Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Repurposing Cans of Steel Cut Oats

As promised, here's another post from the past year that previously appeared at Like Merchant Ships back in March (a blog I'd highly recommend by the way) that I'm running this week while I'm on a blogging break. Enjoy!


Normally I have a hard time saving things, I tend to throw everything out, sweeping things away in an effort to keep this place of ours clean and uncluttered (just ask my husband, he'll set down a glass of water, turn his back and by the time he turns around I've already got the glass in the dishwasher). However, last month I did a list of things I can't bear to throw away and as the comments came in I was thrilled at the fabulous suggestions people had for repurposing some of the things that I had thought of as junk.

I love McCann's Irish Oatmeal--the steel cut oats have a wonderful nutty taste and the texture is so chewy and non-mushy that I swear this is the best thing to hit my breakfast table since Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Only thing is the lovely vintage-style cans that are really just small little paint cans are too pretty to throw away. What to do? Well here are some suggestions my readers came up with (and a few others I've thrown in too).

1. A bread pan. Suggested by Patty W you could removed the lids, grease the insides of the can and bake a loaf right inside. It would make a lovely gift with a circle of parchment paper wrapped over the top and tied with twine.

2. A vase. Paint the can or leave it with the lovely lettering and use it as a lovely vintage-style vase.

3. A planter. Suggested by Kimmie at Over the Moon with Joy--Drill some holes in the bottom, and make it into a nice home for some pansies.

4. A bank. Punch a hole in the lid and use it as a savings bank for something exciting--a vacation, a trip to the movies, that craft book you've been longing for. Maybe stick the bank in the laundry room to use to collect that loose change that people leave in their pockets as a tip for the laundress.

5. A gift box. Suggested by Melissa at Miss Congeniality--Wrap the can with contact paper, wrapping paper or paint it to use as a pretty little gift box. Perfect for delivering a small batch of cookies, homemade hot chocolate mix or some truffles. Truffles are fine here any time.

6. Food storage. Suggested by Trek at Trek Casts On--Use the tins to store products that come in flimsy boxes such as tea bags, pancake mix, etc. It keeps the product fresher and with a label on the for mixing instructions it's easy to read and use.

7. Kitchen cannisters. Suggested by Lori at Queen of Dirty Laundry--Use them to store rice and beans in. They're pretty enough to sit out on the counter, you don't have to hide them in the cupboard.

8. Emergency snack bins. Fill one of these with special treats that your children love then keep the can in the car for emergencies when the tummies are growling.

9. Emergency first aid kits. A nice storage container for a first aid kid--keep it in your car under the front seat so you'll always have those bandaids, infant Tylenol or anticeptic on hand. Don't forget the hand sanitizer.

10. Emergency candles. Save the remnants of candles (another thing I tend to hold on to) then melt them down with a new wick in the can to make an emergency candle for power outages.

11. A yarn feeder. Punch a hole in the top, stick a ball of yarn inside the can and you've got a way to feed yourself yarn as you knit or crochet.

12. Romper Stompers. Remember those toys from the 70s? The tin-can stilts? My kids love to punch holes in cans, string twine through the holes to make handles then clomp around on the cans while holding onto the strings. What a great toy . . .

13. A crayon holder. How many boxes of Crayolas do you have floating around? Put them all together in one handy place--or fill the cans full of markers, they're the perfect size for all sorts of craft project items. Popsicle sticks . . . buttons . . . foamy letters . . . stickers . . .

14. A rolling pin. Give it to the kids to use with their Playdough. Or use it to keep home made Playdough fresh. Or fill it with pebbles from the garden and let your crawling baby chase it around the floor as a noisemaker. If you need extra noise around your house that is.

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Technorati tags: frugal living, recycling


Kathryn said...

McCann's Irish Steel Cut is also my favorite oatmeal. I usually only make it for myself and give everyone else the regular stuff. (Shhhhhh, don't tell.) I love all the ideas. I think I'm going to try using the can to make an emergency candle. Thanks for the great ideas!

Daisy said...

Great ideas! I like the emergency candle. Tea bags, too; mine tend to migrate into all corners of te cupboard.

Beth Lovell said...

For Christmas this year, the McCann's Oatmeal cans were perfect for holding a dozen oatmeal ginger chocolate chip cookies, especially as they had to travel across the country to far-off family. We left the can as it was, tied it with a pretty wide plaid ribbon, and put a gift tag on it, so the recipients would know there was cookies inside, not just oatmeal, not that there is anything wrong with oatmeal as a gift, I guess.

janet copenhaver said...

Never have tried this brand of Oats, but I do love cinnamon toast crunch so I may have to give them a try.
Some very clever ideas to recycle the cans.

Happy New Year Michelle.

Ni Yachen said...

I love steel cut oats. I never throw away the cans. I am always finding ways to reuse them. I have used them for a double boiler and a charring oven.

jean said...

So this isn't just another pretty can? It tastes good too? I saw this in the store the other day and almost bought it, guess I'll be getting some next visit.

Great ideas for reusing the can.