Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Re-using scrap metal and plastic

Here's an idea to make something out of rubbish. I've been chopping the top and the bottom off these Coffee Mate canisters, to separate the cardboard, plastic, and metal for recycling. It can be easily done with a bread knife then the bits can be placed in the appropriate bins. It seems such a shame to throw it all away though, so I have saved some of the plastic lids and the shiny metal bottoms and rims. There must be something I can make with them.
The bits of cardboard stuck around the edge can be trimmed with nail scissors or a craft knife, to tidy it up a bit. It doesn't all have to be removed as it will be hidden. The date stamp on the bottom can be wiped off with nail varnish remover.

Then all you have to do is to put the bottom inside the plastic lid and press it tight in.

And there you have a free coaster. They can be wiped with a damp cloth, or the two parts can be separated for washing.

Now, what can be made of the metal rim around the top of the container. Well funnily enough this fits exactly inside the plastic lid, and makes a sweet little picture frame. The trouble is that you only have one plastic lid, so you have to decide whether to use it as a coaster, or the back of a picture frame. I have saved several lids so I have plenty for both. If you like you could cover the pictures with sticky back plastic, and use them as coasters, but you won't be able to wash them. You could always change the pictures if they get a bit mucky.
Another idea, join them at the back with sticky tape, add a bit of ribbon and hang them on the wall. Or you could glue a magnet on the back and have them as fridge magnets.

A free picture frame.

 And a free coaster.

Some snacky foods are sold in similar containers. You can use any of them for the picture frames, but they might not all be big enough for the coasters. When they start looking a bit scratched and scuffed, all you do is put them in the recycling bin, and make some fresh new ones. Easy init  :o))

PS. Thank you for your good wishes for Bugsy. He is a bit better today, no sick, and runny poo's to clear up. I think the chicken has settled his stomach a bit.


  1. I have been using the plastic lids as coasters for a while now—but I never thought to use the bottoms of canisters inside of it before. I also use plastic lids for two other purposes: as a soap-dish at the bathroom sink, and as a bathtub plug. No kidding. I learned this when staying in a lousy hotel with no drain-plgs or showers. I had a cannister of nuts, so I thought of using the lid. You have to hold it in place (with the 'lip' facing down) until enough water weighs down and a suction develops. Doesn't tend to leak either.

  2. Yes, plastic lids make great coasters and make great picture frames. Also I have made them into mobiles at various heights hanging from say, light fittings. Also they make good Christmas decorations on the tree - just add imagination. Also, I like the pots that gravy comes in - nice plastic lids and cardboard as the main part of the pot. Have chopped them down into various heights and used them as desk tidies (cover the pots with whatever you have to hand). I keep all the packaging/paper/cardboard that comes into the house from mailshots and the like and put them into a large shoe box and hey presto, I have all the paper necessary to trim Xmas gifts (if I should give any) or birthday cards/presents. The envelopes that Tesco uses for their information shots has, for example nice Xmas snow flakes on them - hey presto a nice trim for a card or Xmas paper. Natalie

  3. Once all the cutting is done ,that would make a fantastic craft idea for a playgroup/youth club.
    Jane x

  4. Glad to hear that Bugsy is getting better, hope he's back to normal soon.

    You could magnetize the tin lids by rubbing a magnet across it a few times which would save finding and gluing a magnet on it.

  5. great tip about the bath plug!

  6. This is a fabulous idea, Ilona! I love your craft ideas.

  7. I have to say, Ilona, your creativity is endless!!

  8. Wow! I love how you see new life in stuff, stuff that most people see as just rubbish.

  9. There is some brilliant ideas here. I hate throwing useful tubs and jars away. I use Microsoft Publisher to design some fancy labels to cover them with - recently made some retro looking herb pots for the kitchen shelf. Really love the coaster idea, scraps of fleece make a good backing for homemade coasters. Debbie.

  10. Ilona....glad Bugsy is improving & hope this continues.I have a rescue tom & the same trouble with him. I've taken him off dry food & put him on Whiskas tinned [not with gravy]. Improvement! Some cats are reactive to dry pellets & also cows' milk. I get cold meat scraps sold cheap In Morrisons as a treat & take off the fat. Aah the things we do for love......


  11. Those little photo frames are cute, you could hang them from the Christmas Tree! Glad Bugsy is coming round, keep us updated. Now totally off topic but did you see Channel 4's Dispatches on catchup.


    It investigates the so called designer discount stores. That didn't surprise me as I wouldn't trust any of them to price their stuff in the customer's favour, but what did surprise me were the interviews with shoppers some of whom wouldn't be seen dead in clothes unless they were branded. Incredible as to how shallow/gullible some people are.

    Linda xx

  12. My daughter buys the occasional box of pringles and I always sneak the lid as a cover for the cat food can. Have also cut them down to make holders for pens and pencils.......but nothing as clever as your ideas Ilona.

  13. I'm so glad Bugsy's feeling better. I like your coaster idea.
    Love from Mum


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