Ways to Reuse Food Storage Cans

A recurring question that pops up whenever folks see that I really use my long term food storage items  is, “What do you do with the cans?”  Well, the easiest thing is to just recycle them – and we’ve done that plenty, rinsing them out and putting them in the recycle bin. There are, however, plenty of ways for frugal or crafty folks to reuse/repurpose them first.

Here are just a few of the ideas bouncing around in my brain these days for reusing #2 and #10 food storage containers:

  • Pencil/brush caddy for the craft table or desk – cover with children’s drawings, wall paper samples, sponge paint, decoupage, etc.
  • Make a “tin man” for the garden with various sizes of cans (bulk and standard shelf cans)
  • Carry feed to small livestock – punch holes in the sides and you can even add a wire, twine or paracord carrying handle.  Keep the lid handy to keep pests out.
  • Place behind a chair and let kids play a clothespin drop game
  • Decorate and use as planters for a windowsill herb garden (don’t forget drainage holes in the bottom – stick the plastic lid on the bottom as a drip catcher!)


Remember that tin cans can have sharp edges, so always make filing off sharp points a step in your repurposing adventures!

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