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13 Great Ways to Reuse a Tin Can - From Our Members!

By Recyclebank |
We asked our Facebook fans how they would give a tin can a second life before recycling it. Check out our favorite re-uses

We asked our Facebook fans how they would give a tin can a second life before recycling it. Check out our favorite re-uses below.

Capture grease while cooking

Cooking oil or bacon grease can clog up pipes in your home. Instead of having it go to waste, keep that grease for the next time you are cooking a southern meal or simply collect the cooking grease, store it in the back of the fridge and properly discard the can when it’s full.

Organize paintbrushes and knick knacks for arts and crafts

Wrap it, decorate it, put some lace on it or cover the tin with scrapbook paper and use it to organize your arts and crafts area.  Be sure to sand down the sides to remove those sharp edges first.  Above is our favorite from Ten23Designs.

Make a game of telephone

Create the classic game of telephone for your kids. Simply grab another can, drill holes in both, add some twine and entertain your kids for hours!

Use it as a citronella candle

Put a wick and a citronella scented wax inside the tin can and use it outdoors to keep bugs away. With the tin can, you don’t have to worry about broken glass.

Plant flowers or seedlings

Poke holes in the bottom, remove the lid and plant some sedum in it. Let it rust or paint it first if you want it to pop. For seedlings, start growing them in the can and then transfer to your garden.

Make an outdoor luminary

Collect six or eight of these cans, rinse and remove the lids. Using a hammer and a nail, you can then make holes in any pattern, like a star burst! Put a candle in each and line them along the sidewalk as luminaries. If you want to get fancy, paint them. These can be reused year after year!

Create your own wind chimes

Grab a couple of different sized cans and some string. Turn the cans upside down, run some string through them and make wind chimes!

Steam bake Boston brown bread

Follow in the steps of our Irish ancestors or your New England neighbors and steam bake this dark, slightly sweet brown bread in your tin can. Check out a recipe here.

Play a game of kick the can

This summer test your kids’ stealth and skill! Get them away from the TV and outdoors for a game of kick the can.

Train your dog

The old tin can is a great noise maker to train dogs. Fill it with rocks and when you want your dog to step away from something, a little (loud) shake will do the trick!

Build your own cookie cutter

If both ends are open, the tin can is great to cut out biscuits or cookies in a perfect circular shape.

Make a flower vase

Use a tin can as a vase on your outdoor table this summer. The silver against white or pink blooms is lovely, casual and perfect for outdoor summer soirees.

Hold your cutlery

Dress it up with a scrap strip of colorful paper, some raffia and a dimensional sticker. Once decorated, put summer silverware in the can and put it out for your party or leave it on your counter to add an accent.

Become a fan of Recyclebank on Facebook and check out the rest of the reuse suggestions here! How would you reuse a tin can?

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Barry and Mary D. 6 years ago
  • Meg P. 6 years ago
    Great item for soaking paint brushes, workshop or for the kids. Some sizes are better than others, but many uses in the workshop.
  • Gina L. 6 years ago
    If you are a parent of a K-6 child and go through lots of tin cans of the same size decorate them with material, old contact paper, wrapping paper, etc. The next time you want to thank a teacher of the lower grades you will be able send the lot as a gift to the class. (A bit of packaging material on the bottom of each will help to keep them from sliding off school desks.)
  • Ginette F. 8 years ago
    The plastic or styrofoam vegatable and fruit containers (that do not have holes in them) are great to use when painting a room - They can hold small quanties of paint, hold soiled paintbrushes or rags. They can also can be used in the kitchen when rolling food in flour, eggs or bread-crumbs. Glass jars are great for sharing a favorite soup with a sick friend, or a helpful neighbor - put a paper towel over the lid & a rubber-band around the neck.
  • Ginette F. 8 years ago
    "Trash to Treasure" (Ft. Lauderdale,) collects and sells (like @ $1 per pound or by donation): toilet paper & towel rolls, bottle caps, egg cartons, yarn, ric-rac, artificial flowers, small toys, styrofoam popcorn, used 3 ring binders, old material, ribbons, rope, glass jars, flower vases, tissue & wrapping paper, used christmas cards and ornaments. They sell these items and much more for reuse on arts and crafts, school projects and are also available to the public. This amazing place is like a wharehouse/store! They reduce our footprint by keeping it out of landfill and reusing recycalbles.
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