet in the lid of a large and small can and string balled yarn through it. I also use the patterns for toilet paper roll covers to make the smaller cans decorative holders for many odds and ends. (12/12/2008)