The Re-Purposed Coffee Can

Creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way if we need to rely on what we have around us. Empty coffee cans are one of those overlooked every day items. In fact, we don’t think twice before we toss the can away as soon as the coffee is gone. But if a person is in a pinch, that simple can could be re-purposed into a useful item that serves a multitude of purposes.

Don’t limit yourself to the uses listed below. There are so much more. To start, begin collecting coffee cans to use in your bug out bag, in , your workshop or around your homestead.

Coffee Can Uses

Bug Out Bag

  • Store dry food
  • Collect water
  • Use a coffee can to make a hobo stove
  • Store items to waterproof (i.e., rope or toilet paper)
  • Store ammunition or hunting items (i.e., fishing hooks, knives, etc.)

In The Home

  • Use metal 1 lb. coffee cans to bake bread
  • Use the lids of the coffee can to place under flower pots to avoid water run off
  • Hold kitchen scraps to use in the compost pile
  • Make a dehumidifier – place a coffee can in a corner where it will be untouched and fill it with salt (Replace salt monthly).

On the Homestead

  • Use a large coffee can as a way to feed livestock such as dogs, horses and other animals.
  • Coffee cans can also be re used as flower pots.
  • Coffee cans can also be used as a rain gauge.
  • Poke holes in the bottom to sprinkle seeds for a garden area.
  • Place a coffee can down on the ground to create a safe haven for friendly frogs.  Frogs in the garden area are very useful to have around as they eat unwanted insects.
  • Use a coffee can to create a bird feeder.  To create a bird feeder, poke holes around the can.  Glue a large plate or saucer to the bottom of the can.  Punch a hole on the  both sides of the top of the can can for string or rope to go through.  Fill the feeder with seed, and hang in a tree.  The movement of the can will cause seed to drop for birds to eat.
  • Coffee cans could also be used as a wind and weather protectant for young plants.  Using a can opener, remove the bottom of the can.  Place the can over the plant being sure to push it into the dirt to hold it in place.  Keep your eye on the plant so that the coffee can can be removed as the plant grows.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 2nd, 2010
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2 Responses to The Re-Purposed Coffee Can

  1. simeau says:

    you can collect several sizes of cans and nest them together, for many good reasons…

  2. Bets says:

    I watched a man, take the cardboard out of a toiletpaper roll, squeeze the tp into a coffee can,empty an entire bottle of 91% rubbing alcohol into the can, and lite it. It burned cleanly for hours…it’s an emergency source of heat most people wouldn’t think of.
    Don’t forget to make coffee can stilts for the kids!

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