Using coffee cans?

alison(6b/OH)March 1, 2005

Before Christmas, I put in a request at work to get the coffee cans as they were emptied.

I used some to ship cookies and candies for Christmas, and made several "instant winter-sow" gardens.

But they keep coming in, and now I have 20-30 cans, big and small, and no ideas about what to do with them. Any suggestions before I send them off to my local elementary school?

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amandasmith911(6 INDIANA)

how about organizing nuts,bolts,screws,nails in the garage.or storing flour,sugar,cornmeal in. poke some air holes and store seed packets in them.offer them to neighbors and family. and starting seeds in the spring.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 1:03AM
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I was considering using some of mine along with some old thin-walled aluminum pipes (thin like 1/2 inch diam) to make some wind chimes. Haven't tried it yet but my plan is to hang the pipe pieces halfway out of the inverted coffee can and then hang the whole thing from a tree. I was wondering if the pipes would produce an interesting echo inside the coffee can when they bumped together????

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 1:18AM
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I use them to store used coffee snd tea leaves, until i can use it for mulch around my roses and other plants,filters and all. also for storing compostables until they are taken out.
The air tight lids,eliminate odors and gnat problems. Which also makes them great for aging compost or manure tea.
I make holes in the bottom and use to plant up tomatoes, peppers,perinnials, and other plants. If they will be in an area in which they can be seen, they can be painted.
Cut out both endsand press them down in the soil around plants,to mark small seedlings, especially fruit or nut trees,they last a couple of years.
Smaller ones,down to soup can size, with both ends cut out should be pressed in the soil around freshly set out transplants,especially tomatoes and peppers, as protection from cut worms, and other crawling beasts.
Fill some with what ever is handy, so they will be ready to hold down a sheet of plastic to protect plants, from unexpected bad weather.
Drop a couple of dessicant pkts in the bottom,seal with lid and use to store seeds in the frig.
Sides for raised beds.
Under and around legs of wooden furniture, to protect from termites.
Just some of the ways I use them.
The really come in handy around here.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 3:11AM
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faltered(Hamburg NY Z5/6)

You could drill holes in the bottom for drainage, and then drill a hole in the side of the can to hang it up. Then you could plant them and hang them all over your garden or house.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 10:22AM
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I never seem to have enough empty coffee cans - lol!

I got one of those Senseo "pod" coffee makers for Xmas & use a couple of coffee cans to store the opened packages of pods in the refrigerator.

I also use them as feed scoops for my horses, as well as scoops for horse stall deodorizer. They also make good containers for horse treats.

Use them as bird seed scoops.

Use them as disposable containers for oil from fried food (although I don't deep fry all that often).

Use them to dispose of really, anything liquid & ugly - lol!!

Small item storage in the house & barn, like for screws, nails, etc.

List is pretty much endless.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 6:24PM
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Someone in my area uses cans of all sizes to make old fashioned "tin" lanterns. He pierces a design in them, solders a few together, pounds on them to flatten out ridges, burns them to take off the color finish, and sells them at craft fairs. Looks like fun! Maybe I'll try it some day.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 12:32PM
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ginam_oh(COL/OH z5)

I have taken a few and painted them with bright colors to use as fact, Alison, if you want to hang onto a few and bring them to the May swap, I'll be happy to take them off your hands. :)

(although I can totally understand if you'd just rather not store them for that long).

Other uses--we've used them like others have, for storage, etc. Never thoght about the lantern idea. Those sound lovely.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 9:22AM
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Great ideas everyone -- thanks!

(And I think several of these will be making it to the swap...)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 8:36PM
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I fill the bottom of one with gravel, cut the bottoms out of several more, stack them (taped together) to store wooded dowels, lengths of PVC, etc. in upright position.

While I hate to use anything that contaminates the ground, once in awhile when we have huge piles of deadfall & fence row brush & old posts to burn, I roll up newspaper & stick in one. Less than 1 cup diesel poured over, covered w/plastic bag tucked beneath is enough to start fires several times.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 9:08AM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

Do you pull out any of those cans as seedlings grow? Am thinking the large cans (cut open on both ends) pushed down deep around seedlings that are to become larger plants can be great way to conserve water, and easier for me to remove the plant in october to winter over indoors.

Would this be too constrictive, or a bad idea for:

the smaller size bush beans
Avacado, lemon seedlings, etc (from store seed)

other ideas?

Coleus, some annual flowers - hmmm...which ones
are great indoors if moved successfully?

anything else?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 2:31PM
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My father always had a coffee can in the car for emergencies if we got stuck in a blizzard or in the cold( we lived in Colorado). Drill holes all around the coffee can, take the plastic lid and attach a candle to it so that when you invert the can the candle is inside the can facing up. You can keep it in your trunk in the winter with a box of matches or a lighter inside. Makes a great emergency heater, luckily we never needed it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 2:35PM
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What cool ideas! I got some vegetable cans from a local school cafeteria, and they have no lids, but I still see some good ideas here. I was going to use them to plant things, but then I started working at the garden center, and now I have all the pots I could possibly want.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 6:25PM
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They make great "barriers" or "protecters".

With both ends cut off you can slip them over sprinklers to protect from over zealous mowers (especially good on property lines ;) ) also with both ends cut off and cut up one side slip over tree bases to protect from over zealous wheed whacking!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 1:54PM
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Make a hanging pocket planter.....
Cut both ends out of the can. Mash the can
flat on ONE end, with the seam at the middle
of the back. Then I turn up about an inch at
the bottom, by folding it. That makes an oval
top and a flat bottom.
Some folks just punch holes across the bottom
and "sew" it together with wire. Add a wire,
or a chain, at the top to hang it by. Paint it
the color you want and hang it on a fence or a
post. etc.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 10:26AM
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