Roundup: 9 Cool & Creative Uses for Old Coffee Cans

Roundup: 9 Cool & Creative Uses for Old Coffee Cans

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.

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:

 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!

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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Gail on Jan 08, 2018:

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

pattiheadley on May 17, 2013:

great ideas will be trying some of these thank you for shareing

Christine on Mar 31, 2013:

wonerful Ideas!!! I stopped drinking coffee a few years ago, but my hubby loves Iced tea so I have these cans and now I know how to use them!! Thanks!!  Happy Easter all


Amy G-P on May 20, 2012:

My mom always made pumpkin bread in coffee cans. The recipe specifies cans. But the coffee companies that do still sell in cans have shrunk the can size so the recipe doesnt work. Drat! It tastes better can-shaped. ;-)

Annie.B on Mar 22, 2012:

WOW !! Awesome idea's!!!

Sarah e on Mar 12, 2012:

What about large cans (ie. for beans, soup, etc)?

Nell Jean on Feb 27, 2012:

We buy a brand that comes in red plastic. I considered covering the printed parts with fancy paper and mod-podge, but it hasn't happened. These are in 3 sizes and I'm sure have lots of uses besides holding items in the workshop.

DesigningMom on Feb 27, 2012:

Thanks Maven. I didn't realize that. I'm not a coffee drinker at all.

DIY Maven on Feb 27, 2012:

@DM--yeah, it's still out there, but I think it's the lesser-known brands.

DesigningMom on Feb 27, 2012:

Amazing ideas, but does coffee even come in cans anymore? Years before my hubby changed to beans his brand started coming in plastic containers. Though those containers are great for some things, they just weren't the same as the cans.

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