How can I reuse or recycle margarine tub lids/cream cheese tub lids?

Whitney has emailed us, asking about margarine tub lids:

i’m trying to do my part and make sure that i recycle everything that i can, or at least find a way to reuse it. i recycle my #5 containers of cream cheese, margarine, etc, but have nothing to do with the lids, which even if they are also #5 they are not accepted in my recycling.

any ideas of what i can do with them? typically i just put them under plant pots, but i can only have so many plants. and i thought about making coasters, but i don’t really use coasters, so i’m open to some new ideas!

When we get this type of tub, we tend to keep both the lid & the tub to reuse for leftovers instead of Tupperware or use as small storage boxes in other parts of the house (eg, we’ve got one for batteries, one for fuses and one for shoe polish in our misc cupboard). But there are a lot more uses for the tub part than the lids so I imagine there are a lot of lids going in the bin — let’s see what we can do with them :)

Funnily enough, a lot of my ideas are the same as the ones from Monday’s handicapped tags – add them to your tool box for use while decorating/painting, cut them up for plant markers in the garden, cut the rim off and shape the remaining plastic to use as a dough scrapper etc.

Anyone got any more original ideas though? :)

(Photo by cogdogblog)

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16 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle margarine tub lids/cream cheese tub lids?”

  1. Kate says:

    Plastic no.5 or PP we collect in all of our 101 shops in the UK! They are then sent back to us in Poole where we have them made into black pots. We collect plastic bottle tops – check out this article
    Hope this helps!

  2. carol says:

    I use them as a mold for bird suet, but again you can only use so many.
    I once made one into a small doll bed for my daughters small dolls so maybe some one crafty can use them for doll furniture!

  3. Kathleen says:

    I use the round ones underneath plant dishes so no water get on table.

  4. Petra says:

    I use these as soap molds. And to gather the kitchen leftovers for the chickens. And indeed as store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Or to hold water while painting.

  5. bookstorebabe says:

    If all you have is leftover lids after recycling the containers, you can cut up the flat part of the lid to make stencils. Or cut shapes out of it-butterflies, stars, what have you-to make a mobile. Or a mosaic.

  6. NMcLain says:

    Cut out designs and decorate as Christmas ornaments you can use twine made from plastic bottles to hang them. You can even add photos, make magnets, key chains. Collect them and donate to a school or Sunday school class teacher with copy of all the possible craft projects you can come up with. The ideas are endless, really any project that may need a stiffness.

  7. Olia says:

    1.Turn them into bank cards for children to play.
    2.Cut our shapes for quilting projects.
    3.Cut out funky glasses for a kid to look at the sun.
    4.Collect enough of them, and tape on top of windshield of your car ( from inside) to soothe sun rays. The car will also look sporty. :)
    5. Use lids when working with small beads or small screws to keep them from scattering.
    6. Hang them on a window as sun catchers.

  8. Uluska says:

    Make whipped honey butter and store it in those boxes.

  9. Uluska says:

    Line up envelope when sending a photograph, so picture stays uncreased.

  10. Beccie says:

    Hi there, I can think of several ideas for those lids. If they are smooth with no lip, you can punch holes in them, connect them with twine or leather and use as outdoor carpets. You could even turn them over if they have a lip and that would keep the rug off the surface to keep the surface from getting wet.
    Second, like one person stated, but, I would change it a little is to again lay them down side by side in your garden and use them as a weed cloth to stop the weeds from coming up around the plants.
    YOu have my mind going now. You can again make those outdoor carpet ideas and make smaller ones for place mats. All of these can be given as gifts, once you explain how to use them. Good luck and I hope you can use these couple of suggestions. Beccie

  11. Whitney says:

    thanks everyone for all the great ideas! i’ve never thought of most of them and am super excited to get started. =)

    • Anonymous says:

      The other day I had gotten a few Gladiola- put them in a vase had a awful time getting them to stay put – so got a plastic margarine lid cut it to fit the top of the vase – made holes where I wanted the Glads – the Glads have not moved. Took a bit of scotch tape to fasten the plastic lid to vase. Probably florist foam would have done the trick – didn’t have any.

  12. Michelle says:

    When I was younger, one of my friends mom’s used to collect random plastic lids to containers that no longer had containers, lol. The more colorful the better, if not she would paint them. she used to cut them into “flowers” and attach random buttons for the centers and green wrapped wires for stems. to them and make “floral arrangements”… the bits she cut out from between the “petals” she would use as leaves and wire them to the “stems”. She would give these as housewarming and going away gifts to military families that were stationed in the area.

  13. Terrica says:

    Let kids use them as frisbees. Also cut out the center, make the outside part into mini wreaths and use the cut out part for patterns and crafts.

  14. ChrisG says:

    They are great for plastering/filling. Sometimes covering up small cracks and nicks with filler can be a pain especially with a trowel that is too large for the job. I found cutting the plastic into small oblongs makes great for smoothing over tiny cracks and nicks.

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