Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help me find a use for these and win a free ecourse

The contest is now closed. Thanks everybody for all the fabulous suggestions. I'll pick a winner in the next day or two and post the name :)

Have a lovely weekend!

This is a picture of some empty formula cans.

Somehow I can't bear to throw them away as I'm positive I can recycle them and put them to good use.

Only thing is, the babies have sapped my creativity and I'm all out of ideas.

This is where you come in - I'm looking for ways to use these cans, keeping in mind that Connor goes through one of these every 14 days. Kendra's on the tiny yellow/ orange tins in the top left of the picture so I don't mind throwing those away.

This is what I already do with some of them:

  1. a wastepaper basket in the smallest bathroom in the world
  2. catch water under the leaking tap

So here's how it works:

  • Leave a comment with your suggestions and your email address
  • Competition closes this Sat 12pm EST
  • I'll pick a winner and post the person's name.
  • The person chooses 1 of 3 e-courses.

Hopefully in the not-too-distant future I'll do a post showing you what I did with them.
Come on, put your thinking caps on!

post signature


Danel said...

I use mine as follows:
- store small toys in them.
- cut an opening in the lid and let my baby put babyfood lids through the opening.
- put anyting noisy in them so that baby can shake it - loves the noise
- use an empty one as a drum - i taught my baby to hit it with his hands or a spoon to make some noise!

Sherlyn said...

You can use a hammer and nail to punch a design in the front and hole in the bottom and use them for outdoor candle holders.

Or as holiday luminaries.

Or punch a hole in each side and run ribbon thru as a handle - decorate and use as gift cans to put cookies, candy, etc to give away.

Sherlyn said...

You can use a hammer and nail to punch a design in the front and hole in the bottom and use them for outdoor candle holders.

Or as holiday luminaries.

Or punch a hole in each side and run ribbon thru as a handle - decorate and use as gift cans to put cookies, candy, etc to give away.

Kin said...

1. Pen, pencil holder
2. Utensil holder in the kitchen
3. Odds and ends holder (buttons, clips etc that otherwise float around the house)
4. For husband's use in the "shed" (storing nails etc)

Janet in Toronto said...

Since they are, presumably, food grade, you could use them to store bulk food like raisins, nuts, granola, etc (well-labelled of course).

Or use them as gift boxes for baked goods or other small items.

Cover with pretty paper and use as storage containers for hosiery or other personal items.

tammyjh84 said...

Wrap them with wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper and use them to put gifts in for the holidays. You could even put baked goods in them or soup mixes. The person receiving could recycle the container and pass it along.

Shawna said...

Anytime I have a blank can like that I decoupage it. Use scrapbook paper and use it to store items in. My kids have toys with little pieces so I store them in cans like that. One for cars, hair bows, ribbons, legos. Really anything that has a tone of small parts. Just choose paper that will match the room it's going in and it's fun to see them in the room as part of the decor. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have used cans like those for pens and as flower pots. Especially in spring time or when you want to plant many seeds or small plants. When the flowers, herbs or veggies outgrow the can it is easy to replace it for a big pot or put it in the garden. I would put a hole in the bottom to let water out. And paint them in vivid colours as lilac, green or red :-)

Good luck with the recycling!

Lawanna said...

Oh, I love the ideas of making them into candle holders for the holidays. How about using some to pack snacks for while you're out? You can leave one in the car, or throw one in a diaper bag or backpack. We have a container in the car called the "Emergency Food Box" for times when we're SO hungry that we can't wait until we get home. This seems to happen every time we go to the Y and the kids can't wait the 20 minutes to get home.

Amanda said...

was going to suggest pen holder too.

you could wrap them in twine and make flower vases.

hold art supplies

paint them to use as flowerpots

Freecia said...

Post them on craiglist for free and ask the person who picks them up what they'll use it for. You go through so many, if you don't have a use for it now, you'll always have more later.

Dawnie said...

Obviously they can be used as holders for anything. I'd probably use them as a semi-disposable lunchox. But here are some more ideas:

Paint bright red or green, attach ribbon handle, and put Christmas goodies in them. And use them for Easter baskets, etc.

How well do they fit in your crockpot? Line them with a crockpot liner and fill with a freezable casserole or other crockpot dish. Freeze uncooked. Take out to thaw the night before, pop out of the tin and straight into the crock for EASY dinner!

Use as a bucket for watering plants, etc.

Keep craft supplies in them, great for sorting.

Paint it, cut a good sized hole in the side, partly fill with straw or bits of cloth, and hang from a tree as a birdhouse. Or put birdseed in it.

FiddlersBride said...

I came across this in my blog travels today. Your cans would be PERFECT for this idea for the holidays....

Karen L. said...

I save coffee cans which are similar. I use one to put can lids in (so they don't cut through the trash bag or fingers). When full, I put in the trash. I use one to keep old batteries in until I drop them off at the recycle center. I use one to save Box Tops and Campbell Labels for the school nearby.
You can store small packages of soup or cornbread if you are worried about weevils getting into your dry goods.
You can store coupons in one, until you sort thru them on shopping day.
Teach the kids to save by making banks - they can decorate them themselves when they get older.
Put first aid supplies in one and put it in the car trunk/boot for emergencies or camping or day trips.
Store extra supplies in the garage - like different colors of duct tape, twine, etc.
Have fun with them.

Nikki said...

Hi Marcia,


Paint the Cans in bold colors and use them as pot plants, you can group them on shelves or plant stands in the garden – alternatively drill a hole in either side & use as a hanging pot plant from the trees.

Paint the cans with Black Board Paint & use them as storage in the garage. You are then able to write on the cans with chalk as to what the contents are.

You could use the cans once painted for slips, buttons, & other small items

nikki @

Debbie said...

Well if you have a gas barbeque or cook w/oil on the stove, save these tins to put the used oil in after it cools or use it to catch grease under a gas barbeque?

Good luck!

dmsais @

Angie (Losing It and Loving It) said...

My first thought was to decorate them and use them as desk pens/pencil holders.


Anonymous said...

I would put a long loop of string on each tin and walk around on them, like when I was young but maybe that's why I want help with getting organised :-)

Srushti said...

1.Use them as flowerpots – you’ll only need to drill a small hole at the bottom, to let excess water drain away.
2.When I was a kid, my lego blocks, and my brother’s small toy cars ( he had at least a 100 of them !) were stored in empty detergent cans !
3.I’d love to use them to store rice, pasta, lentils… once I tear open the bags. We typically buy these things in large quantities, and then need to store them in air-tight containers.
(Mumbai is always hot and humid !) What is great about these cans is that they stack up very well, occupying less cupboard space.
4.Being air-tight, these would also be excellent to store homemade Christmas cookies and treats. 
5.They could be turned into very cute piggy banks !

UTTARA said...

hi, hey i have also not thrown them out and they are still in my store. i have recently started wrapping them up with satin ribbons of diffrent colours and make them as colourful with sticking up deifferent motifs. since i have decided to deck up my home office in low cost solutions, my cans just stand as colourful decorative pieces in my office. and ofcourse i can use them to a multiple uses as when required.(pens,colourpencils,erasers,clips). since i an architect i require these all the time.