Trash And Recycling

Five Ways to Upcycle Coffee Cans

Suzanne Rose's image for:
"Five Ways to Upcycle Coffee Cans"
Image by: 

When the coffee is all gone, do not throw away the empty can for it to sit in a landfill for decades. Instead you can "upcycle" it into a craft for adults or children. According to Crafting a Green World, coffee cans are ideal because they are sturdy and already in a great shape for many crafts. There are a variety of crafts that can provide both a fun activity and a useful product.

Flour/sugar can

You may not want to keep your flour and sugar in the bags that they came in for fear of ants of other pests. A coffee can that closes tightly can make the perfect container for such items. The inside can stay as it is, but add decorations on the outside to provide a nice touch. Decorate with paint that is made for metal. Alternatively, glue construction paper around the can. Once you have a solid surface, you can embellish your can. Use paint writers to spell the word "flour" or "sugar." Add glitter, crystals, sequins or beads for an attractive touch.


A coffee can makes a great planter. If it is not metal, then you can line it with aluminum foil. Punch holes in the bottom for water to filter out, depending on the type of plant. For an attractive and unique look, glue dried flowers all around the coffee can.

Cookie jar

A coffee can may be used to make a cookie jar. The inside is perfect for such an item. Paint or line the outside with a solid color. Place pictures of cookies on the outside of the jar. If it is a craft for a young child, then they can draw on the cookies with crayons or even place stickers of crayons on it. You can also paint it. For something unique, glue on buttons of different sizes to represent cookies.

Coffee can bank

A coffee can will make a great bank for a child. Use a knife to make a slot at the top for coins to go in. Decorate the outside by gluing on plastic, paper or real coins. Alternatively, you can decorate it with other embellishments like paper shapes and foam stickers.

Pencil holder

A smaller coffee container can be made into a pencil and office supply holder. Find pencils that are about the same height as the can. Glue the pencils all around the can so that it looks like a ring of pencils. Use it for your office at home or work. Another idea is to glue several together to make a coffee can caddy, according to Artists Helping Children.

A coffee container can be made into many different useful products. The above five ideas will allow you to "upcycle" such an item.

More about this author: Suzanne Rose

From Around the Web