Ahh coffee – it really is the best thing in the morning. Of course, after the coffee is gone and the can is empty, it’s just one more thing that you have to throw out, right? Not necessarily. There are some wonderful things that you can do with those empty coffee cans and I’ve collected 30 of the craftiest ideas for you. From bread pans and utensil holders to toys, planters, and even lamps and lanterns, we’re going to make good use of those empty plastic or metal coffee containers and turn that trash into treasure!
I really do love to repurpose and upcycle things. I spend a few minutes each day checking out what’s in the trash to make sure that it can’t be used in some other capacity before I allow it to be hauled away to the dump. These coffee can upcycles are some of my favorite projects – mostly because I go through so many coffee cans every year. I can only imagine the amount of trash that I’m about to save the environment! Along with my coffee cans, I’m also now saving my laundry detergent bottles and if you’re not sure why, you need to check out these 25 creative ways to upcycle empty laundry detergent bottles.
Did you even know that you could bake bread in a coffee can? How about turning those cans into stilts – remember when we did that as kids? Or maybe you would prefer to use your empty coffee cans for organization and storage. There are ideas in here for all of that and so much more. I mean, anything that helps you out, right? And if you can save the landfill from a bit more trash then that’s even better. I do love DIY projects that make life easier and even those that save me money, like these 10 money saving household hacks. I always enjoy things that keep money in my wallet.
So, if you’re a coffee drinker, or someone in your house is, then chances are you have a few of these empty coffee cans around the house. Let’s turn them into some fabulous upcycling projects. I can’t wait to hear which of these is your favorite coffee can repurposing project.
1. Coffee Can Turned Bread Pan
You can turn those old metal coffee cans into great baking pans for bread. These make wonderful gifts, too. Just bake the bread in the can and then once it’s cooled, dress up the can just a bit. Note that you can’t do this with plastic coffee containers but for those of you who buy your coffee in a tin can, baking bread is a wonderful way to put that empty can to good use.
2. Upcycled Coffee Container Birdhouse
What better way to upcycle an empty coffee container than to build a birdhouse out of it? This is such a great idea and a wonderful project for the kids to help you with. You’ll need to thoroughly clean that plastic coffee container to ensure that you get all the coffee out. Then just glue some sticks and twigs over it and mount it to a pole – well, there are a few additional steps but you get the gist.
3. Burlap Covered Decorative Coffee Cans
If you don’t know what else to do with those empty coffee cans, why not turn them into décor? I love these Valentine’s Day cans but you can do this with any holiday or with just normal décor. Just cover the cans in burlap and then add whatever decorations you want. Sunflowers would be great for summer or you could do something with pinecones for the holidays. You could even use these as little metal gift bags when you’re finished.
4. DIY Coffee Can Cubbies
Put those empty coffee cans to good use by making them into cubbies to organize and store your yarn. If you knit or crochet, you know just how much yarn you have to keep up with. Those empty coffee cans can help. You can cover the coffee cans in contact paper to make them more decorative. Just glue them all together with contact cement and screw them into your wall. It’s a very cheap and very easy organization solution.
5. Upcycled Coffee Can Ombre Vase
Just a little craft paint and a bit of time are all you need to create these gorgeous Ombre vases from your empty coffee cans. You could do this with plastic or metal cans, just make sure that you use enough paint to cover the color if you’re using plastic. These Ombre vases are perfect for Mother’s Day and take only a few minutes each to make. This would be a wonderful way to make your wedding day centerpieces on a budget.
6. Coffee Can Wine Rack
How great is this wine rack that you can make from empty coffee cans? Seriously, this thing is genius and it’s pretty easy to build, too. It’s basically removing the bottom of the can, spraying it inside and out with spray paint and then gluing them all together. You could create any size of design of wine rack that you want and use any color that matches your existing décor.
7. DIY Upcycled Kitchen Canisters
I love the idea of turning old plastic coffee canisters into actual kitchen canisters. This is one of my favorite projects of all time and it’s pretty easy, too. You just need a few plastic Folger’s or Maxwell House coffee cans – in different sizes if you want. Clean the cans well and then paint them whatever color you want them to be. Here’s a tip – don’t paint the insides (to keep them food safe). Once you’re done and they’re dry, you can use stickers to label them.
8. DIY Coffee Can Plunger Holder
Put that plunger out of sight with a plastic or metal coffee can and some covering. You just cover the can with contact paper or paint if you prefer, cut a hole in the lid to accommodate the plunger’s handle and you’re all set. This is the easiest way to get that plunger hidden away – or you could even do this for your toilet brush. Just make sure to cut the hole the right size for the handle.
9. Easy DIY Office Storage
Upcycle those coffee cans and use them as great office storage. I love office organizers that keep everything in place. I can’t function if my desk is a mess so these office organizers are great. You just empty and clean the cans – or plastic coffee containers – and then decorate them however you want. Use burlap, lace, paint or anything you may have on hand. Then, just fill them with scissors, pens, pencils and other things that tend to be out of place on your desk.
10. Repurposed Coffee Can Luminaries
You can turn metal coffee cans into beautiful luminaries that will light up your outdoors this summer. Just clean the cans and then use a nail or screwdriver to punch holes in them to create a design for the light to filter through. Once they’re all done, you just add tealight candles and light up your night. If you fill the cans up with water and freeze them before you punch your holes, it will help them to keep their shape.
11. DIY Holiday Treat Containers
Recycle those coffee cans and use them to hold your holiday treats or for a beautiful container to give those treats as gifts. You can print off holiday paper and then use Mod Podge to stick it to your cans or paint the cans in different holiday colors. You could also use scrapbook or contact paper to decorate them. Then, fill them with your favorite holiday cookies or candies and gift them to your family and friends.
12. Kid’s Craft Storage From Upcycled Coffee Canisters
If you’ve ever picked broken crayon out of your carpet then you know how important it is for kids to have their own storage containers for these items. You can turn those empty coffee canisters into great little craft storage containers for paints, crayons, colored pencils and anything else you need to store. Just imagine having a place to keep all of those stickers!
13. DIY Pet Food Or Snack Canister
Those plastic coffee containers make excellent pet snack or treat canisters. You can even use them as pet food canisters if you only use small amounts of pet food. Just clean them up and then decorate however you like. The plastic lid keeps the food fresh and keeps it from spilling out. Plus, those coffee canisters are pretty big so you can keep loads of treats in them for your little furry friends.
14. Upcycled Coffee Can Planter
Those empty coffee containers can easily be turned into planters with just a little cleaning and maybe a coat of paint. Just clean them well and then choose your paint color and give them a whole new look. They’re perfect for herbs and other smaller plants and can even handle some of your heavier flowers. Just imagine – you could have custom planters for just the cost of some paint.
15. Easy DIY Popcorn Pail
So, you know some of those plastic coffee containers have handles, right? You can easily turn them into a new little popcorn pail. Of course, I would remove the label and then maybe paint the outside or decorate it somehow to make it a bit more popcorny. Remember that if you’re painting these, don’t paint the insides. The inside is already food safe so if you plan to use them for food in any way, leave the inside unpainted.
16. Upcycled Coffee Can Pumpkin Bank
Those metal coffee cans work best for this coffee can pumpkin bank and you can use any size of them that you have on hand. Kids are going to adore these banks and they’ll have a blast helping to decorate their own little Jack-O-Lantern bank. This project is really easy, too so it’s perfect even for your littlest little. Just cover the can in orange construction paper – or craft paint if you prefer – and then add his little face. Cut a slit in the lid to drop money in and you’re all done.
17. DIY Coffee Can Jack-O-Lantern With Lights
These Jack-O-Lanterns made from empty coffee cans are too cute and they actually light up. You’ll need to empty and clean a metal coffee can and then paint the entire thing, including the lid orange. Create your face with a nail or screwdriver and then paint it black. Add your clear lights and you’re all set. This is an easy and really adorable way to get some Jack-O-Lanterns on your porch this coming Halloween without having to worry about rotting pumpkins.
18. Upcycled Coffee Can Light Fixture
You can even turn those old empty coffee cans into a beautiful light fixture. You’ll need three of the larger cans for this one plus a few other key supplies. You can make the entire light – not counting the cans – for around $20 or so, so it’s a cheap light as well as a decorative one. I love the chic modern look that it has and it’s so easy – you could also paint your cans if you want them to be something other than silver.
19. Easy Upcycled Coffee Can Cake Plate
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great display stand for your cakes and other goodies. I have a cake stand that I paid way too much for and this coffee can upcycled to a cake stand works just as well and you have the chance to customize it. So you literally just decorate your coffee can using whatever method you choose and then top it with a pretty little plate. How easy is that? Plus, it’s really sturdy and really raises that cake up for all to see.
20. Frugal Coffee Canister Seed Starters
Take those plastic coffee canisters and turn them into the perfect little seed starters. This is a great idea if you are planning to grow your own seeds instead of buying sets and you can get several seeds in a coffee can. For smaller plants, you can grow them all the way until they’re ready to harvest or at least leave them in there long enough to really be ready for the transplant. You don’t even have to rinse your coffee cans out – coffee grounds are actually good for your plants.
21. Genius Premeasured Coffee Filters
If all else fails and you really just can’t think of anything else that you want to do with your empty coffee containers, just use them to make your life a bit easier. You can premeasure coffee into filters and the coffee cans are the perfect size for holding those filters without letting the coffee spill out. Imagine only having to lift up a pre-filled filter and place it in the pot.
22. Repurposed Coffee Can Snowman Hat
I adore this repurposed coffee can snowman hat. Not only is the hat itself made from a metal coffee can, the candle is a recycled toilet paper roll. This entire display is practically a trash to treasure spokesperson. You can leave the can right side up and use it to hold cookies or other goodies, too. Start saving those cans now and you can have several of these on display by the holidays.
23. Upcycled Coffee Can Utensil Holders
Those smaller coffee cans are perfect for holding kitchen utensils. You just cover them with contact paper or whatever you want for decoration – something that is easy to clean if you keep your utensils by the stove – and then fill them up with all your cooking utensils. This is a wonderful way to upcycle those cans and get some more space for keeping utensils separated and organized.
24. Easy Repurposed Can Snack Holders
These little snack holder cans are genius and would really come in handy for long road trips. Just decorate the cans with the boxes from your snacks and the cans will keep them fresh longer because they have a much better seal than cardboard and bags. Smaller cans are perfect for this or if you have a really long trip coming up, you could use a larger can or a plastic coffee canister.
25. Beautiful Coffee Can Stone Vase
Turn that coffee can into a beautiful and really elegant vase by adding some small stones. You use grout to keep the stones in place and when you’re finished, you have a wonderful planter or vase that looks like you spent a fortune buying it. you can use small rocks that you have around the yard or buy those shiny river stones from the Dollar Store for about a dollar a bag.
26. Fun Old-Fashioned Coffee Can Stilts
Kids love playing with coffee can stilts – at least I did when I was a kid. These are so easy to make, too. You just poke two holes in the top of two cans and add your rope or whatever you’re using for the balancers. Watch your little ones when they’re playing to make sure that they don’t fall – maybe you’ll want to take a walk on the stilts too – you know, for old time’s sake.
27. Rope Covered Coffee Can
You can turn anything into something amazing if you just cover it up. I love the idea of covering that plastic or tin coffee can with rope and then using it for any number of things. You can use this for bathroom organization or a vase – anything you want. Just glue the rope on as you work it around the can and you can even decorate with silk flowers or other embellishments.
28. Upcycled Coffee Can Easter Baskets
Easter may be over this year but there’s another one coming up before you know it. This gives you plenty of time to turn those old coffee cans into beautiful Easter baskets for the kids or grandkids. Double sided tape and scrapbook paper make the decorations and you can cover the can in paint or fabric – whatever you choose. Add some handles and then fill it with your favorite Easter goodies.
29. Coffee Can Fourth Of July Windsock
Summer is nearly here and that means Fourth of July parties and barbecues. If you want to decorate but are on a strict budget, you can turn those smaller coffee cans into beautiful decorations in the form of windsocks. Just paint them blue and then add stenciled in painted white stars. For the windsock portion, you’ll need red and white ribbon or you could use paper streamers if you prefer. Then just hang them up all over the yard to give your home a really festive look.
30. Decorative Repurposed Coffee Can Gift Box
Turn that plastic coffee can into a beautiful gift box. This one takes a little while but is definitely worth the end result. With scrapbooking paper, stencils, spray paint, and a few other key supplies, that old empty can will soon look like a stunning gift box that you can use to give a gift to someone special. Or, just use the box yourself to store things on the dresser, in the bathroom, or anywhere you want a lovely box displayed.