However, last month I did a list of things I can't bear to throw away. As the comments came in, I was thrilled at the fabulous suggestions people had for repurposing some of the things that I had thought of as junk.
I love McCann's Irish Oatmeal--the steel cut oats have a wonderful nutty taste and the texture is so chewy and non-mushy that I swear this is the best thing to hit my breakfast table since Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Only thing is the lovely vintage-style cans that are really just small little paint cans are too pretty to throw away.
What to do? Well, here are some suggestions my readers came up with (and a few others I've thrown in too).
- A bread pan. Suggested by Patty W you could removed the lids, grease the insides of the can and bake a loaf right inside. It would make a lovely gift with a circle of parchment paper wrapped over the top and tied with twine.
- A vase. Paint the can or leave it with the lovely lettering and use it as a lovely vintage-style vase.
- A planter. Suggested by Kimmie at Over the Moon with Joy--Drill some holes in the bottom and make it into a nice home for some pansies.
- A bank. Punch a hole in the lid and use it as a savings bank for something exciting--a vacation, a trip to the movies, that craft book you've been longing for. Maybe stick the bank in the laundry room to use to collect that loose change that people leave in their pockets as a tip for the laundress.
- A gift box. Suggested by Melissa at Miss Congeniality--Wrap the can with contact paper, wrapping paper or paint it to use as a pretty little gift box. Perfect for delivering a small batch of cookies, homemade hot chocolate mix or some truffles. Truffles are fine here any time.
- Food storage. Suggested by Trek at Trek Casts On--Use the tins to store products that come in flimsy boxes such as tea bags, pancake mix, etc. It keeps the product fresher and with a label on the for mixing instructions it's easy to read and use.
- Kitchen cannisters. Suggested by Lori at Queen of Dirty Laundry--Use them to store rice and beans in. They're pretty enough to sit out on the counter, you don't have to hide them in the cupboard.
- Emergency snack bins. Fill one of these with special treats that your children love then keep the can in the car for emergencies when the tummies are growling.
- Emergency first aid kits. A nice storage container for a first aid kid--keep it in your car under the front seat so you'll always have those Band-aids, infant Tylenol or antiseptic on hand. Don't forget the hand sanitizer.
- Emergency candles. Save the remnants of candles (another thing I tend to hold on to) then melt them down with a new wick in the can to make an emergency candle for power outages.
- A yarn feeder. Punch a hole in the top, stick a ball of yarn inside the can and you've got a way to feed yourself yarn as you knit or crochet.
- Romper Stompers. Remember those toys from the 70s? The tin-can stilts? My kids love to punch holes in cans, string twine through the holes to make handles then clomp around on the cans while holding onto the strings. What a great toy . . .
- A crayon holder. How many boxes of Crayolas do you have floating around? Put them all together in one handy place--or fill the cans full of markers, they're the perfect size for all sorts of craft project items. Popsicle sticks . . . buttons . . . foamy letters . . . stickers . . .
- A rolling pin. Give it to the kids to use with their Playdough. Or use it to keep home made Playdough fresh. Or fill it with pebbles from the garden and let your crawling baby chase it around the floor as a noisemaker. If you need extra noise around your house that is.
Michelle blogs at Scribbit, a fabulous daily magazine of recipes, crafts, reviews and giveaways.
What good (and practical) ideas for cans that I love!
I wanted to add that I keep refilling my can with steel cut oats that I get for $.89/lb at the health food store. Tastes exactly the same and way cheaper than buying another can (they run about $8 here).
Some of these are great suggestions for the HUGE coffee cans that I tend to keep. I don't know why -- I'm a "purger" like you are -- but some things just BEG to be kept and repurposed, even if I don't know how right that minute! LOL!
Lisa--what a great idea about buying in bulk and saving the can for reuse--I'll have to see if our store carries steel cuts that way.
Those cans are pretty, I keep one as a button box. I do not buy that brand of steel cut oats often. There is a brand sold at the grocery store, Country Store organic steel cut oats, and they taste the same and cost half as much. These are family favorites. Thanks for the wonderful blog. Your blog always lifts my day. Roxie
Oh, those are great ideas! I use mine to deliver treats in and we have made banks out of them for our "dreams or tolls fund..." whichever comes first :) Great job, Michelle!
Those are great ideas, unfortunately, I have been getting quaker's, and they come in smaller round cardboard canisters like the regular oatmeal. I feel the same way about the round Republic of Tea containers, and I am getting quite a collection. Any ideas for those?
If they're smaller it might be tough to do everything you would with the bigger cans but even a pretty collection of flowers would be nice in a grouping of tins.
Maybe using them as boxes for craft supplies--buttons, googly eyes, foamy letters, pom poms, etc. You could tack them up to a cork board in an office and keep things out of the way in them.
What a very lovely idea!
It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be!!! What an awesome list. :)
I always save cans, especially lovely ones like these. There were some good ideas in this list that I'm looking forward to trying. I'm a fan of embellishing cans and using them to give gifts in.
ooohhh! I had totally forgotten about "romp stompers". I know my kiddos would just love something like that. Guess what I'll be making out of the next two cans I use that are the same size?????
I have this same can. I bought these oats just for the can! What great ideas others have given!
What great ideas for repurposing the can! I would like one to hold pencils and pens on my desk. I've never had these oats so it's a good reason to try them ;)
Hello! I am writing under my husband's account until I can figure out to do my own...so I'm Melissa. I some how ended up on your blog and it's great. We seem to be like minded. When I read this...
"Normally I have a hard time saving things. I tend to throw everything out, sweeping things away in an effort to keep this place of ours clean and uncluttered. (Just ask my husband, he'll set down a glass of water, turn his back and by the time he turns around I've already got the glass in the dishwasher)."
I had to laugh! That is so me! My husband agrees too. Thanks for writing... I enjoy it.
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