Reusing Plastic Coffee Cans

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

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I buy the large coffee jugs, the 33 oz. size. They are made so well, they have a handle on the side, with a good tight seal lid. I just can't see throwing them away. I give them to neighbors that I know, one being an older gentleman that uses them for his screws, nails and other little tools.

Uses for Large Plastic Coffee Jugs

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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.

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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.

Coffee can composting

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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

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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.

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I keep a Folger's coffee container on the clothes dryer to put lint in. When it gets full, I empty the lint into the trash.

Coffee Container for Collecting Dryer Lint

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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!

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March 12, 2012

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.

Coffee Container Toilet Roll Holder, covered in decorative tissue paper

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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.

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December 28, 2006

Coffee Containers As Toys. 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.

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August 5, 2009

I use the red and green coffee plastic containers in the following way...

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September 15, 2016

I buy these all the time. Well, with the coffee in them, of course! I wash them out and fill them individually with sugar, flour, etc. I then label them on the handles and put them in my cabinets.

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36 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 15, 2011

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?

By Kim

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February 11, 2018

I purchase Maxwell House coffee with the handle molded in. What could I do with these?


February 12, 20180 found this helpful
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Uses for Maxwell House Containers

  • 1. Grass seed.
  • 2. Play sand.
  • 3. Flour
  • 4. Sugar
  • 5. Pet food
  • 6. Buttons
  • 7. Yarn
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February 13, 20180 found this helpful
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Little plants, hanging bird feeders

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February 13, 20180 found this helpful
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In my garage, used for tools, sockets, electrical parts. The different colors of the container identifies sizes of the tools. In the kitchen, used for dried herbs. Label the lid as to what's in the container.

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I've been looking at the Folger's coffee container hacks, and they're great.
I'd like to use one for toilet paper while camping. Can anyone tell me how high (in inches) is a 22.6-oz plastic coffee can?


July 27, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do not know about the 22.6 can as Folger's has about 25 different size cans.
I do know the squat round 24.2 ounce is 5" tall without lid and a mega roll of toilet fits inside perfectly.

You might need to take a tape measure with you next shopping trip and measure for yourself. It will have to be at least 5" tall without lid and if it is the squat round one (not the tall one unless you plan to use regular size rolls) as it seems the circumference is the same on all large containers.

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July 29, 20200 found this helpful
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I understand about having delivery right now but if you cannot find out any other way and if it is the 22.6 ounce that you are wanting I would suggest calling one of the grocery stores (Target is good) and ask them to measure it for you. I feel sure someone will do this for you. I feel sure the 22.6 is tall enough but not sure if it the circumference is large enough for a mega roll.

The reason I know about the 24.2 size is my son keeps a spare roll in this size can in his van - just for an unexpected emergency as he does a lot of rural traveling.

Stay safe - and hope you have fun camping.

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December 19, 2009

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


December 25, 20090 found this helpful

For Christmas one year, my mom and I took 2 large coffee tins (they were tin at the time), painted them, decorated them, and filled them with hair accessories (barettes, pony tail elastics, etc) for my 2 nieces for Christmas presents. They loved them! Perhaps you could decorate them and use them to "wrap" gifts in? Because they contained coffee, the plastic would have to be food-grade so you could even use them for holding cookies, either for yourself or to give away. My husband and I use mason jars to hold our spare change so that might be an idea too.

Hope this helps!

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December 16, 2011

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

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