Using Empty Oatmeal Canisters?

Uses for oatmeal containers as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.

Storage Containers

I use mine in various ways. Cover with decorated paper and fill with homemade cookies to give as presents. I even make homemade dog cookies and give to friends with dogs.


Use to store dried bread crusts. Later use the bread crusts for cooking. Also pasta and the like.

I store a lot of things in them; lids for canning, old candles that I use for various projects later, yarn, ribbon and other projects 'stuff'. I put a picture of the time on the box to make identification quick and easy.

By Therese

Weblinks With Ideas

I saw on TV or in a magazine where they stacked them on their sides in rows and stacked (can't remember how they kept them together, might have been tied or glued or both) but they used them to store small craft bins or yarn or small kids toys, etc. The link below is somewhat similar:

A Few Other Ideas:


Form for Concrete Legs

I emptied one yesterday and thought those could be used to make round, concrete legs for a low bench or something. Maybe someone can make my idea work.

By Lilian

Yarn Storage

They make great Yarn holders! Just cover them with contact paper or wall paper to make look pretty and then make a hole in the lid to pull your yarn through.

By Mrs. Vicki Mason

Make A Little Purse

When I was about 4, my mother made me a beautiful Easter dress and a matching drawstring purse. She used an oatmeal container for the base. She cut the container in half, and she lined it in muslin then covered it in a white dotted fabric that came up to a drawstring closure, made out of white silk ribbons. Then she used fabric left over from my dress to put over the container and brought up to little points on each "corner" and put a small button on these.


This was a cute, and very sturdy little purse. Long after the dress was outgrown, I still played with the purse. As a matter of fact, my daughters played with this purse too. It was kind of dingy by then, but was still structurally quite sound!

By Bailegirl

Mailing Cookies

Decades ago when my husband was in Vietnam, I would use empty oatmeal cartons to mail him cookies.

Toy Drums

Drums for little boys are fun. Decorate with paper, punch 2 holes on the sides for a rope so he can wear it around his neck or if it needs to be safer for smaller baby just cover with paper, give a little wooden spoon and let him bang away. My son loves these. I also used them to make a baby bank. I made fake money. I used rounded oj lids and covered in paper. Later i put a little dry beans and rice and sealed tight for a noisemaker. I can't get enough oatmeal containers!


By Wayfarer

Do you have any more ideas? Post them below.

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February 20, 20080 found this helpful

i made them into drums with my preschoolers for music week but i got a few rubber raincoats at goodwill and puched holes into a few places and punched holes to match in canister and we tied the rubber part to top and then we covered the drums in paper and let kids glue on foamies and color etc my son and daughter made one too they have had this for going on 4 yrs now!!!we stretched the rubber really tightly so it really did sound like a real bongo drum

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February 20, 20080 found this helpful

i also have decorated these with really pretty paper from dollar stores etc real florally paper and hot glued flowers to the top and put bath lotions and bubble bath in and then they can keep the preety almost hat like box for storage!!!!!

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February 20, 20080 found this helpful

Cut off the bottom - being sure to leave no sharp edges if it is metal. Cut in half lengthwise to create a tunnel - good for small trains, matchbox size cars.


You can cover with paper mache and make it all nubby and paint it green, or just leave it plain. Decorating with paper and markers works also.

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By EGGZ (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

Perfect size for holding two rolls of toilet paper. I have them in both bathrooms, covered with contact paper to match my decor. They fit on floor beside toilet and wastebasket. I've had mine for years. You always know how much you have available.

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February 20, 20080 found this helpful

When my husband was going through chemotherapy, he received oodles of cards in the mail. I cut the bottom off of an oatmeal canister, covered the canister with cheerful wrapping paper, and then every time he got a card, I ran a piece of bright yarn through the inside fold of the card, and then through each end of the canister and tied the ends together inside the canister.


It was a neat way to display the cards, and kept them all together so he could re-read them whenever he wanted to. By the way, he beat the cancer!

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By pmclausen (Guest Post)
February 22, 20080 found this helpful

When I was in elementary school each student handmade a gift for another student in the class. A friend of my mom suggested that I cut part of the side of an oatmeal container out, making the container look like a cradle. I then covered it with fabric and hand sewed a small mattress, pillow, and blanket. Many of the girls in the class hoped I had drawn their name for the project. It was great fun.

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February 23, 20080 found this helpful

I've used them to store rolls of wrapping paper on end, rolled up paper intarsia patterns for my knitting machine, and long tools for my knitting machine.

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November 24, 20140 found this helpful

I like to use Scentsy warmers, and I didn't like just throwing the used wax away, so I started collecting it in containers with a taper candle in the middle. The results were some pretty multi-colored candles. After making 3 small ones of various sizes, I decided to take an oatmeal box and start one. It may take a while, but I'll have a huge many-colored candle to use in a centerpiece. There's no scent left, of course.

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