(I have collected these ideas from all over the internet, mostly via bulletin boards and e-mails. If you see one that is your original idea, please e-mail me and I will include your e-mail or web-site address and give you credit.)


Spray paint a 3-lb can with geen matte spray paint. Drill a hole on each side, about 1/4" down from rim and create a handle with small guage wire. Cut out a country christmas design from fabric, wrapping paper, magazines, etc., to decoupage around the can. Add buttons or other embellishments if you desire. Tie a raffia bow around the handle and fill with homemade hot chocolate mix, chocolate covered pretzels, or any other goodies to give as an inexpensive gift during the holiday.


You will need 3 or 4 3-lb coffee cans plus one lid. Leave the bottom on one can, cut the bottom out of 2 and 3rd can. Glue coffee cans together with a good glue, stacked with one with bottom still on as your bottom of stack. Reinforce joints with duck tape. Cover outside with carpet wrapping around can and cutting butt joints where ends meet. Cover lid with carpet also just outside do not wrap under lip. Secure a wooden knob or knob of your choice in middle of lid. Used to store extra toilet tissue, etc. in bathroom.

(Lin gives us an alternative version. Thank you Lin)

On your Coffee cans for the toilet tissue holder. Make it as you describe, but put batting (as used in quilts) then cover with fabric of your choice and blind stitch where the seams come together. Get a paper bowl and fill it with batting and cover the top of that with the matching fabric you used on the cans. Then attach a plastic tie (like comes with plastic bags) and there is your lid for the toilet tissue holder for the bathroom.


Can also be used as an umbrella stand. Remove bottom and replace with a plastic lid. Put a round sponge in the bottom to absorb water from the wet umbrellas.

Rub catnip into carpet and use as a scratching post for cats.

Cover with fabric or Contact in lieu of carpet.


Use terry cloth to wrap around the can. More than one color can be used. Then run a wide piece of lace up the front of the can. The type you can run ribbon through. Run ribbon through the lace. Space miniatures roses of a matching color every so often. The lid was a round wooden disk with a knob bolted on top.

(from Linda S in WV)

Another use for the toilet tissue holder; using 4 or 5 cans put together in the same manner and covered with contact paper, makes great storage for those gift wrap rolls. Keeps them from rolling all over the closet and dust free.

(Posted by Donna on June 02, 1999)

I saw a TV program (I don't remember the program) where they used 4 coffee cans stacked together one on top of the other, taped together with duct tape. This is used to make a leg for a table. You would need 16 coffee cans. Once the cans are taped together they used wallpaper by wrapping around and gluing to the cans, they used a beautiful black with gold paper. For the top they used a piece of glass. It was like a sofa table but you could do any kind. Just another idea.

(Posted by Carmen Cagle Mar 25, 98)

Hi, I'm new to this but I do have three uses for large coffee cans. The first project I did turned out great. I took two large coffee cans and a tall dowel rod. I made a small mailbox by turning one can sideways and attaching it to the dowel with a screw. Then I set the other coffee can on the floor, with the opening up and I centered the dowel and then took a screw and attached it. Oh I almost forgot, I made a hole in the plastic lid and slipped it over the dowel so that it would still fit on the can. Then I painted the entire "mailbox" with a metallic gold spray paint. When it was dry I took heavy red posterboard and cut out a red flag and glued it to the side along with some minature poinsettias and greenery. Then I wrapped the dowel with greenery garland and a short string of clear Christmas lights. Just to add another special touch I also glued a cardinal on top. I used this to keep my Christmas cards in and it looked really cute standing by my tree. I never did fill the base with anything but I intended to put sand in it. This idea was a hit with everyone that saw it and it wouldn't have to be Christmas, you could make a mailbox for everyday fun!

(posted by Carmen)

Another thing I do with any size can, more often larger cans though, is make buckets. First I choose two colors of paint, one should be lighter than the other, for instance I made Valentine buckets. I sponged the can red (or pink) then let it dry. Then I sponged it again with white and let it dry. Then I took heart and cupid shaped sponges and sponged those all over the can. I took a hammer and nail and made a hole on each side of the "bucket" and then used bailing wire to make the handle by running it through each hole. I then took the excess wire and rolled it, or curled it and then filled it with tissue paper and goodies! Simple and a cute gift that you could do for any holiday! If you buy the dry, flat sponges you can cut out any shape you choose!

(posted by Carmen)

There is one other project I do using cans. My mother and I call them "Santa Cans". You use the same sponging concept, red then white and this time you paint a skin colored oval in the center and then you take muslin and you rip it into pieces about 2-1/2 inches wide and cut them to the preferred length and glue them around the "face" for hair and beard. After that you paint on some simple eyes and a nose and a mouth (we usually glue a piece of muslin over the mouth for a mustache) and there he is a "Santa Can".

(Joy posted April 21, 1999)

After I clean the cans making sure that all glue residual is gone, I use acrylic paint in a dark blue to base coat, inside and out with two coats. Once the paint has dried I spatter them with white paint. You can add a water base varnish to seal. You now have faux enamelware! Very Country! You can poke holes in the sides and add a handle made from wire twisted around a pencil or wooden dowel. You can embellish thes in so many ways. I like to add raffia bows and sunflowers - you can get them in very tiny sizes. (Or, try making them your self from bread dough (white bread and glue kind). There is even an acrylic paint color called sunflower!) Once completed, these make ideal holders for pens/pencils,can even hold guest soaps or potpourri in the bathroom. One word of caution. If they are exposed to moisture they can possibly rust even though they have been sealed. It is best to cut a circle from felt or cardboard and glue to the bottom to prevent moisture from seeping up. (Note from Granny2shoes: Use a plastic lid on the bottom.)

(Here is a suggestion from "Butterfly Kisses")

I take small and large coffee cans and add a handle on the side, the kind you use like to open cupboard doors (the cheap ones). Well once added to the coffee can I use them as a kind of scoop for dog food. We have a german shepherd and the bags are quite large, Dip the coffee can into the bag to scoop out the food. It's really a great help.


Paint can gold and sponge over with copper. Add ornate handles for a vase. Put a jar (mayo or otherwise) of flowers or a plant inside.

(from Wanda)

Recently, somewhere in my travels on then net, I saw where someone had made a bird feeder. They cut the ends out BUT only half way, bend the cut end down inside the can so the edges are not exposed to cut you. Then punch a hole in the side of the can, at both ends, where it would be the "top" of the feeder and put some wire thru each end to make a hanger.

(from Wanda)

You can use either the plastic top for the top or cut a slit in the metal bottom and use the plastic on the bottom to get the money out easily. Paint, decoupage, or wallpaper the can to dress it up.

(from Wanda) Also, I paint them and use them as canisters in my camping trailer. I try to avoid anything glass in the trailer since things tend to move around as I go up and down the road. I put decals on them to decorate and use them for flour, sugar, tea, coffee, baking mix, flour, rice, pasta, powdered milk, etc.

A grease can: Whenever I cook something that has to be drained, I do it in a 1# can and when I'm packing up to go home, just throw the can away, or throw all the grease in the trash since you can't put in down the drain in the trailer.

Small parts canister: I always have nails, bolts, screws, etc in the tool compartment so I store them in a 1# can and they don't get lost.

(from Wanda)

Fill 1# can with water and freeze; take a nail and punch holes along the rim-several all the way around one end. Thaw the water and dump; cut the second end out of the can and put a hanging wire thru two holes. Cut the material for the windsock to 14" length and 7" wide, put the two 7" ends together and stitch. Cut streamers to the length you want and sew a small hem around them so they don't ravel, as well as around the windsock. Sew, glue, or staple the streamers to the windsock. Glue the windsock to the hanger end of the can so that the windsock covers the can.

(from Wanda)

I think everybody knows how to make these: freeze water in can, punch holes in a design with a nail, thaw and dump water, paint the can, put a candle in and light. Especially pretty lining a sidewalk.

(from Diane Tracy)

Something *I* do is to use them for packages instead of boxes! I wrap them in the brown side of a paper bag (or craft paper), and then decorate that!

(from Diane Tracy)

"just add snow!" Fill with a snow cap, mittens, painted 10 rocks black for the eyes, mouth & buttons, and 1 orange for the nose... You can add in whatever you want to complete the snowman...a pipe, a scarf, whatever. Then I painted the can (w/a sponge brush) midnight blue and speckled them with white paint to look like snow... if I'd been more adept (and had more time), I would have painted a snowman on ...but I just glued bits of material to look like a snowman. Voila! A Snowman in a Can. Just add Snow!

Have some suggestions for coffee cans? Add your ideas to our current list? Please share them with us. And don't forget to leave your page address or e-mail address if you want it linked. Thanks to all who have submitted suggestions.


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