Empty Coffee Cans DIY: Upcycling Ideas for Crafters


Upcycling Ideas for Crafters

Do you have a stash of empty coffee cans piling up in your pantry? Don't throw them away just yet! These versatile containers can be transformed into unique and functional items through the art of upcycling. Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, involves repurposing discarded objects to give them a new lease on life. In this article, we will explore five exciting upcycling ideas using empty coffee cans that are sure to inspire crafters. So, grab your paintbrushes and glue guns, and let's get started on these innovative projects!

1. Handy Desk Organizer

Coffee cans can be transformed into an incredibly useful desk organizer that will help you declutter your workspace. Start by cleaning the empty coffee can thoroughly and ensuring that all residue is removed. Once dry, you can paint the can in your desired color or use decorative paper or fabric to cover it. Use a strong adhesive to secure the material to the can, trimming off any excess.

To create compartments within the organizer, you can use smaller coffee cans or tin cans of varying sizes. Paint or cover these cans in coordinating colors or patterns, and glue them to the inside of the larger coffee can. These compartments can be used to hold pens, pencils, scissors, paper clips, and other office essentials.

The desk organizer is not only a functional addition to your workspace but also a great way to showcase your creativity. Whether you opt for a sleek and modern design or a whimsical and colorful one, this upcycling project is sure to impress!

2. Charming Herb Garden

Empty coffee cans can be transformed into charming herb gardens that will add a touch of greenery to your indoor or outdoor space. Begin by drilling small drainage holes in the bottom of the coffee cans. This step is essential for ensuring that the plants receive the right amount of water.

Next, paint the cans in your preferred color or leave them as is for a rustic look. You can also decorate them using stencils, washi tape, or decoupage techniques. Once the paint is dry, fill the cans with potting soil and plant your favorite herbs.

Coffee cans are particularly suitable for growing herbs due to their depth and durability. You can grow a variety of herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary, and mint. Remember to place the herb garden in a well-lit area and water regularly to maintain healthy plants. This project not only repurposes coffee cans but also adds flavor and freshness to your cooking!

3. Festive Luminary Lanterns

With just a few simple steps, you can turn ordinary coffee cans into beautiful luminary lanterns that will illuminate your outdoor space during those warm summer evenings or special occasions. Begin by cleaning and removing any label residue from the coffee cans.

Once the cans are clean and dry, use a nail and hammer to create a pattern of small holes on the sides. This can be a random design, or you can create shapes or patterns depending on your preference. Alternatively, you can use stencils to trace and cut out specific designs on the cans.

To create an enchanting glow, place a small tea light or LED candle in each can. The pattern of holes or cut-outs will allow the light to shine through, creating a magical atmosphere. You can further enhance the lanterns by painting or decorating the cans with ribbons, lace, or other embellishments.

These luminary lanterns can be hung from trees, placed on tables, or lined along pathways to add a touch of ambience to any outdoor event or simply to enjoy a peaceful night under the stars. Let your creativity shine as you create your unique and mesmerizing lanterns!

4. Stylish Kitchen Storage

Coffee cans can be transformed into stylish storage containers that not only serve a practical purpose but also add a unique touch to your kitchen decor. Begin by removing any residue or labels from the cans and thoroughly cleaning them.

To give the cans a sleek and modern look, you can paint them in a matte or metallic finish. Alternatively, cover them with patterned contact paper or fabric for a more vibrant and personalized touch. Remember to measure the circumference of the cans accurately to ensure a perfect fit.

Once the cans are decorated to your liking, they can be used to store kitchen essentials such as utensils, spatulas, whisks, or even dry ingredients like pasta, rice, or beans. Arrange them neatly on your countertop, or place them in a cupboard for easy access.

The stylish kitchen storage not only helps you stay organized but also adds a pop of color or texture to your culinary space. Get creative with different patterns and colors to match your kitchen decor and create a cohesive look!

5. Playful Kids' Crafts

Coffee cans can also be repurposed into fun and playful crafts for kids. With a little imagination and creativity, these simple containers can become the base for a variety of projects.

One exciting idea is to transform coffee cans into musical instruments such as drums or tambourines. Decorate the cans with colorful paper, paint, or stickers, and attach a lid or cover made of balloons or plastic wrap to create the drum surface. Kids can use wooden spoons or their hands to create rhythmic beats, promoting their musical abilities and coordination.

Another idea is to create a piggy bank by cutting a small slit in the lid of the coffee can. Decorate the can with paint or markers, and let your child's imagination run wild as they design their very own piggy bank. This project encourages children to save money while fostering creativity and hands-on involvement.

Coffee cans can also be turned into imaginative characters by attaching googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and construction paper features. Let your child's imagination soar as they transform the cans into robots, monsters, or animals. These characters can be used as pencil holders, toy organizers, or simply as decorative pieces in their room.


Empty coffee cans no longer have to end up in the recycling bin. With a little creativity and craftiness, these humble containers can find new life in the form of desk organizers, herb gardens, luminary lanterns, kitchen storage, and playful kids' crafts. By upcycling these cans, not only do we reduce waste, but we also create unique and personalized items that reflect our creativity. So, the next time you finish a can of coffee, remember the endless possibilities that await you in the world of upcycling!


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