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16 Clever New Uses For Coffee Cans You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Emptied all of the coffee out of the coffee can? Don't throw it out! Here are 16 genius ways to put an old coffee can to work all around the house.

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New uses for coffee cansPhoto: Shutterstock

1. Use Coffee Cans to Bake Some Bread

Use small coffee cans to bake perfectly cylindrical loaves of bread. Use your favourite recipe but put the dough into a well-greased coffee can instead of a loaf tin. For yeast breads use two cans and fill each only half full. Grease the inside of the lids and place them on the cans. For yeast breads, you will know when it is time to bake when the rising dough pushes the lids off. Place the cans, without their lids, upright in the oven to bake.

It’s not just coffee cans that come in handy, either. Check out these clever coffee ground hacks!

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Use coffee cans as lawn seedersPhoto: Shutterstock

2. Make a Spot Lawn Seeder Out of a Coffee Can

When it’s time to re-seed bare spots on the lawn, make a spot seeder from an empty coffee can and a pair of plastic lids for precise seeding. Drill small holes in the bottom of the tin, just large enough to let grass seeds pass through. Put one lid over the bottom of the can, fill it with seeds, and cap it with the other lid. When you’re ready to spread the seeds, take off the bottom lid. When you’ve finished, replace it to seal in any unused seed for safe storage, then avoid doing these 13 things to your lawn.

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Use coffee cans to organize beltsPhoto: Shutterstock

3. Use Coffee Cans to Store Belts

If you have more belts than you have places to hang them up, just roll them up and store them in a large, clean coffee can with a clear lid. Large coffee cans are just the right size to keep belts from creasing and a clear lid will let you find each belt easily. Here’s the best way to pack a belt when you’re going on vacation.

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Make a coffee can bird feederPhoto: Shutterstock

4. Make a Coffee Can Bird Feeder

To fashion a coffee can into a sturdy bird feeder, begin with a full can and open the top only halfway. (Pour the coffee into an airtight container.) Then open the bottom of the can halfway the same way. Carefully bend the cut ends down inside the can so the edges are not exposed to cut you. Punch a hole in the side of the can at both ends, where it will be the ‘top’ of the feeder and put some wire through each end to make a hanger. Check out these other tricks to attract more birds to your backyard.

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Use a coffee can as a bankPhoto: Shutterstock

5. Use a Coffee Can as a Bank

To make a bank for the children or a collection can for a favourite charity, use a utility knife to cut a slit in the centre of the plastic lid of a coffee can. Tape decorative paper or adhesive plastic to the sides of the “bank”; for a collection can, use the sides of the can to highlight the name of the charity you are helping.

Want to make your money really “work” for you? Check out these five clever new uses for coins.

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Use coffee cans for kitchen scrapsPhoto: Shutterstock

6. Use a Coffee Can for Kitchen Scraps

Line a coffee can with a small plastic bag and keep it near the sink to hold kitchen scraps and peelings. Instead of walking back and forth to the garbage can, you’ll make one trip to dump all the scraps at the same time. Here are more clever kitchen organizing ideas you’ll wish you knew sooner.

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Use coffee cans to store kids toysPhoto: Shutterstock

7. Use a Coffee Can as Storage for Small Toys

Make a decorative container for small toys. Wash and dry a coffee can and file off any sharp edges. Sponge on two coats of white acrylic paint, letting it dry between coats. Cut out a design from an old sheet or pillowcase to wrap around the can. Mix 4 tablespoons white glue with enough water to the consistency of paint. Paint on the glue mixture and gently press the fabric onto the can. Trim the bottom and tuck top edges inside the can. Apply two coats of glue mixture over the fabric overlay, letting it dry between coats.

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3. Make a Dehumidifier

8. Turn a Coffee Can into a Dehumidifier


If your basement is too damp, try this easy-to-make dehumidifier. Fill an empty coffee can with salt and leave it in a corner where it will be undisturbed. Replace the salt at monthly intervals or as needed. Check out more smart ways to use salt all around the house.

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Use coffee cans to keep toilet paper dry when campingPhoto: Shutterstock

9. Use Coffee Cans to Keep Toilet Paper Dry When Camping

Bring a few empty coffee cans with you on your next camping trip. Use them to keep toilet paper dry in rainy weather or when you’re carrying supplies in a canoe or boat. You should also avoid these 10 mistakes people make when camping.

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Use a coffee can as a rain gaugePhoto: Shutterstock

10. Use a Coffee Can to Gauge Rainfall

Find out if your garden is getting enough water from the rain. Next time it starts to rain, place empty coffee cans in several places around the garden. When the rain stops, measure the depth of the water in the cans. If they measure at least an inch, there’s no need for additional watering. This is also a good way to test if your sprinkler is getting sufficient water to the areas it is supposed to cover. Here are more gardening shortcuts that will save you time and money.

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Use coffee cans to separate hamburgersPhoto: Shutterstock

11. Use Coffee Cans to Separate Hamburgers

Before you put those hamburger patties in the freezer, stack them with a coffee-can lid between each and put them in a plastic bag. Now, when the patties are frozen you’ll be able to easily peel off as many as you need. Bet you didn’t know you could freeze these foods, too!

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Use coffee cans in the laundry roomPhoto: Shutterstock

12. Use Coffee Cans to Bring Order to a Chaotic Laundry Room

Keep an empty coffee can nearby as you’re going through the kids’ pockets before putting a load in the washer. Use it to deposit receipts and wrappers, paper scraps and other assorted items that kids tend to stuff into their pockets. Keep another coffee can handy for coins and bills. Check out these other helpful laundry hacks.

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Use coffee can lids as plant saucersPhoto: Shutterstock

13. Use Coffee Cans as Plant Saucers

Place plastic coffee-can lids under houseplants as saucers. They’ll protect carpets and wood floors and catch any excess water. Don’t miss these inspired ideas for indoor gardening.

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Use coffee cans to organize a workshopPhoto: Shutterstock

14. Use Coffee Cans to Eliminate Workshop Clutter

You want small items like screws, nuts and nails to be handy, but you don’t want them to take up workbench space. Here’s a way to get the small stuff up out of th eway. Drill a hole near the top of empty coffee cans so you can hang them on nails in your workshop wall. Label the cans with masking tape so you’ll know what’s inside. Here are more genius storage tricks to make your garage work harder.

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Use nail polish remover to take paint off of windowsPhoto: Shutterstock

15. Soak a Used Paintbrush in an Empty Coffee Can

An empty coffee can is perfect for briefly soaking a paintbrush in thinner before continuing a job the next day. Cut an “X” into the lid and insert the brush handles so the bristles clear the bottom of the can by about 12mm (1/2-inch). If the can has no lid, attach a stick to the brush handle with a rubber band to keep the bristles off the bottom of the can. Believe it or not, these are the most popular paint colours in Canada.

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Use a coffee can lid to catch paint dripsPhoto: Shutterstock

16. Use a Coffee Can to Catch Paint Drips

Turn the plastic lids from old coffee cans into drip catchers under paint cans and under furniture legs when you’re painting. Protect cupboard shelves by putting them under jars of cooking oil and syrup too. Next up, check out these 20 clever household uses for ammonia.

Originally Published in Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things