For most people, recycling has pretty much become second nature. Everyone knows that garbage goes in the garbage pail, and everything else gets put into its designated recycling bin without even having to look.

But as important as it is to recycle, it’s sometimes even better to reuse or up-cycle our metals and plastics. You don’t need to be obsessed with DIY or good at arts and crafts to transform your empty plastic containers into something totally one-of-a-kind and awesome.

That’s what Scott from Saws on Skates did when he realized the untapped potential in plain, old coffee canisters. All he needed were a couple of supplies and a little bit of time, and what he wound up making was just sensational…

Scott started his up-cycling project with an empty coffee can, an empty bottle of creamer, and some solar-powered lights. These items pictured together might not look like much, but what Scott had in mind would utterly transform those things into something totally one-of-a-kind. 


First things first, Scott cut out the bottoms of the containers and added some holes to the front. He then covered the creamer bottle with bright yellow spray paint. Once that dried, the inside was painted dark brown. Don’t rush, allow time for your paint to dry, too! 


Next up, he started decorating the canisters with a simple brush. To make the lights inside pop, he used a bright shade of yellow to paint around the “eyes.” The key to making something like this work is to pick a plastic container that naturally lends itself to the project. 


The project really came together when he applied caulk to hold the cans together as a tower. If you do not have access to caulk but you already have the other supplies and you are eager to get going, craft glue can definitely work in a pinch here. 


Next, Scott placed the solar lights pictured in the first image inside of each of the cool little tiki towers he had made. Finally, Scott turned on the lights inside his fun little tiki statues! How cool is that? He definitely wouldn’t have to worry about someone else taking his flashlights now. 


These are so great! Tiki lights naturally turn every location into a party, but there is something so extra-special about tiki lights that are homemade. It really adds to the rustic feel of this camping ground, and they are definitely a great conversation starter. 

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You can really make this project your own with differently sized and shaped coffee cans. While Scott’s finished project is definitely cool, there is no reason to restrict yourself to simply copying what he’s done. Let the shape of your empty plastic containers help inspire your own tiki tower! 

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They don’t even need to be elaborately painted to look great! If you do not fancy yourself to be a painter, that’s just fine too! So many large coffee containers are already very naturally brightly colored. All you have to do to achieve a similar effect is cut out mouth holes!

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If tiki torches are not your style, there’s no reason to give up and recycle your old plastic coffee containers! There are plenty of other creative projects out there just waiting for you to tackle them. If you have a little paint at home, you’re just one step away from fabulous!

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Using your favorite color craft paint, it’s a snap to transform your ugly old coffee containers into beautiful kitchen storage that you will be more than proud to display on your counter. If you’re feeling ambitious you can add a little bit of chalkboard paint to keep things organized!

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Speaking of organization… if you are a passionate crafter there is nothing better than these massive empty coffee containers to get your life in order. Simply put them on their sides on some shelves or easily mount them on the wall to give yourself easy access to all your crafting odds and ends. coffeeInstructables

You do not need to limit your coffee container crafts to inside activities, either! Just a tiny hole, a little wooden perch, and some whimsical paint transformed this old coffee container into a bird feeder that is the pride of the neighborhood! What a cool idea. coffeeInstructables

Then again, if crafting really isn’t your thing and you have no plans on changing that, there’s a little known-secret about these empty plastic coffee containers. Once cleaned out they actually make the perfect storage solution for… all of your coffee filters! It’s kind of a no-brainer! coffeePinterest

These tiki statues would look great on any patio or on any campsite. It’s a great craft idea for the kids, too! Plus all the other ideas for coffee containers are a real win.

Share these creative ideas with your friends below. Perhaps they’ll make you one!