My aunt drinks "International Coffee" drinks which come in those nifty little square tins w/ plastic lids. She hates throwing them out, but just can't think of a clever use for them besides storing nuts and bolts. Let's be real - she only has so many nuts and bolts. ANY IDEAS?
CarlaJS from North Yarmouth, Maine
I like to use them for storing seeds. When
we harvest our fruit/vegetables, I save seed
from each to grow the following year. I use
a permanent magic marker on the plastic
lid to write the name of the seed contained inside.
I paint them differant colors, plant cactus in them, set them in the window sill. Any small flower will do.
Use them for all the herbs & spices we bring home from healthfood stores etc. & store in little bags...these would be a great substitute.
--paper clips, alligator/binder clips
--extra, loose buttons (I use these for crafts & sewing)
--loose change--then save, share or splurge when full. you can even cut a slit in the top for a frugal piggy bank.
--extra batteries (unless you like keeping those opened packages around)
--used matches (safer to toss a dampened used match in here than into the trash can); fill 'er up, then toss.
--clothespins, if you don't have a whole bunch
--hair barettes & small clips & bobby pins
--crayons (after the box has been destroyed, as my kids usually seem to) or chalk
--laundry detergent when traveling--holds enough for 1-2 loads
--loose board game pieces, dice, marbles, etc.
--individual sugar packets
well i get the small tins of mints and what i do is paint and decorate them and put in little Christmas gifts. they are just the right size for stocking fillers and ideal to ship anywhere they are also good for sewing drawers for small items little safty pins, u name it or in the bathroom for bobby pins or those stick pins for rollers, razor blades or put one in your purse with bandaids in or emergency repair kit.
I used to cover these with recycled Christmas wrapping paper, cut to fit, & fill with pretzels dipped in white baking chocolate. I put a bow on top & gave them as Christmas gifts.
Cover and reuse for other home-made gifts, like cocoa or spiced tea mixes (since you already know that they're food-safe).
Buy dried herbs in bulk at the health food store and store them in these--lots cheaper than those tiny individual bottles from supermarkets.
Stir together many home made mixes to use at your convenience later -- recipes are all over the internet, like home made rice-a-roni mixes, the dry base for cream soup mixes, seasoned bread-crumb mixes (instead of shake-n-bake), chili/taco seasoning mixes, salad dressing mixes, ...
I just thought of something else. They'd make great containers for little sewing or first aid kits. Or, you could use them for home made wipes -- the size would fit into your car glove compartment easily if someone has kids. They'd store craft items well. If all else fails, sell them at your next yard/garage sale to make a little cash, I'd buy them...
I recycle them into snowmen. I wrap torn, scrapped flannel fabric around the "neck" and the lid part is the hat. I then paint a face on them. I also sometimes cut a hole in the sides and insert twigs for the arms. I also paint the outside sometimes to lessen the brightness of the plastic. Hope this helps. Christmas crafts are my favorite to make.
Before storing food gift items in them, I put baking soda in them and seal for a few days. That absorbs the coffee odor.
I have covered these with woodgrain contact paper to make "treasure chests" for kids, or for dads for fathers day. You could put stickers on them, or glue sequins, stones, buttons, etc to decorate. For kids they make great homes for hair accesories, swords and other weapons for action figures, jewelry. You could also use other prints of contact paper.
I was thinking they might be handy in a fishing tackle box. You know how the stuff gets tossed around. The smaller can could be used for all sorts of tackle.
Decorate it weight it use it for a door stop or to hold your window up a ways on a hot night
It might be a place to keeps spare cash around the house. It would be in plain site in the kitchen but the last place a thief would look.
Put one in your car trunk
Put maybe auto fuses . tire pressure gage even a roll of electrical tape whiich more then once has got me home after a radiator hose broke or a vaccuum line went bad.
Nope I had to root around my trunk to find this stuff which most of the time worked its way under my spare tire. With on of those cans spray painted a glow in the dark color would save you some time.
I believe I just got talked into going out and buying a couple of those international coffees .
Oh well I guess I was due for a change.
I saw the cutest craft for them in a $5 gift crafts book. You can paint them and then decorate them with decoupaged fabric or magazine cutouts. I think they added little handles with wire and filled them with candies. They were so cute that I wanted to save some cans myself.
TEA BAG CONTAINERS -
PAINT THE COFFEE CONTAINER - USE PAINT OR CONTACT PAPER; USE THE CONTAINER TO HOLD ONE FLAVOR OF TEA; REMOVE THE TEABAG ENVELOPE AND PUT THE TEABAGS IN THE CONTAINER; YOU COULD DECOPAGE THE TEABAG ENVELOPE ON THE SIDE OF THE CONTAINER.
use them to organize sewing needles in sewing box, or other containers...
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