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Roundup: 9 Cool & Creative Uses for Old Coffee Cans

by on Feb 27, 2012


My mom and dad–and grandma and grandpa–all shared the same obsession with empty coffee cans. They didn’t meet one with which they could part. It’s rubbed off on me, I’m afraid. Conversations surrounding the topic in my house go something like this:

Him, while holding up an old coffee can stashed in some corner of the basement or garage: “I’m recycling this.”

Her: “No! That’s a good can.” 

Him, while rolling his eyes: “Fine.”

But, seriously, a good coffee can or two can translate into some really cool stuff. And now, with these ideas in my arsenal, I’ll have a better comeback than ‘that’s a good can’ next time one of my precious containers is threatened with recycling.

Up top, check out ReadyMade’s Coffee Can Lamp tutorial.

For a very old school lamp alternative, we just might want to give Karen’s Coffee Can Lanterns a try.

Three lamps, black cylinders delightfully punctured to make starry designs, hang from a tree overlooking the ocean at dawn.

Bonnie turned an old coffee can into a pop-up plastic bag holder.

2010 05 27_4239

 Or how about using a bunch to make a wine rack?

Coffee cans stacked as wine rack

I spotted this cute wall of coffee can planters at AT. (All gardens need a touch of blue, don’t you think?)


Speaking of planters, Stephanie used an old coffee can and cardboard strips to make this faux birch planter:

A white and brown cylinder that looks old and wrinkled.

 Lee used 14 Trader Joe’s coffee cans to make her yarn cubby. So cute and colorful.


Taking our cans back in the kitchen, here’s a trick from The Dutch Baker’s Daughter. She makes a heavenly Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread baked IN coffee cans!

Reuse your coffee cans turning into mugs .

And, finally, here’s one for summertime: Coffee Can Ice Cream. The website Make Ice Cream has three different recipes for making such and include vanilla, chocolate and, of course, coffee.

coffee can icecream 300x247 How to make Ziploc Bag or Coffee Can ice cream


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  1. My grandmother, my mother and I have always used coffee cans for our Pumpkin Bread. (Possibly my great-grandmother too) Good metal coffee cans are getting hard to come