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Household Tips: 10 Unique Uses for Recycled Cans

Updated on December 12, 2017

Old cans come in a wide variety of sizes and can be re-purposed for many different uses. To be clear, we're talking storage cans here, this has nothing to do with your grandmothers..nevermind.

Back to the main topic - before you throw away those old cans, look around to see if you can get a little extra use out of them. This little list of 10 unique uses for old cans should get you started.

  1. Outdoor Candle Holder - Can those unruly candles! Peel the label off old cans and punch an interesting array of holes in the sides of them. Get creative! Smiley faces and flying pigs work great. Once the holes are punched in your empty cans, set them outside and stuff a candle in 'em. Light the candle and you've made yourself a nice lighted walkway. For better effect, use citronella candles to keep those pesky pests away.
  2. Amplifier - No strings attached! Simply hold the end of an open can to a door and stick your ear to the other. Sounds from the unsuspecting person will be amplified through the empty can. This works great for parents who need to check on their kids at night without waking them up, but not-so-much with frisky neighbors. Use with caution.
  3. Bird Feeder - No, birds don't care for old cans, but they will enjoy the seed you put in them. Stuff a couple of empty cans in the branches of trees, fill with seed, and watch the birds go crazy.
  4. Spreader - Punch a few holes in the bottom of an old can, fill with seed, shake. The can, not you. Remember to make the holes large enough so that the seed falls through. This works best with old coffee cans or old milk jugs.
  5. Rain Gauge - Set old cans around the yard after your weekly rain-dance to see how successful you were. After it rains, measure the water level with a ruler. If the ruler comes out dry, dance harder.
  6. Pigeonholes - This isn't for the birds. Glue a bunch of old cans together, let dry, and set them on their sides. This makes a nice niche for small items.
  7. Plant Protector - A superhero for young plants! Remove both ends of the used can and toss. Place the old cans around young plants and push them down into the soil, leaving only a little of the tops exposed. This helps protect those little guys from little root munchers.
  8. Table Locks - If your planning a large party and have a lot of little tables, use used cans to lock those wandering tables together. Push the tables together and set the table legs into the used cans. The cans will hold the legs together so that the tables stay stationary.
  9. Mini Golf - Lay the used cans on their sides and practice your putt. Makes a nice sound win the balls are sunk.
  10. Stow those screws - ...and bolts, and nuts - in-laws not included. Screw the tops of empty coffee cans into the underside of shelves, label the used cans, put stuff in them, and let the hang around.

© 2011 Eric Standridge


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