How can I reuse or recycle little tin cans?

Mini tin cansWe’ve covered the standard food size ones, but what can be done with little tin cans?

John gave a talk at the Manchester Free Software group last month and afterwards we all adjourned to a nearby pub where we found these little nuts cans on our table.

As I’d just been talking about this website to a couple of people, we decided to do a group-think on how we could re-use them but the best we could come up with was a mobile equivalent of a tin-can ‘telephone’ (because they’re more portable).

With a couple of holes punched in the bottom, they’d make cute little plant pots – but only for very little plants – so any other suggestions?

(The cans are about 4cm in diameter and 5cm in height, quite a solid metal and I think they originally had a paper lid so the rim at the top is quite dull, unlike most opened cans.)

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20 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle little tin cans?”

  1. Jenny says:

    Punch some holes in the sides and make tealight candle holders!

  2. melissa says:

    dittoing the tin can lights – I did a tutorial for craftster on how to make these a few years ago –

    The key is the ice!!

  3. christine says:

    Make a tiny little city.

  4. Cadan says:

    Umm.. you could glue them together somehow and make a desk tidy, or keep pennies in them?
    This is my first comment for around 1/2 a year now!

  5. Hyla Waldron says:

    You can make them into wind chimes using the can as the main piece and then drilling or punching holes in the bottom or sides to hang other recycled items from, such as silverware or baby food jars, pieces of glass or tile

  6. Terry says:

    Look for a kid’s program to donate them. Many kid’s programs look for simple projects (they could cover these in paper, torn bits of masking tape, etc.) One community college has a great kid’s program that would likely use these for starting plants for kids to take home and plant. The imagination of some of the instructors in limitless and they could likely think of many more ways to use these.

  7. Jerry says:

    They make great nut, bolt and screw organizers. I use cans like these in my shop for small parts.

  8. Ralph says:

    Build A Tin Can Waveguide WiFi Antenna
    for 802.11(b or g) Wireless Networks
    or other 2.4GHz Applications.

    I stumbled upon some interesting info usinf Stumble Upon.

    They claim you could do it for $5 and a can.

    Here is the website url for all to checkout. Copy and paste in your URL address bar then clcik the find button.

  9. Dave says:

    Tin Can Banjo-Take old guitar strings…punch little hole in tops of 2 cans…insert strings and tie knots in the ends.

    Play by pulling cans taut and increasing and decreasing tension as you strum.

  10. diana says:

    We do flower sales at our elem. school to raise money for the garden club and use cans as vases. I think the little salsa cans would be great for individual bouquets at a mexican dinner party.

    • Emanla Eraton says:

      Not only vases, but you can use them as pots. They are reusable and last much longer than plastic pots (they are stronger, and they won’t rust.)

  11. scrapmetal says:

    Scrap Cans are now more valuable as scrap metal due to increases in all metals. For pricing you can try

  12. Jane says:

    I had a similar tin several years ago. I covered it in plain paper and used a weak PVA glue solution to paste it on as a sort of base coat. I then used some pretty handmade paper and glued it on the same way. I took a small piece of paper and wrote ‘Sugar’ on it with an edged pen, then covered the whole thing in PVA glue to make it more or less waterproof. It became our sugar packet holder at work!

  13. shafrinah says:

    can make it as a pen holder

  14. lynn washington says:

    line with grease proof paper and then fill with xmas cake mixture ….great gifts

  15. Liz says:

    I use them in desk drawers to organize all those little things I think I am going to use ‘one day.’

  16. Alena says:

    Connect two cans with a pipe. Then fill the cans with cement mixture and let dry. Use to exercise your biceps.

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