If you answered yes to these questions, these DIY ideas are for you. These projects are so easy you don’t have to be a crafting expert to make them, and they’re quick enough to complete during nap time or you can encourage the kids to join you for some creative crafting.
So before you throw away that stockpile of empty formula cans, take a look at these ideas for turning them into works of art, handy household items, and even gifts!
Please note that for all of these projects, you’ll need to peel the paper label off the can first. I used metal cans, but most of the ideas would also work with plastic formula cans.
Need a quick decoration for your mantle, table, desk, or other decoration-deprived area? Formula cans make for great painting canvases! All you need is acrylic paint and paintbrushes, plus a little inspiration. Additional ideas for painted cans include:
- Halloween – Frankenstein’s monster, black cat, mummy, jack-o-lantern, spider
- Thanksgiving – turkey, pumpkin, pilgrim, scarecrow
- Christmas – Santa, tree, reindeer/Rudolph, elf, snowman
- Easter bunny, Valentine’s hearts, shamrocks, and more!
While you’ve got the paint out, add a little winter charm to your home with this snowman decoration that’s as functional as it is festive. A large can forms the snowman’s head and a smaller one becomes his hat. The best part about this craft is that it doubles as a drink mix container! Simply fill the large can with your winter drink mix of choice – hot chocolate, coffee, tea, or cider – and use the scoop that came with the formula to dish out the powder. You can use the smaller can for marshmallows, creamer, spices, stir sticks, or other accessories.
Empty formula cans make for perfect baby shower gift containers. Skip the wrapping paper and bulky bags and use a can to house your gifts! The cans are perfect for little gifts, like pacifiers, bibs, toys, and burp cloths. Plus, they double as creative gift card holders! Simply pick out a pattern of paper you like – scrapbook paper works great, but wrapping paper is also a great option – cut it to size, and tape or glue it to your can. Fill it up with baby goodies and head to the party! This gift holder also works great for birthdays, weddings, bridal showers, office or teacher gifts, and more!
‘Tis the season! If you plan on baking up some delicious treats and delivering them to neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, teachers, or other prized people, save money on the cookie tin by converting an empty formula can! It’s easy, and best of all, free! Since you may already have your wrapping paper out for gifting, simply pick out your favorite paper, cut it to size, wrap the tin, load up the cookies, and stick the lid on.
If you’re like me, you love flowers! I’m constantly changing the floral centerpiece on our table, and I’m obsessed with using plants as decorations. But, buying vases and planters can get expensive. Thankfully, formula containers make perfect replacements! Plus, they’re fully customizable. You can use real plants or, if you can’t keep a plant alive to save your life (like me), go for the artificial version. Pick a paper or paint a design, then place your plant inside. If you want to take it a step further, add decorative touches like ribbon, bows, or glitter. These make great gifts!
In fact, I plan on giving these out to my son’s day care teachers with a note that reads, “Thanks for helping my child grow.”
For many of us, our dogs are part of the family. Treat them to their own special container, too! Formula cans are great for housing small dog bones, toys, or a few scoops of food if you’re taking your dog on a short vacation. Simply pick a dog (or cat) paper pattern, cut, wrap, and tape/glue!
Empty formula cans make for great holiday treat baskets! They’re perfect for trick-or-treating buckets, Easter baskets, and Valentine’s Day baskets. Plus, they’re so easy to make! After you pick out your themed paper, cut, wrap, and secure, all you need to do is add a handle. You can use ribbon, wire, string, or similar material. Carefully make a hole in opposite sides of the can by using a hammer and nail or drill, thread your material of choice through each hole, and tie the ends to secure them in place.
Children are famous for having tons of small items they like to disperse all over the house. Truthfully, there aren’t enough containers in the world to house all of their things, but formula containers can help! Just like the other projects, simply find paper, size it, cut it, wrap it, and secure it! These cute cans are perfect for:
- Art supplies
- Matchbox cars
- Small dolls or toys
- Dress-up jewelry
- And more!
Since these cans come with lids, they make for easy storage! You can stack them up and keep them neatly arranged. Plus, if you pick out paper that matches the contents, it’s a built-in labeling system! Like the holiday basket project, you can add a handle to these cans for on-the-go toy buckets.
Adult Hobby Holders
The above project also works great for your own storage needs! You may not have little cars or pencils to carry around, but you may be looking for a cute and functional way to store and tote:
- Fingernail polish
- Hair supplies
- Small kitchen items, like measuring spoons and napkins
- Office supplies
- Nuts, bolts, nails, and screws
- Small tools
- And more!
Since babies are small, so are their belongings. That’s what makes formula cans perfect for storing all of their things. To make an easy and cute bathroom caddy, simply pick up some paper, size it, cut it, and wrap the can! Add baby lotion, shampoo, and wash cloths for a portable and organized carrier for baby’s bath needs. This project would also be great for feeding supplies, cloth accessories, teething toys, or other infant trinkets.