Asked on Sep 28, 2014

Repurpose/recycle challenge!

Jerri M
by Jerri M
A customer where I worked refused the offer of a coffee cup carrier because she had enough in her car and she hadn't seen anything on Pinterest to craft them into something cool. So i told her I would challenge Hometalkers with a project suggestion! Lol! Lets go crazy and see what we can come up with? Thanks!!
  67 answers
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Sep 28, 2014
    Soak 'em and turn them into papier mache.
    • Rachel Bivens-Rees Rachel Bivens-Rees on Sep 29, 2014
      @Swan Road Designs running off your idea, taking it a step further and as the paper is drying add flower seeds or herb seeds. make cards, book marks, Christmas ornaments, birthday gifts. or, just plain ol' mats for yourself for the garden. it helps so the seeds don't blow away.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 28, 2014
    Since they are porous, use them in your garden...just break into pieces and bury them when you plant something...this will keep the soil moist in times when it gets too dry or for those shrubs that are on the periphery, out of the sprinkler range! We are about to move some plants and have saved paper from our shredder to mix in with the soil!
    • Vickie Calderwood Vickie Calderwood on Sep 29, 2014
      @Jeanette S I was thinking along that same line to use them with starter plants or in a garden to help hold water. Nice idea for water conservation and possibly the opportunity to save the shrubs as well as reduce additional watering!
  • Donna C Donna C on Sep 28, 2014
    I use mine to hold my glue gun and catch anydrips
  • Christine Christine on Sep 29, 2014
    They work well as fire starters.
  • Pamela Langone Pamela Langone on Sep 29, 2014
    got nothing.
  • Cindy Chadwick Cindy Chadwick on Sep 29, 2014
    Wonder if you could cover the holes with tape and use them as molds for stepping stones, just a thought
  • DPS Debi DPS Debi on Sep 29, 2014
    Reminds me of the old copper ceiling tiles. Wonder if they could be painted copper color and mounted on ceiling?
    • Vickie Calderwood Vickie Calderwood on Sep 29, 2014
      @DPS Debi This is a great idea for stage props during school or church plays....lots coming up with the holidays! You could spray paint or paint and staple gun them to heavy paper or cardboard to resemble a rooftop tile or wall....mud on the ground .....I'm inspired!
  • Carol B Carol B on Sep 29, 2014
    Recently, I went to my plot at the community garden and realized I forgot a container for my mini heirloom tomato varieties. Inspiration struck when I found two of these tossed near the garden. .I put a different tomato type in each compartment.
  • Andrea Andrea on Sep 29, 2014
    When I taught preschool, I would put crayons and markers in solo cups and put them in the caddy. worked well for paint brushes too.
  • Trisha Martin Trisha Martin on Sep 29, 2014
    I see a face, wonder if you could spray paint them black and make them look like some ancient mask to hang on the wall with and African theme? Perhaps in a book shelf with some cool books with zebras and elephants? Wonder if you could make them look like Ivory? Hummmmmmm???? Could be very sophisticated or for a child's room with a jungle theme. Lion King?
  • Janie Lou Janie Lou on Sep 29, 2014
    @soak them in water and mold them into something beautiful
  • COONIE COONIE on Sep 29, 2014
    we collect these and use them as fire starters at camp.
  • Claudette Claudette on Sep 29, 2014
    I would spray paint it and put green apples in it with a cute napkin next to it.
  • Sue Rogers Sue Rogers on Sep 29, 2014
    I use them when I garden. We have so many mosquito and black flies. So I light the corner and then blow out the flame. Put it on the ground and the smoke keeps the flies away. I know it is not a craft but it is useful
  • C C on Sep 29, 2014
    great way to elevate an item you are painting up off your work surface )
  • Bonnie Lee Spencer Bonnie Lee Spencer on Sep 29, 2014
    i would use them as veggie starters for a garden
  • Trish Davenport Trish Davenport on Sep 29, 2014
    I tear mine apart to make miniature sidewalks from the flat parts and stone walls from the raised sections. Glued and painted they look so true to life.
  • Jayne Jones Jayne Jones on Sep 29, 2014
    Blend into a pulp and make homemade paper.
  • Lesley Lesley on Sep 29, 2014
    I would put the coffee cups in 2 of them and use it for makeup brushes, the other two would be for assorted "bits". This would work well for art projects too especially if there are children involved, they could have their own cup for crayons etc. I like all the ideas , well done
  • Sandra Mavity Sandra Mavity on Sep 29, 2014
    Spray paint and attach to the wall (or ceiling) as 3 dimensional tiles.
  • Katharine S Katharine S on Sep 29, 2014
    I think it would make a great Barbie Jacuzzi.
    • Deborah Huber Deborah Huber on Sep 29, 2014
      @Katharine S I can see 4 Barbies (or Barbie, Ken and friends) sitting in that Jacuzzi...great idea!
  • Your Momma Your Momma on Sep 29, 2014
    Compost it
  • Kathy Watts Kathy Watts on Sep 29, 2014
    KISS cup holders in the backseat.
  • Sammy Worthey Sammy Worthey on Sep 29, 2014
    Have used them on car trips for our son. As food tray in the backseat. Holds drink, sauce, and nuggets in seperate holes. Also if he doesn't drop any sauce or drink while eating, can be reused as a console in the seat next to him. To hold cup of crayons or small toy or anything that collects in the backseat while in the car.
  • Marilyn Roenneburg Marilyn Roenneburg on Sep 29, 2014
    I wish I had some right now, b/c they would be perfect holders to let my green tomatoes ripen in.
  • Judy H Judy H on Sep 30, 2014
    Skate park for those mini skate boards the kids use (tech decks?)
  • Judy H Judy H on Sep 30, 2014
    Make it a yarn and fat needle project for little ones. The can use lots of colors, wrap the yarn all over and through the holes...
    • Mare Schmitz Williams Mare Schmitz Williams on Sep 30, 2014
      @Judy H Super idea! We'd be shocked at the designs those little ones would come up with! I know my grandkids would really enjoy wrapping yarn over and through these unique openings! I'll try it! thanks!
  • Terri Turner Terri Turner on Sep 30, 2014
    Fill a littler of each with watercolour paints for pre-schoolers or littlies. By giving them a small dob of ea colour - not so much of a mess!!!! Works great
  • Terri Turner Terri Turner on Sep 30, 2014
    Turned upside down and painted can be used for school projects. Mountains, Hills etc.
  • Gloria Gilliam Gloria Gilliam on Sep 30, 2014
    PAINT with food safe paint and use as veggie tray for picnics dip in the middle
  • Brenda Brenda on Sep 30, 2014
    Put dirt in it and use as a starter for plants/veggies. Then put into the ground.
  • Bea Bea on Sep 30, 2014
    I heard these are great to burn in patio or anywhere - safely- to keep skeeters away
  • Linda Carwile Vore Linda Carwile Vore on Sep 30, 2014
    Bling it up and paint for jewelry holders on the dresser
  • Patricia Brown Patricia Brown on Sep 30, 2014
    I have just used one of these to make a Christmas table centre with cones leaves and baubles.I sprayed a chicken tray silver and cut the coffee holder to size turned it upside down sprayed that silver too,and arranged my ornaments accordinlngly.Will post a picture when it is finished Patricia Brown.
  • Wilna van der Heide Wilna van der Heide on Sep 30, 2014
    I keep the cups that comes with it and use the cups as planters for my cuttings. They are a bit wobbly so I use the cup holder to prevent them from falling over and to group my cuttings. It is also a great product to make paper pulp from to use for making other paper products with. Make the pulp and add some color to it or texture and then make sheets of paper from it. Children can also make molds by putting the pulp over other items to shape it, let it dry and paint after. My kids used to do this to make bowls and then paint them to seal them after. The other thing it is useful for is to flatten it and put it under the litter pebbles in the bottom of your kitty litter tray to absorb any extra moisture. It works like a bomb if you are going away for a day or two and cannot change the litter in the tray for those two days.
    • Cookiegirl1 Cookiegirl1 on Oct 08, 2014
      @Wilna van der Heide The entire thing is recyclable as well. Once your cuttings are at a certain point - pop the entire thing in the ground and it will biodegrade.
  • Carole Carole on Sep 30, 2014
    Is it just me - but take a look at your photo - the lower half of the cup holder looks like a face! Paint it up and use it as a mask for Halloween.
  • Ginny Ginny on Sep 30, 2014
    I took egg cartons and maid a lamp before.... Take 4, glue together. place color plastic in the cutouts, add light kit and hang.....
  • Susan Lancia Susan Lancia on Oct 01, 2014
    Don't take them in the first place. Just like the customer did ... REFUSE, Reduce, Reuse, and if all else fails - Recycle. Excessive packaging is polluting our earth!
    • See 2 previous
    • Carole Carole on Jan 14, 2015
      @Dee A couple of places I worked a few years back, had a policy that if someone brought their own mug into the cafe (this is in the case where a cafe sets up shop at the foot of an office building to service the people in that building primarily) they will fill that mug rather than use polystyrene mugs. I think that is an excellent idea. There are mugs sold nowadays that have a thermal wall like a thermos flask would and also a lid. Lids for safety when taking back to the office in the lift. Spilling hot coffee on your work colleagues in a crowded lift is no fun.
  • Marchelle Marchelle on Oct 03, 2014
    I am an artist and crafter, so when I go camping, I go camping, I use this to hold plastic cups with my brushes, water and colored pencil.
  • Monica Corwin Monica Corwin on Oct 03, 2014
    Spray paint one or several gold or faux cement and hang grouped on a wall.
  • NanaJudy NanaJudy on Oct 04, 2014
    I saw a projects once using this type of paper egg carton and thought this could be used as the same. Save lint from dryer. Stuff some in each section. Melt paraffin or old crayons and pour over lint. Let it solidify then cut sections apart. Use as fire starters for fireplace, campfire, patio fire pit...
  • Andrea Fogleman Andrea Fogleman on Oct 04, 2014
    Tear or cut into small pieces, place in old blender and grind up. Add flower clippings or glitter and place in a paper mill to make paper for envelops or special occasions. I've also seen people add seeds to the paper mill and then plant sections of the paper in the garden.
  • Small Talk Mama Small Talk Mama on Oct 04, 2014
    I want to see some pics of all these zany ideas. I just can't picture most of them.
  • Tanya Tanya on Oct 06, 2014
    I saw in a music video one time. They put them up on the walls to drowned out noise.
  • Susan-Amber Springer Susan-Amber Springer on Oct 08, 2014
    A local salvage dealer with an artistic bent gave out these to fellow artists and ended up doing an exhibition. Some were painted, beaded, covered in quilted fabric...even one used to make mold to cast aluminum. Perhaps start an art trend?
  • Debbie de la Cruz Debbie de la Cruz on Nov 03, 2014
    Too funny, I just saw a project using these cup holders in a mag called "Green Craft" buy Somerset Studio. Creative and useful. Also a great project for kids on a rainy day. The artist is Mou Saha and her blog is, Check it out
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  • Ms. Cindi Ms. Cindi on Dec 11, 2014
    Just use it for what it's made for - holding things. Apply spray paint to color it up and use for coffee table serving; Use as is for kids decorating tables - it absorbs spills; use when baking - measure ingredients into dishes/cups, then use this to hold individual dishes in one area or carry it from counter to counter if necessary; use plastic cups to hold screws and small pieces when working on a project; use as a paint brush drip pan; kids parties - place several on one table with drinks already poured, ready to serve; bead party dish holder; holds small starter plants; so many, many uses.
  • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on Dec 15, 2014
    I saw on facebook someone making snowmen from an egg crate. These are bigger but wonder if they'd work the same? It was very cute.
  • Dawn Gardner Dawn Gardner on Jan 12, 2015
    Not a craft but you can use them when putting away Christmas ornaments. Put ornaments in each section, overturn one on top. Can use multiple layers in containers.
  • Lvs1112841 Lvs1112841 on Jan 14, 2015
    Just a thought!
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  • Mary Loper Mary Loper on Jan 18, 2015
    We use them to help start fires in the fireplace.
    • Roberta Stewart-Fite Roberta Stewart-Fite on Dec 28, 2015
      @Mary Loper I make fire starters with discarded egg cartons. I use the left over wax from candles, melt, pour in saw dust... my brother has a wood working shop, so plenty of saw dust. Mix up,, pour into the bottom and let cool. They tear apart easily... one per fire start is all I ever need. I use a metal coffee can on top of the wood stove to melt my wax.
  • Nancy Nancy on Jul 17, 2015
    I applied two coats of gesso, let it dry, then paint it with a primer paint, let it dry, then paint with with any color you like, once the paint is dry, you can decoupage some small flowers or paint some flowers if you like, once it's dry, give a coat or two of varnish, makes a lovely tray for your glasess, and it's great in the summer. enjoy!
  • Yvonne Buckley Yvonne Buckley on Jul 17, 2015
    How about painting and sealing as one person suggested then attaching to a wall for some interesting texture?
  • Ann Ann on Oct 25, 2015
    Homemade paper?
  • Lori Baptiste Lori Baptiste on Oct 27, 2015
    it's great to hold paint cups,for children, sorting game for little one, can make fire starts. Great to start seeds in,paint for color,then line with cupcake tin. flatten to let children paint. Great for children to collect shells ,rocks, leaves.
  • Brenda Turnquest Brenda Turnquest on Dec 28, 2015
    They are great for making papier mache. I soak them in water and then shred them.I use either wood putty or regular white glue as the hardener.
  • Trish Davenport Trish Davenport on Dec 29, 2015
    Turn them over, cut into tiny oblong pieces and make bricks for miniature sidewalks or paving blocks. Or simply tear them apart to make stone. Using pastels you can shade them to look like stone.
  • Tracy Hudson Tracy Hudson on Dec 29, 2015
    How about putting pictures in the five spaces. Metallic paint could make it very modern looking.
  • June June on Apr 30, 2016
    If you look close, top and bottom looks like a mask! Paint it and let children use them to play with.
  • Use as a cup holder. Bling it up a bit..

  • Bob Schulenberg Bob Schulenberg on Jul 30, 2020

    As the Production Designer on a very low budget movie, DEATH SPA we got a lot of them, painted them silver and used them as high tech surfaces in the office of a computer-controlled gym.

  • 17335038 17335038 on Sep 11, 2020

    Use them to store breakable Christmas tree ornaments. You could add some tissue paper in between the areas to help protect them further if desired.

  • Lynne Lynne on Aug 13, 2021

    I keep used cardboard egg cartons and cup holders in my laundry room. When I remove dryer lint, I place the lint in the individual egg or cup spaces. When I have several filled with lint, I melt old candles and pour the wax generously over the lint. When winter arrives I have home made fire starters for our wood burning fireplace.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 03, 2023

    Compost them! or soak them and then add to Concrete for garden crafts.

  • Bethany Lambert Bethany Lambert on Aug 01, 2023

    Fasten a couple dozen together, maybe using a hole punch and twist ties, hang for privacy screen for the summer.