Reusing Tin or Aluminum Cans

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts
September 23, 2008

Reusing Aluminum (Tin) CansI just made a discovery and have got to share it. I have been wishing for a gadget to hold my Zip Lock Freezer Bag open while I fill it. I thought about the tin can and went to my recycling bin and pulled out a 28 oz. Hunt's Tomato can.


I cut the bottom out, washed it good and gave it a try. It works great and makes putting stuff in the bag much easier. It fits perfectly down into the quart size bag and can be used on the gallon size bag also. This can will go in my utility drawer now.

By Betty from NC

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January 25, 2008

One of the ways I recycle is by burying my steel cans in my garden, I leave the bottoms on and I bury them about 12 in. deep open side up. I fill the canned with compost and then plant above it.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
August 3, 2010

I needed small cake pans, but didn't have any, so I grabbed some empty tuna cans. They are just the right size for mini cake pans.

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February 23, 2010

I keep all my food cans for recycling. Some I keep and decorate with paint, stickers, ribbons, and etc. I use them for organizing small items.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
October 16, 2018

I eat a lot of the larger Campbell's chicken noodle soup (in the 25% more cans) and mandarin oranges from The Dollar Tree. While prepping them for recycling today, it hit me. The bigger one could be a lid for the smaller one.

Cans Can Do So Many Things - larger can inverted over the smaller one

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 204 Posts
April 25, 2007

The photo does not do this project justice, but it's an organizer that is very easy to make, uses materials you already have on hand, is very nice to look at, and best of all will help your kids keep their things in order.

Sparkle Organizer

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May 26, 2008

I would just like to have you post the following in response to the recipes I have seen here that call for using empty food cans that are on this site:

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April 27, 2011

When using the coffee plastic cans or even the metal ones, I make cookie cottages out of them, and give them as gifts, with home made goodies inside.

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August 17, 2010

Call or go to any tennis club and ask then to save the empty tennis ball containers for you. Wash them out and use for almost anything.


I use them for leftover cereal. They are air tight and have a good seal so they keep out bugs.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 306 Posts
November 20, 2009

I make a lot of homemade bread so I buy flour in bulk. To make measuring easier I keep a mandarin orange can in my flour container. It measures 2 cups and has grooves inside at the 1/2 and 1 cup level.

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May 4, 2017

While doing any DIY project, organization is key. When you take off the hardware to paint furniture you do not want to lose the hardware.


You can use recycled aluminum cans to place the hardware in them until the time comes to reassemble.

A recycled aluminum can for storing nails and other hardware.

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January 31, 2007

Take your empty can and rinse it out with soap and water. Let air dry. Find anything you're not using and cover the front. I used juice pouches to match the purse.

Recycle Cans and Packaging Into Storage Containers - decorated with M & M wrappers.

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November 3, 2006

Remember making these when we were young? This is a great indoor craft to do when it's too cold or raining outside for the little ones to play.

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20 Questions

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July 20, 2004

I am going to be using tin cans from veggies and such for some crafts, and I can't seem to get the glue from the wrappers off, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on what to use that is very inexpensive to buy?

Cali in GA


By Jack from Salmon Arm, BC (Guest Post)
July 21, 20041 found this helpful

We use WD40 for this all the time. It works great if you spray it on (outside of course) and let it sit for a short while. Sometimes it may require a second application

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March 11, 2002

How do you use tin cans other than recycling them. Ideas can include craft ideas or anything else you can think of. Please specify type or size of can.


March 12, 20020 found this helpful

I wash them out thoroughly so as not to attract unwanted critters, and then store a few for when I need to discard cooking oil from pan frying or deep frying. I pour the cooled oil into a can, then I stuff a couple napkins into it, close the lid (which I usually keep attached to the can), and place it in my trash. I've found this to be the best way to discard oil in the least messy way. Other than that, I recycle them. Thanks for a great newsletter!!!


- A. P.

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February 7, 2001

What are some frugal, creative and/or crafty uses for tin cans?


February 7, 20010 found this helpful

Peel the labels off and smash 'em flat - 8 or so. Using an awl, punch a hole in each one. Take a larger can - coffee can or large vegetable can - fill with ice and freeze. Then in the rim of this can, punch a hole for each smashed can - space your holes equidistant along the rim. Punch another hole in the center of the can bottom. Now spray all the cans with clear rustoleum to keep them from rusting. Thread fishing line through the holes in the large can and tie knots to hold them in place. Thread the other end through the hole in the smashed can - one can per string - and knot. Finally, thread a button onto another length of fishing line and knot. Pass this thread through the hole in the middle of the can bottom, and hang. Un-canny windchimes. My kids did these and painted the large can with geometric designs. Great for mother's/father's day.


You can also cover 6 cans (same size) with wallpaper or contact paper, stack them in a pyramid (3 on bottom, then 2, then 1 on top) and glue them in place - use as a desk organizer. Make one with larger cans for a mail sorter. Can stand on the bottoms, or on the side.

You can also make a carry-along organizer with three equal-size cans (coffee or large veggie work best) and a wooden handle - cans are screwed into handle. Basically, the handle is cut from plywood, and extends deep wnough so the cans can be screwed on, three to a side, with open ends up toward the handle for carrying. Looks sort of like the carriers they have for cleaning supplies. Directions for this are on, or GReat for gardening stuff.

Make luminaries - an oldie, but a goodie! Fill cans with water and freeze. Use a nail and hammer, or an awl, to make holes in the cans in a pattern that you like - initials, hearts, stars, hex signs, etc. If the ice starts to melt, stop and refreeze. When the design is finished, thaw and empty water. Place a small candle inside. Voila!


Also, make buddy burners and buddy burner ovens for camping - see for directions.

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February 7, 20010 found this helpful

You can cover them in either fabric or paper or paint them and use them for pencil, pen holders next to the phone and computer !

You can use them to pot plants in !

You can make them into lanterns. punch holes in a pattern around the sides then put a candle inside make a wire handle and hang outside in the garden or around the patio for a lovely effect. - Sherrie from Western Australia !

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