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All out of Folgers? Upcycle that empty coffee can to keep your metal garden tools sharp, clean and rust-free throughout the summer months -- and beyond.

Here's what to do: Funnel some sand (any kind will do) into an empty, clean 13-ounce coffee can; leave three inches of space at the top. Pour in ¼-quart of linseed oil, and allow for complete absorption. Hard-pressed to find linseed oil just lying around the house? A good glug-glug of clean motor oil works just as well. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive and you're bound to already have some lying around.

Then store the following handheld tools in the can for as long as you'd like:

• Trowels
• Shovels
• Hoes
• Forks
• Pruners
• Hand rakes
• Weeders

The oily mix seals out moisture (and rust), keeps metal screws and hinges lubricated, and hones sharp edges. Pull out those tools whenever yard work beckons, and they'll be garden-ready.

  • Debbie

    An inexpensive garden pail, who would have thought.

  • Martha

    I use old coffee cans for yarn holders. My husband put a grommet in the top and I put a ball of yarn in it and no tangles -- the yarn comes out through the hole.

  • Sandre

    Excellent tip! I love recycling and repurposing everything and I can really use this idea!

  • MariLynn Johnson

    The 5 qt. ice cream buckets are handy for these uses also, and have a handy handle to use as well. I buy green yarn whenever I find it at garage sales, and put in in an ice cream bucket with a hole in the lid for the yarn to exit and another to stick a pair of old scissors in...This makes tying up my peonies and other perennials fast and easy as well as cheap....

  • Tim

    Stuff the can with old t-shirts, socks, or rags, put the lid back on, tape a paper target to the lid and it makes a great pellet trap for indoor (or outdoor) shooting of BB guns and pellet guns.

  • emma

    best thing you can do with old one-pound coffee cans is spray the inside with oil spray and bake yeast bread in them. round, high and fluffy loaves. best pan i know of besides cast iron for bread.

  • Susan

    For me, this article was a duh! I have "upcycled" coffee cans, plastic containers, etc for many years. Thought everybody did to be honest. You can store tons of things in them after they've been cleaned.

  • greg

    I use mine to collect pennies. When it is full, I give it to charity.

  • Dorrie

    That's sweet. We used to decorate the outsides of the cans at Christmas time with Christmas wrapping paper (if the can didn't already have a decoration on it). Line the inside with wrapping tissue paper, and fill them with home made cookies for presents.

  • William

    Even if it is clean, I would not use motor oil as I would not want to be adding trace amounts of it to the garden soil each time i used the tools
    Many of the coffee cans these days are opened by peeling a foil lid off of a clean metal rim with no sharp edges. these cans are perfect for the "two cans and a string" toy, just center a large nail on the bottom of the cans and hit it with a hammer to poke a hole for the string. It will be fun for the young kids... that is if you can get them to put down thier cell phones long enough to try it!

  • stew

    just wondering....if the article is about using old coffee cans, why is the guy in the picture carrying a pail?

  • kathy

    I wondered the same thing. LOL

  • Carolyn Ferguson

    If you live on a farm, the plastic coffee cans with indentions for easy hold make great containers for watering or feeding the chickens, feeding the goats, cows, gathering the eggs, watering the flowers, or the garden plants. You can also store the grandchildren's small trucks and cars, the hubby's nuts and bolts, screws and nails, etc in them. The list is limited only by your imagination.

  • Willow

    Those large plastic coffee containers are great for storing bird seed too. I also love using empty plastic milk containers, gallon size, for bird seed. Fill with a wide mouth funnel and it makes carrying seed out to the feeders much easier. They pour very well as you fill the feeders, without spilling any seed.

  • Ferd

    Where do you find folger cans with handles built into them??? Ours are plastic with flat lids on top!
    Looks like maybe drilling two holes in the can, and looping a rope through it for a handle would do the trick! Forget the sand oil mess. Just spray them with WD-40 after use. Clean off before next use with 409 cleanser and rinse.

  • cathy

    Oh, my Dear!
    The Green People would have a fit using WD-40. Arasol in the environment, you see.
    I like your idea, tho.

  • rick

    ive never seen a coffee can yet that most of those tools mentioned would fit into lmao.....i keep an old coffee can by my bed to pee in so i dont have to get out of bed in the middle of the night lmao.....and i keep one in my basement for household tools

  • Pookie

    I keep an old coffee can and toilet paper in my vehicle to urinate in. Works for me!

  • matt

    I use my used dental floss to tie up my tomato plants

  • Pookie

    The lady in the pic has on khaki pants and a nice clean green bucket. Does anyone look like that, besides Martha Stewart, when they garden? Lol. I mean, c'mon.

  • 25 Comments / 2 Pages

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