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15 Ways to Reuse Empty Cans
posted by Becky Striepe
This article was shared with ATH by Care2.

 

 

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Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Samantha (Home Sweet Home)I know, I know, cooking beans from scratch is much less expensive, but for a quick, cheap vegan meal you can’t beat a can of beans sauteed with garlic, onions, and spices over some steamed brown rice. Easy and delicious! But what do you do with the can after you’ve eaten the contents?

 

Sure, you can toss it in the recycle bin. Metal is one of the few materials that doesn’t get downcycled in the recycling process. That means that, unlike something like plastic, metal doesn’t lose quality in the recycling process. You can recycle it over and over. Still, recycling takes energy – it has to make it to the recycling center, and then it has to be processed into a new metal product.

 

Instead of throwing that empty can away, you can use your crafty skills to turn empty cans into all sorts of cool things! Here are some ideas to get you going.

 

1. Cover an empty can with pretty paper or fabric and use it to hold pens, pencils, or paint brushes.

 

2. Grab a bit of yarn or twine and turn an empty can into a chic yarn-wrapped vase.

 

3. HGTV shows us how to turn empty cans into a cute, magnetic storage board for kids’ craft supplies.

 

4. If you have a soda can handy, grab your tin snips and make a cute flower hair clip!

 

5. How cute are these can stilts from Disney Family Fun? Just make sure you keep an eye on the kiddos while they play with these!

 

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Elin BCan Crafting Tip: The real trick with can crafts is getting the smell out of the can. If a run through the dishwasher doesn’t do the trick, try scrubbing the inside of your can with a paste made from coarse salt and lemon juice.

 

6. Another soda can craft: check out these awesome soda can’dle holders!

 

7. Use a dremel or small drill bit to poke holes in your can to turn it into a votive holder for a tea light.

 

8. Turn a bunch of empty cans into a sweet tin can wall garden. They’re growing flowers in theirs, but this would be great for herbs! Just remember to drill a couple of drainage holes into the bottom of each can before mounting on the wall.

 

9. Use a hammer and nail to add beautiful stippling details and create a picture frame from a tin can.

 

10. At Readymade, you can learn how to turn a few old coffee cans into a beautiful hanging lamp.

 

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Orin ZebestCan Crafting Tip: It’s worth investing in a safety can opener, if you’re planning to craft with cans. The edges of your can will be awfully sharp if you use just a regular can opener, so proceed with caution!

 

11. Over at leethal, she shows you how to make a coffee can storage unit for the wall. You could use tin cans instead to store tinier things!

 

12. Elsie Marley shows you how to make a cute tin can cover.

 

13. This looks like a fun one to do with kids: can robots!

 

14. You can use the tops of your cans to make pretty ornaments.

 

15.  How clever is this tin can handbag?

 

Have you guys done any cool crafts with cans? I’d love to hear what you’re working on in the comments!

 

 

Have a comment or question? Visit our Think Green Forum to start or join a conversation.
 

 

 

 

 

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Care2 is a trusted social action network that empowers millions of people to lead a healthy, sustainable lifestyle and support socially responsible causes.

Care2’s content offering includes original stories, blogs and syndication partners covering a wide range of healthy and green lifestyle areas, and causes ranging from health and the environment to human rights and animal welfare. A deeper level of engagement is achieved by integrating action opportunities such as petitions, pledges, daily actions, contests and click-to-donate sites with relevant content. With its Butterfly Rewards, Care2 has its own member loyalty program and “currency for good.”

Care2 members are the emerging mainstream of conscious consumers, bringing a high level of passion, engagement and influence to everything they do. The typical Care2 user is a woman who is 25-54 years old, lives with a spouse or partner, has one or more pets, volunteers for causes she believes in, buys eco-friendly products and donates to nonprofits.

Care2 is the largest and fastest growing social action network, with over 16 million members and 175% growth in unique visitors year over year. Care2 also owns and operates the #1 site for petitions, www.thepetitionsite.com, generating 14 million signatures in the past 12 months. With applications on Facebook and a growing network of revenue sharing partner sites, Care2’s reach is to over 200 million people.

Read more about Care2.

 

 

 

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